Heat Rises: Top Tips for Cooling the Upper Floor of Your Home

On January 20, 2014 by Christopher Meloni

Upper Floor

When it is really hot outside, you may run your air conditioner at full blast 24/7, with no thought of how much energy you are actually using. However, once you receive the first huge electricity bill of the summer, you may feel really hot under the collar. Fortunately, there is no need to resort to turning off your air conditioner altogether.

By understanding how heat builds in your home, you can learn to make the most of your indoor cooling system. Utilising fans and other strategic tips, you can keep cool while maintaining a grip on your electric bills. You can use the money that you save to finance a getaway to a paradise where the temps are perfect all year round.

How Heat Builds in Your Home

Natural Cooling

There are two major culprits that generate much of the heat build-up within your home: solar energy and your appliances. Solar energy enters your home through your roof and especially through your windows. Simply closing the blinds during the hottest part of the day can cool the interior of your home by several degrees. Running large appliances such as your oven or your washer and dryer also generate heat. Doing the bulk of your baking and washing up at night will keep your house cooler. If your utility offers a scheme for off-peak pricing, you may even save money on your bills.

Use Circulating and Ceiling Fans

Cooling System

If you have air conditioning, you may believe that you have no further use for fans. However, circulating fans and ceiling fans can make your portable air conditioning or central air conditioning unit work more efficiently. Ceiling fans can circulate cooled air more efficiently through your rooms, while circulating fans can assist with facilitating cross-ventilation. In fact, strategic use of fans can translate into significant savings on your electricity bills, because fans use much less electricity than air conditioners.

Harness the Power of Cross Ventilation and Natural Cooling

Cross Ventilation

Unless your house or flat has windows located only on one side, you can take advantage of cross-ventilation to reduce the amount of air conditioning that is necessary. On cooler days and during the evening, open the windows to encourage cross-ventilation to exchange warm air inside the house for cooler air outdoors. Keep inlet openings smaller than outlet openings to force cooler air into your home. The best locations for inlet openings are windows that face shaded outdoor areas which are naturally cooler than areas that receive full sun during the hottest hours of the day.

Proper Insulation Is Your Friend

Proper Insulation

Insulation is often associated with keeping your home warm. However, insufficient insulation also allows cooled air to escape your home or flat to the great outdoors. Adding sufficient insulation and sealing drafts can make a big difference not only in your utility bills, but also in the level of comfort that you feel inside your home or flat. Simple weather-stripping around drafty doors can prevent air from escaping. Likewise, applying a line of caulk around ill-fitting windows can prevent air from escaping there. However, eventually replacing drafty windows represents a worthwhile investment.

Maddison Wilhelm has a passion for home comfort. She enjoys using scientific principles to help home owners take control of their environments.

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