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Windows and Venting Skylights for Cross Circulation

Two hundred years ago, Thomas Jefferson designed his home to take advantage of wind to maximize his home's ventilation. His home in Monticello had tall windows that could open either on the top or bottom and could be used to circulate air around his home to cool it down. Of course, this was before the advent of air conditioning, but he was able to cool his home by allowing outside air to be drawn into his home and to effectively circulate throughout the house to cool it down. This can be done today in any modern home, and while most homes today do have some form of air conditioning, it can still reduce our reliance on this energy intensive system. All you need are a bunch of windows that are well placed to achieve the same effect.

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Windows and Venting Skylights for Cross Circulation

Air conditioning can use almost one sixth of the energy we consume in our home. But with a bit of planning, homeowners can purchase windows and venting skylights that makes our dependence on air conditioning in the summer lower, or can even reduce our dependence on heat in the winter. The secret to reducing our dependence on these modern and costly conveniences is based on proper air flow, ventilation and cross circulation.

If you are in the process of building a new home or doing an extensive remodel of your older home, you are in a great position to consider the placement of windows, doors and skylights so that you can achieve the most natural light and natural cooling and heating effects. The best way to make your home naturally cooler is to create cross breezes, or cross circulation by placing your home windows or doors on opposite sides of one another. This can be done with windows across the room from each other or across the house, if there are no walls or doors blocking the flow of air between the two windows. By doing this, you allow the air to freely flow in through one window, across the room and out through the other, keeping the air circulating well and cooling the room in the process.

Another cooling option is to install a venting skylight. Venting skylights can be opened slightly to allow air to flow through them. This works well to remove heat during the daytime and also helps to bring in cooler air when the sun goes down. Heat rises, so during the heat of the day as it's rising up to the ceiling you can open the skylight and have a ceiling fan circulate the warm air right out of the opening, cooling your room off. If you open the windows below at a lower level, it will also create a good flow of air that will keep the cooler air below and will direct the warmer air up towards the ceiling and then out of the skylight.

In the evening, when the air cools down, you can keep the skylight open and reverse the direction of the ceiling fan. This will help to draw the cool evening breezes into the home through the skylight and the ceiling fan will help push that cooler air down into the rest of the house.

By strategically placing windows, doors and skylights in your home, you can take advantage of some of the ’free’ air conditioning available to homeowners in much the same way that Jefferson did two hundred years ago. A few cross breezes can go a long way towards lowering your electric bill! Compare replacement windows to find the right windows for your home.




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