Venting The Top Floor

Venting the top floor 

The venting and cooling of a double story house is more complex than a ground level dwelling.

The common statement heard made by owners is…. ‘I only want to ventilate the upper level as the ground level is cool, so that area doesn’t need it!’

Well of course it doesn’t need it, it’s cool as a consequence of the heat migrating to the upper level….all the heat absorbed by the whole house automatically moves up into the higher level….even the heat off the downstairs refrigerator coils has moved upstairs… you could say that the upper level has the combined heat load of the whole house, making the exercise of venting the upper level more critical.

In the quest for making our homes more naturally responsive in maintaining comfort levels, and reducing costs, one need to apply a little real time logic and common sense, not wishful thinking based on fantasy.

Electricity costs are going to go in one of two directions, ……and I’m saying ‘down’ is not one of them.

So there you are, a high heat load in the upper level and the delusional concept of cross ventilation isn’t working for you.

Cross ventilation,….has a nice connotation with the promise of what you’re not going to be able to use efficiently because if you are able to avail yourself of it, it’s going to be uncontrollable and secondly you’re introduced to the reality that dust is a consequence of volume.

No one told you?….maybe it was something for you were meant to discover yourself and I’ve spoiled it for you.

Bedrooms on the top floor are hot, and if the temperature prevails no one is going to get any sleep and what makes is worse, there’s a cool breeze outside where the temperature is several degrees cooler…..and none of it is coming inside.

What to do….other than rip off the roof.

Unless you’ve been able to master the art of blowing air into a bottle, you’re suddenly faced with the reality that the only way you are going to get the cool air to come inside is to let the hot air out….and the best way of getting the hot air out is straight up and out to atmosphere.

So….you install a large roof ventilator or cupola…not some mickey mouse product that works on solar power and delude yourself that because you’re going to get free power….because there is no free power at night and that is when you need to purge.

Physical principles provide you with plus and minus….and it’s up to you to choose those of benefit you.

If you were to punch a hole in the bottom of a full water tank you wouldn’t need to use a pump to drain the water.

So too the roof, once there’s a nice big hole, and it’s not obstructed by the installation of a poorly designed roof ventilator, the heat will come barrelling out.

That’s the roof space/attic area taken care of….now for the rooms.

A closable ceiling vent placed in each of the rooms which will allow the heat trapped above door heights to escape into the roof space….and as it’s escaping, it draws the cooler air in from outside to replace it.
Note I say ‘draw’ and not ‘sucking’ or ‘pulling’….. I leave those exaggerations to the flim flam artists.

You can’t remove one thing without replacing it with another…even if it’s air.

The ceiling vent ideally needs to be adjustable, preferably with a push / pull action, so you can open and close it incrementally. Whatever you do, I suggest you DO NOT USE A PLASTIC TYPE….they break easily and at the worst possible time and you have to replace the whole unit…if you can find one.

Condor manufacture metal ceiling vents or registers which come in two types, manually operated (push / pull), using a rod of appropriate length with a hook, and then there’s the 12vdc electrical, and a remote option.

Not only do you vent the room(s) naturally but you end up with fresher and cleaner odourless rooms because you are introducing fresh clean oxygen by removing the waste air.

Live well, Sleep well


venting a double storey house



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