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Keeping Cool in a Two-Story House

If your second floor gets hot during the summer, there’s a good chance that your house is leaky and poorly insulated

Posted on Jul 5 2013 by Martin Holladay

I was recently a weekend guest at the house of some friends who live in Climate Zone 5 (a zone which includes Nebraska and Massachusetts). Since I have no interest in embarrassing anyone, I won’t mention any names or the home’s precise location. The story, however, is true.

The weather was hot. The two-story house was built in the 1980s; it included a single-zone split-system air conditioner that delivered cool air through ductwork to every room in the house.

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Image Credits:

  1. Martin Holladay

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An Epidemic of Duct Disease and Enclosure Problems

A report of the day I spent going on air conditioner service calls with an HVAC pro

Posted on Jun 26 2013 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD

When an air conditioner breaks down in hot weather, homeowners reach for their phone. The HVAC(Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). Collectively, the mechanical systems that heat, ventilate, and cool a building. company then sends someone out to the home with the immediate goal of getting the AC running again so the occupants will cool off. The thing is, though, that most homes have problems that run deeper than the cause of the broken air conditioner.

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Image Credits:

  1. Energy Vanguard

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Resilient Design: Natural Cooling

Natural cooling strategies can keep homeowners safe if power is lost

Posted on Jan 19 2012 by Alex Wilson

Over the past month and a half, my blogs been focusing on resilient design — which will become all the more important in this age of climate change. Achieving resilience in homes not only involves keeping them comfortable in the winter months through lots of insulation and some passive solar gain (which I've covered in the previous two blogs), it also involves keeping them from getting too hot in the summer months if we lose power and our air conditioning systems stop working.

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Image Credits:

  1. Alex Wilson

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Using Ceiling Fans To Keep Cool Without AC

If you don’t have air conditioning, ceiling fans can save energy — but turn them off when you leave the room

Posted on Jun 11 2010 by Martin Holladay

When I was a young backpacker traveling through India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand in the 1970s, I couldn’t afford air-conditioned hotels or restaurants. In these tropical conditions, I became quite accustomed to the benefits of Casablanca-style fans.

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Image Credits:

  1. Gossamer Wind

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