June 10, 2013

beating the heat

2013.06_beating the heat
(another weatherspark screenshot)

Today was the hottest day yet this summer, with temperatures in the high 80s and 90s all day. I am quite pleased that our house only got up to a cool 76ºF by 6 pm.

And I baked bread today. Albeit, it was in a bread machine. I suppose reducing kitchen heat gain is another benefit of the bread machine! I could even plug it in outside, or better yet, bake bread in a solar oven!

I attribute our retention of coolth to:
  1. The air sealing, attic, and wall insulation we had done this winter
  2. Our heavy plaster walls and ceiling provide a lot of thermal mass
  3. Opening windows and using the whole-house fan for night/morning sub-cooling of said thermal mass. Our climate's diurnal swings mean that we can use night ventilation to cool the house down as much as possible before sealing it up for the day. I ran the whole-house fan for an hour this morning. Another good reason to get up at 5 am!
  4. While not perfect, we do get a good deal of shading from trees to the east and west northwest, as well as a large patio overhang on the west side of the house.
  5. At lease one of our windows is low-E (west-facing). The rest are at least double-pane and I hope to do the lighter test soon.
I hope this performance continues–we usually get a stretch where night temperatures only drop into the 70s as opposed to the 60s. The ceiling fans, which we've yet to use, will definitely help in that situation.

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