About Those Open Windows…

I promised yesterday to speak more on opening your windows to cool you house for free.  Here I go.

It seems a no brainer to open your windows to cool your house, and save money and energy since you won’t need your air conditioner, after all, its what people did for centuries until A/C was invented.  The problem is, today, it won’t always work.  In order for open windows to actually cool your house, you have to get that outside air, and breeze, blowing through your place.  This is the problem.  Once A/C was invented, developers went crazy with the freedom, and began building houses without cross-breezes in mind – I mean, who would ever open windows when they had conditioned air.  Out went the “long-thin-house plan, and in came the “cluster plan.”  Here is the problem.

As you can see, with a cluster plan, the air can’t actually flow through the entire house, and what air does flow through, gets diminished and lost.  It is terribly inefficient, but incredibly common.   The long thin house, on the other hand, is quite efficient.

I am lucky.  My house was built with the plan above.  If we open all the windows at once, it can become a wind-tunnel, and is not so comfortable, so we only open a few windows, and things stay nice and cool.

I like being cool, and saving energy by opening the windows isn’t bad either.

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3 Comments

Filed under Save my Wallet, Save the Earth

3 responses to “About Those Open Windows…

  1. caedwin

    I love to open the windows as well, and my house, a 2-story, seems to have been built with that in mind, because we can open the windows upstairs in our MBR and open the windows in the living room downstairs and feel the breeze coming up the stairs! I’d love to have my windows open now, but my allergies just won’t let me. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do that shortly!

  2. namhenderson

    One of my favorite things about spring/summer. But then i like keeping windows open a little even in winter. Just for fresh air. Plus, i like sleeping under a big comforter…

  3. This is a great analysis! You can easily see how the typical post-WW2 ranch house is far better suited to natural ventilation than the bloated faux-Colonial suburban vernacular of today.

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