Let's face it, when it's hot and you don't have air conditioning it can be borderline homicidal. What's worse is when the temperature begins to dip outside and your home feels like an oven. Most of us turn on a fan to get some air moving across our skin - which is a great idea.
But moving hot air around feels pretty futile, doesn't it?
What if you could replace the air in your house with new, cooler air, quickly and efficiently? You can! All you need is a fan and a cooling plan.
When I was a volunteer firefighter we had to replace the air in people's homes all the time. We would get called to a home because someone forgot to take the bread from the oven and the smoke emanating from the stove would begin to fill the entire home.
Often time we could completely exchange the air in a house with one fan in just a few minutes by using Positive Pressure Ventilation (PPV) or Negative Pressure Ventilation (NPV), depending on the situation.
Here's how it works.
If a home is full of smoke, all of the windows would be opened and a fan would be placed about 6' from the front door on the exterior of the house. The air blowing into the house would increase air pressure and force the smoke out of the rooms.
Conversely, if the smoke was localized then we would place the fan about 6' from the door on the inside of the house facing out, thus creating a negative pressure in the house. This would cause air to rush into the open windows throughout the house, pushing the smoke out the front door.
Granted, we used a fan that had a wooden prop you might find on a small aircraft, powered by a 10 horsepower engine.
Don't despair! The principals of PPV and NPV can still work for you even if you have a regular box fan - it just takes some planning.
Spending all kinds of time and energy cooling your living room with a fan in the window does nothing for that EZ Bake Bedroom at the end of the hallway when it's time to hit the hay. What we really want to do with that futile fan is put it to work replacing the hot air in the bedroom before bedtime.
Yes, close all the doors and windows. Our goal is to systematically cool the house room by room and we need to seal off areas that don't need immediate cooling and provide a single place for cool air to enter the house. A box fan can only do so much so we want to be as effective with it as we can. Trying to empty the entire house with one box fan is a waste of time.