HHH Blog

A Summer Window Dance for Staying Cool

It’s summer. Yay! And daytime temperatures are now exceeding 85 degrees. 🙁 So now we start the summer, energy-efficiency, window dance to begin at the Healthy Home Habitats house. Yes, the solar panels & heat pumps here provided 90% of our heat this past winter again; but ONLY because we didn’t use all of our summer-saved kWhs for AC last summer. We want to repeat this benefit for the coming winter. This does take effort and new habits but it’s pretty nice to come home after a hot day to a cool house with a $14/month electric bill. You can benefit from these actions too. It’s not magic. We Can Choose to Make A Difference Every Day. Here’s how:
JUST BEFORE BEDTIME
 
* Raise many of your window screens to their top sash, leave them there. Choose windows that create cross-breezes through rooms.
* Before bed, lower/open all of these windows’ top sashes.
* Turn a ceiling fan on low or put a box fan on a high surface. This sends out the day’s hot air (which as you know, rises) through the upper screens and also, later, lets in the cooler night air.
* Voila! Your house is cool in the morning.
 
                       and the important next steps…
 
MORNING
 
* Before you leave for the day, shut ALL of your south and west-facing windows,
* Pull down the pleated blinds and close the curtains.
* North or East-facing windows and those shaded by a porch provide light to the interior spaces.
* In this house, we’ve installed Solatubes (by Granite State Daylighting) for passive, interior light in windowless rooms. Its prisms charge a tiny solar pack inside the fixture for a non-electric nightlight.
 
With these daily steps, the inside of the house is much cooler than the outside temperatures without AC (which would gobble up our precious kWhs). We stay comfortable and our electric bill stays at $14 a month.
 
No solar panels or heat pumps? No problem. This strategy works in any house that is well-insulated. Not done an energy audit yet to find out what insulation would provide the most efficient results?  No problem as well.  Contact the NHSaves program to determine if your house is leaky enough to qualify for a 70% subsidy of up to $8,0000 of Weatherization improvements. It’s not a quick process but has worked great here.
What actions enable YOU to be comfortable and save energy during the summer?  More home resource efficiency options are at: https://healthyhomehabitats.com/category/home-resource-efficiencies/