Friday, July 27, 2007

Green Cooling: Open the Windows

There's nothing greener or more healthy for the environment than a rummage sale, and we've been blogging all week on green topics in preparation of tomorrow's sale from 8-12 at Kenilworth Union Church (click here for more info). Today's topic is a "thermal chimney," guaranteed to cool down your house when its warmer inside the house than out. Before air conditioning was cheaply and freely available, people had a number of methods to keep their homes cool in summer, and it occurs to me that this is an advanced application of "cross-ventilation."

Here's how to cool your house using a thermal chimney: Open the lowest windows on the side from where the breeze is coming. Leave interior doors open, and open the upstairs windows on the opposite side of the house. The warm air in your house will draw upwards and out the upper window, an effect called 'thermal siphoning'. I thought this was a tip worth sharing, and there are lots more on the Natural Cooling Page at which I found at With a few days of cooler weather, it's a great time to check your screens and make sure that all windows are equipped for the rest of summer.


Blogger Praguetwin said...

When I was young, we had no air conditioning. My mom had a system of opening and closing windows and shades at key times of day which we kinds were responsible for maintaining..... or else.

Jul 28, 2007, 3:47:00 AM  
Blogger Praguetwin said...

Ooops, should read "we kids."

Jul 28, 2007, 3:48:00 AM  
Blogger Publia said...

Me, too. (No air conditioning that is.) It worked great, but I don't think my mother trusted anyone to do the system except herself. I think the method included the thermal chimney. Unfortunately, I never studied that system too closely; I wish I had.

The house I live in now was designed after air conditioning was common, and it's much more dependent on the air conditioner.

On a really hot day, nothing beats air conditioning, no matter how good the system, although without the singing birds to wake one up it seems a lot like winter.

Jul 29, 2007, 1:07:00 AM  

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