Passive cooling
From: Terri Hupfer (
Date: Mon, 5 May 2003 21:29:03 -0600 (MDT)
Here in Pleasant Hill we have a variety of passive cooling methods built in
to avoid the need for central air. First is a metal reflective roof, then
metalized insulation sheets under the roof, then 2 x 6's instead of 2 x 4's
giving thicker walls and more insulation. Most of us have whole house fans,
to blow off the hot air and suck in the cool at night. We have double-paned
windows and many have double-celled mini blinds which we keep closed in the
heat of the day. There might be a couple things I missed, but those are the
major ones.

I moved here from SF, where it's always cool. Chuck Durrett promised us it
would work, but I was not a believer till I saw it in action. I came home to
my house each summer day (days it was often 90-100) out here, to a house
that was 75 degrees cool (felt like air con) downstairs, and at worst 80
upstairs. Each night when it cooled off I ran my whole house fan for 1/2
hour, and cooled the whole place down. There were only 2-3 nights the whole
summer when I was too warm, and that could have been fixed by getting my
ceiling fan up in the bedroom!

Chuck claims this works in places as hot as Tucson. I almost believe him!

Terri Hupfer
Pleasant Hill Cohousing
Contra Costa County (east of SF)

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