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#1 of 28 Old 05-10-2005, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Today in KC it is 90, I do not want to turn on the air conditioning. I try to hold off as long as possible. I love the fresh air,but my husband works outside all day he likes coming home to a cool house. We do have ceiling fans in the lr and our boys bedroom,along with window fans. Any advice would be great !
Thanks Kristin
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#2 of 28 Old 05-10-2005, 05:02 PM
 
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Kristin-

We are lucky that we have central a/c, esp since it gets so muggy where we live. One cheap way to help with cooling is ceiling fans (they are pretty inexpensive right now, I saw a local ad, where they are only $15 each, they only take about 30 min to install). We did not realize this until we lived briefly in NC during the unbearable summer months. Yes, we had a/c, but the ceiling fans, if left on, really seemed to help us from cranking the a/c waaay up. In our current house, each bedroom has a ceiling fan, in addition to our family room and our sunroom, and we love it. It won't replace having a/c, but my DH and I DO feel that it helps with the efficiency of keeping your house cool.

Also, a very practical way to keep your house cool is to plant trees that will give your house shade in the summer and in the winter when the leaves fall off, it will provide sunlight into your house. This of course is more of a long term thing, it won't work overnight, but if you will be in your house for many yrs, it would be worth it to plant some trees for shade. Blinds can also play a crucial role, in the summer especially, I will keep my blinds down in rooms that get the sun full blast. They also have these do it yourself kits that will block u/v and add a little bit of a tint to windows that get a lot of sun. Our sunroom gets REALLY hot in the evening, b/c of the evening sunset, so my DH used one of these kits to put up this film and it works wonders! The room doesn't get as hot as it was before. I think he got it at lowe's or home depot.

Anyway, hth! If you want some other tips, check out www.stretcher.com It is my favorite site about frugality.
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#3 of 28 Old 05-10-2005, 05:13 PM
 
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90 already??? Wow!

I open up at night and have window and ceiling fans going to circulate the air. When DH leaves for work at 5:30 am he leaves the front and back doors open as well to take advantage of the early morning cooler air. I'm willing to be chilly in the morning to keep things cool later in the day if necessary! I have blinds AND insulated curtains on all of my windows, and close the windows, blinds and curtains as soon as the sun hits that side of the house. Today at 3pm it's 82 outside but only 75 in my house, which is quite manageable if you're not doing aerobics or heavy-duty housecleaning!

Also, your kitchen can really heat things up at the end of the day. If you have a basement, consider making a "summer kitchen" with a hotplate and large toaster oven. That way when you want a "real meal" you can still cook without heating up the house from the oven and stovetop.
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#4 of 28 Old 05-10-2005, 05:14 PM
 
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We just have to use a/c. a LOT. But one thing I do that helps the bills is to turn it up when I get up, then turn it down about an hour before DH gets home. I can stand it hotter than he can and that way I save some and he still comes home to a cool house.

good luck!

-Angela
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#5 of 28 Old 05-11-2005, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for all the suggestions, my husband did end up turning the ac on last night, he cannot sleep if it is hot. Angela, I already learned that little trick,my husband is the same way. Thanks for the ceiling fan idea I will try it.
Bethany, I remember a family I used to babysit did that I was amazed how cool it felt in there house,but they closed all the windows in the early morning. Mags, I will check out the web-site, I love anything that helps me save money.
Thank you, Kristin
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#6 of 28 Old 05-11-2005, 07:35 PM
 
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When it starts to get hot, I turn on the fans and open the windows in the morning and evenings. Between 11 and 4 everything gets shut up. Also, I plan my meals so that I'm not cooking during the day.

Miriam , mom to jumpers.gif
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#7 of 28 Old 05-11-2005, 08:36 PM
 
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When it gets hot here I open all windows and doore come eveing and close them come morning. If the house stays closed during the day it stays cool pretty well.

Something that helps for temps up into the 80's I think is a whole house fan. They are cheeper than ac.
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#8 of 28 Old 05-12-2005, 09:04 AM
 
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We have a whole house fan. It is in the attic and comes on when the attic reaches a specific temp., which we set. It pulls air out of the house so if our windows are open it creates air movement because they suck in air. It works well most of the time, but we did get ac when ds was born. We try to run the fan until late june before turining on the ac as long as we are not too miserable.
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#9 of 28 Old 05-12-2005, 01:25 PM
 
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Is your house fan quiet??? We have one sitting in the garage waiting for DH to install it, which probably won't happen this summer! I do remember that my MIL has a house fan, and it works well but it's terribly loud.
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#10 of 28 Old 05-12-2005, 11:07 PM
 
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We have low-e film on our windows - it's this thin grey/silver plastic film that you put on with a sponge and this special soap that comes with it. It blocks 90% of the UV rays, thus preventing sun fading to books and furniture, and it also blocks a lot of heat!!! It is really cheap and saves on both your heating and cooling bills. We have it on all windows but one and when you put your hand from one to the other when the sun is shining, you can really feel the difference of the heat! Everyone should have it!

