by JO HOOPER on AUGUST 2, 2010 - 7 Comments in OFF-GRID 101
Tom Edwards has been an architect for 40 years and his clients have amazed their neighbors with this near-zero cost way of cooling an old house – but note this only works on houses with an attic and a hatch – which is many millions of houses but by no means all.
The principle at work: “nature hates a vacuum”. Something rushes in to fill it.
Thus, as heat rises to the ceiling in your building and is trapped there, you should let it out. Open the attic access panel, usually in your hallway ceiling, during the summer, attach, and keep attached during the summer, the largest fan that will fit in it, pointing up, to shoot that heat up into the attic. Then, as the attic is already hot like an oven, you also go up and attach another large fan to a gable end vent, blowing outward. I wire them safely to avoid shorts, etc, then have a switch inside a nearby doorway which I turn on and listen for attic fan. When I hear that it’s on I turn on the access hatch fan.
Then – this is critical – close every window in the place except the one on the coolest side of the house. Nature, then, offended by the vacuum you have created, pulls in that coolest air, which can lower the temperature by many degrees, on its way to the attic, while creating a nice breeze. So I put my work space right by that window.
The fans together use a tiny amount of the power and AC would use. Neighbors walk in and can’t believe it’s not air conditioned.
Find more tips on how to cool your home without air conditioning here: www.localcooling.com/