If you heat and cool you home you know how much it cost to do this.. I like to, as Clark Howard states, Save More, Spend Less and Avoid get Ripped Off..
With this thought in mind I tried to figure out ways to cool the house during the milder time of the year. You know the ones it in the low 60’s during the night and goes to the low 80’s during the day and the humidity level aka Dew point is also lower.
My first idea came from my Aunts home in Columbia SC.. They had a attic fan with a large louvered damper opening that would open up when the fan was running pulling air through the windows that were opened 3-4 inches throughout the house. Now if you have ever been to Columbia in the summertime you know it HOT there.
I Bought the 36″ electric fan and even got the damper but the installation as going to be a bit more challenging as the fan and damper are wider that most joist in the ceiling meaning i needed to cut the ceiling joist, install a header for the damper /fan system, install elec switch on wall and get wires to the motors. WHEW..
Another issue I figured out was the fan and damper assembly were not really a good seal or very thermal when it was really cold or hot. In winter i could feel a cold draft around that thing in the ceiling when we visited at Christmas time as a young child so you have to figure in summer that thing becomes heater in reverse.
In my wife and I’s first house we owned a Townhouse in west raleigh. The attic pulldown was in the hallway upstairs in the center part of the unit. (a lot of unit don’t have pulldown attic stairs so this was a plus) I took the fan and put in the attic above the pulldown stairs. Since the attic was floored it was a breeze but it had a gap on on one ead and teh stairs are longer that 36 inches so i just put a blocker sheet of carboard to blow airflow around the fan box.
In our new home the attic is not floored so the set up is different..
I have a timer so the fan can be turned on in teh evening after it cools down some and runs till 1:30 or so and shuts off. It will turn back on around 5:30 which is the coolest part of teh morning and I let it run till about 8 am or so depending on temp outside.
We changed out the old not real good windows with high tech energy efficient windows and installed a product called Attic Foil this is an amazing product that is easy to install in the attic. It reflect heat back toward its source. It lays on top of the insulation .
Now when the weather is cool and past the pollen season you can cool the home for almost free. When you open the windows make sure to thing about how air pressure works.. windows closer to fan not as far open 2-3″ and the ones farther ways 3-5″ open. So far this year we have run AC for like 5 days total.. the weather has been quite cool and low humidity. Its Sat May 23 and my house is at 68°. The fan came on this morning and temp were high 50’s. The temp last night was around 73. we had the windows closed during the day.
Do there you have it.. FREE AC with little cost and a little handy work.