ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To Create Cross Ventilation In A Home

Updated on February 26, 2014
Cre8tor profile image

Dan has been in the HVAC industry for 22 years with experience in aspects ranging from installation and service to sales and distribution.

Freshen Up Your Home and Save Money

What Is Cross Ventilation?

Cross ventilation is the term used to describe how warm air is displaced by cooler air via a path for cool air to push warm air out of a given structure. This process can be natural or created when necessary. The following will not only show you how simple it is to harness this natural process but also how to create it on days that mother nature doesn't feel like doing all the work.

Having been involved in HVAC for many years now, I know first hand how important it is to you to save money on your utilities and breathe clean air. If you practice the use of cross ventilating your home, I guarantee you can do both without spending a dime out of your pocket.

Heat Is A Self Defeating Bully!!!

Cooling is the process of heat leaving an object. Heat defeats its own purpose by trying to raise the temperature of its' surrounding area. Of course in doing so, it leaves the area it came from cooler. If it's cooler outside than it is in your home, cross ventilation is a breeze!

Look At All Of That Potential

An opening of this size can bring in a huge amount of fresh air or remove a large amount of heat when being pushed by a similar size window or multiple windows located opposite the opening.
An opening of this size can bring in a huge amount of fresh air or remove a large amount of heat when being pushed by a similar size window or multiple windows located opposite the opening. | Source

How To Cross Ventilate Naturally

Are you sitting down? Here it is. To cross ventilate naturally, open the windows. It really is that simple.

To open a couple windows that are situated directly across from each other is the ideal scenario for allowing nature to take it's course but if this is not possible in your home, worry not. The air will find a way to the open area even if it's situated 90 degrees from the inlet window. The only real avoidance you want to consider is that the windows you open, or door and window, are not located on the same side of the home. The best situation is that you open a window that the breeze can blow directly into and another that is opposite the first.

Note: The amount of air you move will be directly proportionate to the size of your inlet and outlet openings.

Creating Cross Ventilation

Mother Nature does not always cooperate by giving us a nice cool breeze to push warm air out of our home efficiently. If this is the case, the assistance of a fan can provide what you need to get the air moving in the right direction.

Contrary to popular use, placing a fan so that it is blowing out of a window is often more beneficial than placing it so that it draws air into the home. The combination of both is ideal but if you have only one fan at your disposal, try pointing it out instead of in. This method will create more of a vacuum and still draw air into the inlet opening while also better pulling the warmer, dustier air out of the home.

NOTE: Many ceiling fans have a switch to reverse the fan direction. This is so that cooler air can be pulled up from the lower portion of the room and be thrown out at a higher point and fall back over the area. Keeping your air mixed creates a more comfortable, even temperature throughout a given area.

Being Efficiently Efficient

Do you use cross ventilation to help cool and freshen up your home?

See results

Why Is Cross Ventilating Important?

Perhaps we don't want to admit it but the air in our home, in most cases, is more polluted than the air outdoors. When the warm air is pushed out of our home, it takes with it the dust and pollutants it contains. When this "old" air leaves, it will be replaced by the pleasantly cool and fresh air of the outdoors. (Assuming you don't live next to a tire manufacturer.)

Beyond that, who doesn't want to save money on their utility bills these days? In the earlier morning and evening hours, more often than not, the air is cooler outside than in our home even without the use of air conditioning. By allowing or creating this cross breeze, our air conditioners will likely never turn on. Of course as the heat of the day sets in we will turn to our A/C's to do the dirty work but why use them when it's not necessary? Not only will you save money on your utilities but never forget that the less our units run, the longer they will last.

House Plants Can Help Clean Air Too

Bring a little of nature's beauty indoors and freshen up your air at the same time.
Bring a little of nature's beauty indoors and freshen up your air at the same time. | Source

When Should I Cross Ventilate?

As I eluded to earlier, this is intended to be practiced when it is cooler outside than it is inside. If you're not sure if it's cooler because your A/C has been running or because it's cooler outside, then feel free to leave the thermostat set in the cooling mode. If your air conditioner kicks on with the windows open, it's telling you that it's time to close up. If it never kicks on, well, just start counting the money your saving. The air conditioning won't come on unless it needs to so don't be concerned about shutting down the thermostat when opening the doors. This is also good in the case that you would leave the home for awhile and not want the heat of the day to creep in because you forgot to turn it back on.

Welcome To the Clean Air and Lower Utility Bills Club!

I know it seems simple but I see homes sealed up tight all day throughout the summer and can't help but want to go knock on the door and tell people how beneficial a cross breeze can be when we catch a pleasant day.

Welcome to the club of fresh air users! There's plenty to go around and best of all, it's free! Yes folks that's right, fresh air is still free.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Mmargie1966 profile image

      Mmargie1966 5 years ago from Gainesville, GA

      I love being a member of the clean air and lower utilities bill club!

      Thanks so much for all your tips. Your hubs have proven to be quite helpful.

      Voted up and useful!


    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Well, thanks to my VERY leaky windows, I have GREAT cross-ventilation in my apartment! It's less than ideal in the winter, but at least I can feel good about internal air pollution ;)

    • Cre8tor profile image

      Dan Robbins 5 years ago from Ohio

      In the words of the late Bob Marley - "Stir It Up". Air begins to displace itself as soon as it stops moving. The ceiling fan is a great way to keep the room temperature even. Thanks for reading summerberrie!

    • profile image

      summerberrie 5 years ago

      cre8tor, I am the worst when it comes to changing my air filters. I will do better-your hub has inspired me to think more responsibly. I never thought about the inside air being more polluted than the outside air! Also,I forgot about the reverse ceiling fan trick. Thanks for the information.