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Questions on keeping a house cool

  1. Aug 1, 2015 #1
    Hi guys,

    I have a question on cooling the house. So at night, I usually open windows to let all of the cold air come in and open the 2nd floor windows to let the hot air out. The 2nd floor is a large open area and has windows in the front and windows in the back.

    Now, I normally open all the windows on the first floor but am wondering if it necessary to open more than 1 window on the 2nd floor. The reason why I am wondering is because my goal is to have the first floor cool as I do not care too much about the temperature of the 2nd floor. The 2nd floor is also a big open area so air can freely flow around without much obstruction. I just need to know if opening 1 window will let all the heat out for the night and is adequate enough to cool down the 1st floor or will opening a few more windows on the 2nd floor will greatly benefit the first floor temperature?

    Thanks guys!
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 1, 2015 #2
    Open more windows. Depending on the direction of drafts and wind, having more windows open can increase air flow.
  4. Aug 1, 2015 #3
    Right, and will that mean more hot air will be sucked out from the first floor and travel into the 2nd floor since more windows are open?
  5. Aug 1, 2015 #4
    On average, yes.
  6. Aug 1, 2015 #5
    Ok, thanks a lot! :) I had a feeling that would happen but just wanted to make sure with others.
  7. Aug 2, 2015 #6


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    I agree with what other have said but..

    Wind can over power convection..so depending on the layout of your house some combinations of open and shut windows might be better or worse than others. A reasonably statergy might be to open "up wind windows" on the 1st floor and "down wind windows" on the 2nd floor as that should reinforce convection.
  8. Aug 2, 2015 #7


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    My AC was out at the beginning of the cooling season and this is exactly what I was doing. I opened the lower floor windows on the windward side and the upper windows on the leeward side. I also mounted a fan in the upper floor to help force the circulation. It wasn't as good as having AC but it did the job.
  9. Aug 2, 2015 #8


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    Saved a bit if money, too, I expect. AC is one of those things that we can start to regard as a necessity and it is very easy to have it on more than necessary and also set to a lower temperature than appropriate. A bit of a dilemma, actually, because it can be very pleasant.
  10. Aug 2, 2015 #9


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    Sounds similar to my situation. My AC unit went out on the 2nd weekend of July.
    I have two squirrel cage fans running right now, pulling the heat out of my house as fast as possible.
    One was semi-permanently mounted about 20 years ago, as it seemed preposterous to buy an AC unit, when it only got über-hot for 1 week out of the year.
    This past June, we set 6 new heat and rainfall records............
    Still waiting for the results for July.
    One of my cats melted last Friday.


  11. Aug 2, 2015 #10
    The control room operators on the site that I work at typically complain that twenty degrees is too hot in summer and twenty three degrees too cold in winter.
  12. Aug 2, 2015 #11
    Thanks for your advice guys. Finding it really helpful to keep the house cool during the heatwave this week :).
    Also closing window blinds/plys in rooms that I'm not in often which helps a bit during the sunny days.

    I try not to use the AC until after pretty much close to 80F or if it's really really humid in the house.
  13. Aug 2, 2015 #12


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    Living in the UK, I seldom find that the house is too hot. But I do know that insulation is great value when trying to keep it warm in winter. It is possible to reduce the rate that the inside of your house gets hot by using insulation and reflective surfaces. It may look radical (silver backing on closed curtains or blinds, for instance) but it would be good value.
  14. Aug 2, 2015 #13


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    Like tinfoil hats!

    Only thing is, it works, in this case. :approve:
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