Magazine article USA TODAY

Keep Your Cool in Summer Heat. (Your Life)

Magazine article USA TODAY

Keep Your Cool in Summer Heat. (Your Life)

Article excerpt

Memorial Day has come and gone, which means that the dog days of summer are not far away, bringing hot, humid weather. For those not fortunate enough to have air-conditioned homes, there are a few things that can be done to help beat the heat, suggests Steven Ridenour, professor of mechanical engineering, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pa.

When the mercury starts to rise, utilizing proper ventilation techniques and cutting back on the use of lights and electrical appliances can reduce the amount of heat in the house, helping to make indoor living conditions a little more tolerable. "It's very important, whether you live in a house or an apartment, to open the windows at night to allow cooler air in. In the morning, you should close everything up and keep it closed until it starts to feel uncomfortable. Then use open windows and a [powerful] fan to pull the air through."

Ridenour points out that people want to draw air into the lowest part of the house and exhaust it through the highest part of the dwelling. "If they can, opening a basement window or door helps draw cooler air up through the house. If that's not an option, opening the lower doors and windows on the shady--or least sunny--side of the house will suffice." Since warm air rises, a fan can be used on the upper floors of the house to blow the warm air out and keep the cooler air circulating. He suggests a box-type multispeed window fan "as large as will fit in the window" Keeping the windows and doors closed, except where bringing air in and exhausting it out, will also help facilitate air flow, as will closing off any rooms not in use. …

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