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#11 of 28 Old 05-12-2005, 11:31 PM
 
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We bought a small Vornado fan and it actually keeps a large part of our house very cool and it's not that loud.
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#12 of 28 Old 05-13-2005, 05:55 PM
 
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We used to have one of those huge attic fans but we got rid of it a few years ago. It sounded like a jet engine and created a vortex of wind in the house practically! LOL The previous home owner said to always make sure there's a window open somewhere or the house will be full of chimney soot (from the air being sucked in through the chimney). We'd open the basement door and it would suck cold air throughout the house.

Now we close up the house during the hot hours and open windows at night (well, now it's still cold here... frost last night!). We only use AC in our bedroom a few times a year when it's unbearably hot and muggy. We play in the basement playroom when it's hot. It's always a nice 70 degrees down there year round. We use lots of fans throughout the house too.
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#13 of 28 Old 05-14-2005, 03:04 AM
 
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Planted shade trees in the appropriate places.
Built a patio cover off kitchen.
Turn fan on in basement and blow it up the stairs.
Keep windows open all night; it cools off here always, even on 100 degree days.

We plan to install an attic fan to blow hot air out and draw cooler air in.
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#14 of 28 Old 05-14-2005, 04:41 AM
 
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Turning on the AC after having it off all day will use more electricity than leaving it turned on to 72 all the time. It takes a long time for the house to cool off.

In the Keys where I'm from hardly anyone has AC, or used to, and here in Hawaii it is the same thing. We have window units downstairs and turn them off at night or if we're outside. It isn't the same as central AC, but they use less electricity and you only have to cool the room you are in. In the evening, after it cools off, we open the windows. We don't have them upstairs because we aren't up there during the day and at night fans work just fine.

Ceiling fans help a LOT. We also have oscilating fans in almost every room. Just circulating the air helps it feel cooler.
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#15 of 28 Old 05-15-2005, 10:55 PM
 
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Here is some info about keepign your house cooler and saving $$...From my info I have collected online over the years:

Install weatherstripping and reflective window film and yes, shading plants and trees really do help

Use a thermostat timer and try setting your thermostat to keep air conditioning at 78°F or thereabout when it's hot outside

Close cooling vents and keep doors closed to unused rooms, but closing too many can make the unit work harder so be careful and balance it.


Try to set your a/c unit in a shady part of your home - this saves 10%

Open your windows in the morning to bring in cool air then close them to keep warm air out

Replace air filters monthly for maximum benefit and to keep your system running in its optimum condition

Perform scheduled maintenance on a/c units including cleaning condenser coils, replacing air filters, and checking ducts and pipe insulation for damage

Ditto on using ceiling fans as they will raise the thermostat setting up to four degrees while maintaining the same comfort level and save $$$

Of course, appliance usage is a big variable. Use energy saving appliances, hang up your laundry rather than use a dryer, cook at night or use a slow cooker, etc. Ovens really overheat the house, especially during summer.

Take advantage of a free energy audit from your utility company since they can give tips.

Use fans. Here's an excerpt from about.com:

Quote:
Fans - Fans are inexpensive to buy and operate. Compared to air conditioning systems of any kind, you'll spend mere pennies instead of dollars. It's good to have a variety of fans, but if you can only have one, make it a floor model, with an adjustable height and movement. You can find them under twenty dollars and sometimes as low as ten dollars.

A very cost effective way to cool your house in all but the hottest climate is to use fans to cool the house at night. Pull hot air up and out through your kitchen and/or bathroom exhaust fan while pushing in cooler night air with the help of fans in open windows or doors.

Keep your fans in tip-top operating condition by keeping them free of dust and grime. Unplug the fan and use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to clean around the motor and small places. Mild soap and warm water will sufficiently clean everything else. Make sure it's completely dry before plugging it back in.

While fans are wonderfully frugal appliances, if they're running for hours and hours, needed or not, they're wasting electricity. Turn them off as soon as your cooling or circulating needs have been met.
Hope this helps!
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#16 of 28 Old 05-15-2005, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdavis337
I open up at night and have window and ceiling fans going to circulate the air.
This is exactly what we do but we close up as soon as the outdoor air begins to rise above morning air, around 9am. The rest of the day, we have nice cool, albeit kinda dark house. We have blinds in each room and we keep them closed, too. I try to do cooking in the early am and we either bbcue or eat cold food for dinner if it is really hot. Also, we have a lot of trees in the yards next door so that helps shade us. We have no air conditioning and it can get up to 90 outside but still be 65 inside in our house. Also, in the evening, we use the fans to suck the air in the house out, causing ventilation inside because the windows are all open. Dh aims them fan pointing out the window, so they suck the indoor air out. Seems odd, but we have the coolest house I know in our neighborhood.
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#17 of 28 Old 05-17-2005, 07:04 PM
 
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I only do laundry during the day if I'm washing on cold. Laundry on warm/hot or running the dishwasher only happens at night during the summer. I've found that just drying a load of clothes or running the dishwasher raises the temp in the house by at least 2 degrees.

