Dog Days of Summer: Ways to Cool Your House
It’s all helped. A little.
Short of getting the whole house insulated (an expensive proposition for us as our house is very old and needs holes drilled from the outside in to inject the insulation, and then new paint to cover the patched holes) and installing a patio/awning on our west side, we’ve run out of ideas. Save for one (though I don’t think it will help us here since the air outside at night never cools much during a heat wave — a whole-house fan. The idea here is that you have an enormous fan installed in your ceiling, open all your windows in the evening, and have the fan suck in the cold air from outside and exhaust into your attic all the hot air from the house. Many people swear by them.
Depending upon its size, a whole-house fan uses only 10% to 20% as much electricity as a central air conditioner. Also, it uses significantly less electricity than a window air conditioner, yet it keeps the entire house more comfortable, not just one room. Installing one generally provides a good payback on the investment.
So, if you’re inclined to install one, read the above article. On paper, it sounds like a great idea.