Bob Vila Radio: Wisdom for Window Fans

With energy costs rising as rapidly as summer temperatures, it pays to switch off the air conditioner whenever the weather isn't sweltering. Here's how to get the most bang from the minimal bucks needed to operate window fans.

By Bob Vila | Updated Jan 9, 2015 12:54 PM

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After spending a warm summer day picnicking or at the beach, who doesn’t love to come home to a comfortably cool home?

Window Fan Tips


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Listen to BOB VILA ON WINDOW FANS or read the text below:

Sure, air conditioning is great. But with electric bills keeping pace with rising temperatures, the costs of keeping cool are a real concern for most of us. Window fans can be a great way to help beat the heat. Here are a few window fan tips for a cooler home on a budget that won’t make you hot under the collar.

Position inward-blowing fans on the shady side of your house, outward-blowing fans on the opposite side. A further note about window fan placement: When possible, it’s best to move air in the direction of the prevailing breeze.

Pursue what’s known as the stack effect. In a multi-story home, that means using window fans to pull air into the bottom floor, while pushing rising warm air out windows on the upper floors. Early in the morning, when the house is at its coolest, close the windows to retain that cool air. When night falls, open the windows again.

One more thing: Don’t forget to pull the fans out of the windows when rain is in the forecast.

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 75 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.