Asheville Homes and LAND!- The Keep In Touch Blog


Simple Elegant Solutions for Cooling

DEB HURT has given us yet another FAB -YOu-Luss post! I hope she enter this  in the March eco-all-stars Challenge...

with a link to her post in the comment section HERE

and that she TAGS the post GREEN AWARENESS 2009 so that judges can find it...**


Since I live in the High Desert region of the Southwest heating and cooling solutions are both important. When most people think of simple solutions for cooling, moving air has to be at the top of the list and that most often means a fan. By moving the hot air around, fans promote evaporation of perspiration on the skin which has a cooling effect.

  • CEILING FANS are effective for moving air within a room and whole house fans can do a good job of keeping air moving throughout a home. Thanks to the ENERGY STAR program for this chart

Ceiling fan blade spans range from 29 - 54 inches - the most popular being the 52-inch model. To determine which size you need, measure the room where the ceiling fan will be installed and follow these guidelines:

Room DimensionsSuggested Fan Size
Up to 75 ft2 29 - 36"
76 - 144 ft2 36 - 42"
144 - 225 ft2 44"
225 - 400 ft2 50 - 54"

* Reference: American Lighting Association, 2003

Ceiling fans should be installed, or mounted, in the middle of the room and at least 7 feet above the floor and 18 inches from the walls. If ceiling height allows, install the fan 8 - 9 feet above the floor for optimal airflow.

  • Standard mountscome with a 3 - 5 inch downrod, which is the metal pipe that extends from the ceiling bracket to the top of the fan. Downrods are usually either 1/2 or 3/4-inch in diameter.
  • Extended mountscan be used to hang the ceiling fan at the desired 8- 9 feet from the floor for tall ceiling heights. Downrods can be purchased from 6 inches (9 ft ceiling) to 120 inches (20 ft ceiling). Check with the manufacturer or sales associate to determine the right downrod length for you.
  • Flush mounts anchor the fan directly against the ceiling. Most standard fans can be installed as a flush mount however, many manufacturers sell "hugger" or "low profile" ceiling fans that are specifically designed for this purpose. Hugger fans are ideal for rooms that have ceilings under 8 feet in height or in situations where a fan with optional light would hang down too low. Hugger fans will not move as much air as a regular fan because the blades are closer to the ceiling.
  • Sloped mounts are used for angled or vaulted ceilings.

ROOF TURBINES are lightweight spinning vents that suck air out of your roof cavity. Waterproof and requiring no electricity, the roof turbine will spin in even very light breezes and most can also withstand hurricane winds. During summer, the space between your ceiling and roof can become very hot. Even if you have good insulation, some of that heat will make it's way into your home. This is an inexpensive, passive way to remove it so that the house stays cooler.

  • SHADE is always a good preventive option.Planting deciduous trees in strategic places to provide summer cooling is a great idea. All the better if they happen to be fruit trees so they can help with the grocery bill too! Awnings over windows and patios can make these pleasant places to spend time in the summer rather than a space to be avoided except in the early morning and the evening.
  • WindCatcher is a traditional architectural device used for centuries in the Middle East to create natural ventilation in buildings. a windcatcher functions as a stack effect aggregator of hot air. It creates a pressure gradient which allows less dense hot air to travel upwards and escape out the top. This effect is  compounded by the day-night cycle mentioned above, trapping cool air below     They may be designed to be uni directional, bi directional or multi directional. In many cases they are as beautiful as they are functional.

    When coupled with thick adobe similar to the kind we have here in the southwest which has high heat absorption qualities, the windcatcher is able to chill lower level spaces in houses in the middle of the day to very cool temperatures. Ask anyone who has stepped into an old adobe building in the middle of a summer day and wondered why they felt like they should have brought a sweater!




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