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running air conditioning with the window open

Flabbergasted, are you? Are you wondering why anyone would consider running the AC with the windows open?

In the morning, I close all windows, turn off the AC and go to work. When I come home, the house is around 85 to 90 degrees (depending on how hot the day is). Generally, by the time I get home, the outside air is cooler than the inside air. Sometimes, I leave the windows closed and turn on the air conditioning. On cooler days, I would open up all the windows and run the fans to circulate the cooler air in. But of course, the cooling down the house naturally, using outside air, is a slow process.

So there is a question that is bouncing back and forth in my mind lately. And search on Google didn't seem to generate any relevant answers. The question is, "With cooler air outside and hotter air inside, is it more efficient to leave the windows open and run the air conditioning?" The train of thought is that the air conditioner would help evacuate hot air, while the circulation generated would help bring cooler air into the house.

I have never heard anyone discuss this possibility. Does anyone have a definite answer on this thought?

Chieh Cheng
Thu, 06 Jul 2006 15:12:54 -0700

I have this question to add.

I have a two air conditioner system.

3 story house with one airconditioner that cools the first two floors and a 2nd that cools the third floor.

The Third floor system runs constantly and cannot adequately cool. The stairwell leading to the third floor is a wide open stairwell that cannot be closed off. It serves as a chimney for room heat to flow to the third floor from the other floors. In the winter, the third floors needs no heat, because it is heated automatically simply from the rising hot air. In the summer the same principle is in effect.

Thus it is more comfortable to open the windows on the third floor during the summer, particularly at night, and to let an exhaust window fan draw hot air out and cool air in through other third floor windows, than to let the air conditioner work overtime and produce no better results.

My question is what is the impact upon the downstairs air conditioner? the electric bill? the comfort downstairs?

It seems to go on and off on automatic in

Sat, 09 Jun 2007 21:09:03 -0700

I just google this exact question. It makes sense to be to leave the windows open if it's cooler outside than inside, but I need proof for the Mrs.

David Griffen
Sat, 14 Jul 2007 21:32:14 -0700

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Title: Tips on Keeping Your Home Cool During the Summer
Weblog: GearHack
Excerpt: A good thing to do is to put a reflective type cover over your windows. An example would be like a car shade. You can cut these to fit the insides of your house windows. It really helps on keeping the temperatures down. Aluminum foil also works well and is less expensive than car shades.
Tracked: Mon, 10 Aug 2009 18:00:21 +0000

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