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How to Stay Warm or Keep Cool

  • Over most of the cooling season, keep the house closed tight during the day.
  • Don’t let in unwanted heat and humidity. Ventilate at night either naturally or with fans. Ceiling fans increase comfort levels at higher thermostat settings. The standard human comfort range for light clothing in the summer is between 72 F and 78 F. To extend the comfort range to 82 F, you need a breeze of about 2.5 ft/sec or 1.7 mph. A slow-turning ceiling-mounted paddle fan can easily provide this air flow.
  • In hot climates, plant shade trees around the house. Don’t plant trees on the South if you want to benefit from passive solar heating in the winter.
  • Keep the thermostat set at 78 degrees F or higher if using ceiling fans. Don’t air-condition unused rooms.
  • Close South and West-facing curtains during the day for any window that gets direct sunlight. Keep these windows closed, too and hang tightly woven screens or bamboo shades outside the window during the summer to stop 60 to 80 percent of the sun’s heat from getting to the windows.

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