Sometimes I use the crockpot outside or in the basement. Even though it doesn't give off much heat, I've found that it still makes the kitchen feel hotter, especially if what I'm cooking adds humidity to the air.
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#18 of 28 Old 05-23-2005, 07:11 PM
 
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We struggle to keep our home cool. We have hit 112 at my house alreadyt his year and I think i heard 114 by mid week. our AC broke last year and is not worth fixing but we dont have 5K laying around to fix it. we have an evap and ceiling fans and my girls play naked in the kiddie pool all day LOL at night it is nice again. so we jsut suffer during the day. Alsmost time for our daily trips to the mall and library and mc'ds for ice cream and playland LOL
we manage but it is not easy. if we are 114 in May, cant wait to see what july will be. I

Melissa- homeschooling mom to Samantha ( 9) Gabby ( 8) Emma (6) and Diesel (12 months) and Rachel Rebecca Brock Erik Joe Noah 6-25-10 5 early miscarriages
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#19 of 28 Old 05-24-2005, 02:19 AM
 
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is the low e film removable? we have an older home, and I wouldnt want to affect the value of it, but I would really like to make it a bit more energy efficent
heather
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#20 of 28 Old 05-26-2005, 12:05 PM
 
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our house was built in '28 so it was made to be cool (well the windows/glass wasn't and i will check out that uv stuff). when getting fans may i suggest trying to find older fans with 4 blades (i think i will count them when we get home). we have two in our house they are made of metal and they spin so fast and actually create a very very nice breeze. I will be looking for more to replace the newer fans we have.


I have a question about the attic fan though. we have one but i really don't think it is working. DH and grandma (who had one growing up) says it is supposed to create a breeze and it doesn't. is it, do the windows have to be only opened slightly? you can buy new ones too? How much to they cost. i hate turning the AC on until we have to and we actually have to buy a new central heat /ac unit as ours broke.

what a great thread. Thanks Ladies.

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#21 of 28 Old 05-27-2005, 06:42 PM
 
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In Spain they very carefully time the opening and shutting of windows and if you screw up your house is hot for days. Open at night and only in the early morning. Shut with curtains drawn all day.

DS1 2004 ~ DS2 2005 ~ DD1 2008 ~ DS3 2010 ~ DD2 due Dec. 2014
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#22 of 28 Old 06-07-2005, 02:35 PM
 
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I'm guilty!! I use the A/C all the time. My girls are too little to tough it out. I tried using the ceiling fans and the boxed fans and they ended up with heat rash So now I stick to the A/C. I hope you find something that works for you and your family
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#23 of 28 Old 07-21-2005, 08:39 PM
 
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bump!

so, can people tell me more about reflective window cling? i've been phoning around trying to find it and price it out. So far, i've only found one place that even carries it, but they're sold out, and it's 10$/linear foot!!

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#24 of 28 Old 07-21-2005, 09:54 PM
 
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Attic fans and whole house fans are 2 differant things.

Attic fans pull hot air out of the attic ONLY. If the attic is cooler the house stays cooler and trust me it really helps. From last summer to this summer we have a big differance in comfort of our house. Installed the attic fan this spring.

Whole house fans pull air through the house from an open window or door and out through the attic. I would like to get one some time because I have a hard time geting the really cool evening air into the house to cool it overnight. I think I may be however able to open my attic access and have the attic fan kinda work as a whole house fan. Hmmm I may try that tonight :LOL
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#25 of 28 Old 07-21-2005, 11:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moss
bump!

so, can people tell me more about reflective window cling? i've been phoning around trying to find it and price it out. So far, i've only found one place that even carries it, but they're sold out, and it's 10$/linear foot!!
For someone to install it for you or for self install? We got ours at lowe's, but my DH thinks that had he gone to a car place, like pepboys, it would have been cheaper. We did two longish tall windows for about $40 and it is removable with a razorblade.
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#26 of 28 Old 07-22-2005, 01:35 AM
 
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We use Gila brand Heat Control Insulating Window Film in light gray. It cost about $40 but 4' x 15' and we bought it at Orchard Supply and Hardware. I'm sure you could get it at a smaller hardware store or home depot.

www.gilafilms.com
800-528-4481

You can really feel the diffeence between the windows that have it and those that don't. We installed it ourselves pretty easily after doing a test piece.

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#27 of 28 Old 07-22-2005, 11:46 AM
 
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thanks mama's

i'll keep looking.

the canadian hardware stores that i've checked so far dont carry it go figure. the really spendy film was from a specialty glass store, and i think that was the uninstalled price.

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#28 of 28 Old 07-26-2005, 05:34 AM
 
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You can also buy it from Real Goods and they ship to Canada. Obviously it'll add to the price but still nowhere near the total they quoted you at that store. Here are two different products. We have the one at the bottom - it's more expensive from the catalogue than at the store but that's often the way...

www.realgoods.com

http://www.realgoods.com/shop/shop3....302/ts/1063569

http://www.realgoods.com/shop/shop3....302/ts/1056495

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