Tuesday, July 6, 2010
When we bought this house, it needed a new roof and I don't just mean the shingles needed replacing. When we chose the trusses we went with a 36" overhang for the eaves to help shade the windows on hot summer days. I also put those 1" metal mini-blinds at every window -- they are an off-white like the walls and woodwork so can either blend in or unobtrusively hide behind other window treatments as desired. Plus DH installed a whole house fan in the central hall's ceiling to help bring in the late evening's cooler outside air. And last year, DH finally got to mark another item off his to-do list when he installed (with some help from my uncle) new windows all-around. Unfortunately, we're still waiting for a time when we can upgrade the insulation...
So it gets hot -- sometimes the steel front door is hot to the touch on the INSIDE, but unless the humidity goes above 60% or so it doesn't feel any worse than it might if we ran the central air. I think it's even better because in previous years (this is the second summer for our "no a/c" policy) when we'd break down and turn on the air, many nights it would be cooler outside than in since we set the thermostat high (78º or 80º) to conserve energy and money.
This is the second house we've put a whole house fan in. I grew up with one my dad had purchased thru the Sears catalog so I knew how effective they can be. DH was willing to give it a try at the other house and then, when we moved here, it was one of the first things he worked on. And considering how much work this house needed, that says a lot. If you're looking at ways to reduce the cost of cooling your house, consider a whole house fan. They're relatively inexpensive to buy, easy to install and cheap to run when compared with the A/C. Drawbacks? Can be noisy, check out the sound levels as it varies between models (direct drive vs. belt driven).