Moving To A New House With A 3 Year Old 10 Ways to Cool a House Without Air Conditioning

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10 Ways to Cool a House Without Air Conditioning

Sleeping on the front porch after a hot summer day was an absolute must. The upstairs of the 1940s farmhouse had been turned into a sauna and sleeping in the upstairs bedrooms was not possible. Even after the sun went down, the upstairs seemed to get hotter. Let’s look at some ways to cool a house without air conditioning?

Now that I spend time trying to figure out how a home can be more energy efficient, I think back to those hot summer days and wonder two things:

1. Where was the air conditioner?

I have seen several articles floating around that talk about air conditioning as an unnecessary appliance. People have become gentle and if people treated the heat like a caveman, they wouldn’t need those energy-consuming air conditioners.

Growing up in that farmhouse in the Northwest, air conditioning was not expected. Sleeping on the front porch a few times a year was. Air conditioning was only for city people who weren’t lucky enough to live on a farm.

Where was the air conditioner? It was still in the Variety Store Catalog.

2. Why did the upstairs get so hot in the evening?

When you’re sleeping on the front porch and you’re 10, you don’t really care why the upstairs is so hot. It’s not something you try to figure out before you find yourself sleeping on the porch again. You like to sleep on the porch.

If the upstairs is too hot to sleep in and you would rather not risk sleeping on the porch, or anywhere else outside, then figuring out why upstairs and the whole house is so hot in the evening becomes a matter of important to solve.

Air conditioners are quite energy efficient appliances, but they are not cheap to run. With the air conditioner constantly grinding and the energy bill rising by the hour, a person has a tendency to think about why the upstairs is so hot and ways to cool down a house.

Years later:

The old farmhouse was being moved to a new location and I had the opportunity to look into the attic as part of the roof was removed. Instead of the attic being the dark, spooky cave of my childhood, it was an inviting place to explore with lots of natural light.

I was surprised to see that the attic had nothing in it. No old magazines, no old socks or toys, no old rat or cat corpses. Of course, there was no insulation either and I could see down the chimney from the attic to the basement. This is a good place to start to answer the question of ways to freshen up a home.

The roof had no attic vents at the top of the roof or at the sill. The only ventilation was provided by two vents, one at each end of the attic. The roof shingles were always a dark color.

Now I understand very well why the upper floor of this old house was so hot after a hot summer day. The attic collected heat throughout the day and then shared it with the downstairs throughout the evening.

How to keep your attic from overheating and ruining a good night’s sleep.

Here are 10 ways to cool a home before adding an air conditioner. These will help your effort to keep the house livable in the evening – try these renovations and improvements.

1. Solar Powered Attic Fan

A solar powered attic fan works very well and is a one time investment of $450 to $800. When installed on your roof, the freestanding solar unit draws hot air from the attic whenever the sun hits the solar array with enough bright direct sunlight to run the fan.

Best performance occurs when attic ventilation is increased along the sills and roof peak ventilation is limited.

2. Roof sprinkler system

Well, it works in flat commercial buildings, it can work in homes too. Anything that will cool the roof surface will help keep heat from radiating into the attic space. Unfortunately, this can significantly increase your water bill. Sprayer and hose, $20. Water bill about $300.

3. Really big trees

Shade the roof and you’ll have a cooler attic and a cooler house. If you have a two-story home and are just starting to plant shade trees, this solution may take a while to materialize. A red tree 12 inches tall, $4.95. Expect shadows in 40 years.

4. Attic floor air sealing

Especially before adding insulation – don’t add insulation to the attic floor without first sealing the holes and air leaks. Best process, good drop light, knee pads and a can of Great Stuff spray foam insulation. Cost of material, $30.

5. Adding additional roof ventilation

Ways to cool a home start with attic ventilation. Most older homes simply do not have adequate attic ventilation. The ventilation should allow air to flow from the sill to the roof. Remove the rigid birdcage and add a screened vent to the sill. Add metal or plastic roof gutters near the top. During the installation of the new roof is the best time to add attic ventilation. Eve Soffit Vents, $8.50. Roof top usage about $12

6. Adding insulation

After sealing the air, install the insulation. Insulation will help slow the transfer of heat from the attic to the living space below. The more insulation, the better. Building codes continue to add insulation, in some of the colder parts of the country insulation to R-49 is code. That’s about 16 inches of insulation.

Don’t worry, this can be a DIY project. Large building supply stores have the material and equipment you need to get the job done.

Add insulation in colder climates to keep warm, add insulation in warmer climates to keep cool. Add 12 inches of blown fiberglass insulation for about $1.25 to $1.75 per square foot of attic floor space.

7. Sealing the joint of the floor of the knee wall.

Many older, two-story homes have attic space in the knee walls. This is the space along the walls of an upstairs room that has reduced headroom along the sides of the room. You know, stand up and you have to be careful to stand in the middle of the room so you don’t bump your head.

The problem is that the knee wall attic is often open to the space between the floor of the room above and the ceiling of the room downstairs. This means that the hot air in the knee wall attic can travel right under the upper floor and help heat the whole house.

Stuff some insulation in a plastic bag and stuff a bag between each attic floor stud opening at the knee wall. This will prevent hot air from traveling between the floor and ceiling. Sealing these floor joist openings is important during the cooling season and the heating season. Plastic bag, $50, insulation, $1.00 bag.

8. Chimney chase sealing

In older balloon frame homes, the chimney chase is often open and allows heat and cold to transfer between all floors, from the attic to the basement. For effective cooling and heating, these chase corridors must be closed. Spray Foam Insulation, $7.00 a can.

9. Place fans in the windows above

Place one or more large fans in the upstairs windows. Install them so that they blow out of the window. Close all other windows and exterior doors, but leave interior doors open to the basement. Blow the cooler basement air up through the house and out the upstairs windows.

Basements are always cooler and can help cool the rest of the house. Hopefully you don’t have a smelly stove oil tank in the basement! A good box fan about $30.

10. Install solar panels

Typically when you install solar panels on a roof, the panels are placed on a rack system that holds the panels off the roof about 3 inches. The panels prevent sunlight from hitting the roof surface and slow heat transfer to the attic space.

One of the advantages of solar panels on a hot day is the shading they provide the roof. Maybe not as good for shade as a big redwood, but it’s still shade.

Most energy companies will help you install solar panels. They know that when the weather gets hot and all those air conditioners come on, they need all the help they can get with ways to cool down a home.

I wish I still had that old farmhouse with the big porch and big yard. I would have a few tricks ready for those hot summer evenings when the upstairs got so hot. After air-sealing and insulating the attic, I would install a solar attic fan, mount some solar panels on the roof, put some box fans in the upstairs windows, and open my sleeping bag on the porch. front.

These are ways to freshen up a home, but still get a good night’s sleep on the front porch. Of course, these days one would need a better air mattress than it used to.

Thanks for stopping by, hope you sleep a little cooler tonight, don’t forget to turn off the light…

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