Author Topic: Closed windows/conditioned air 24/7?  (Read 3360 times)

Geostache

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Closed windows/conditioned air 24/7?
« on: September 16, 2015, 09:47:05 AM »
It's fall here in the DC area, which generally means warm, dry days and cool nights. The last time we turned our a/c on was on September 6th, when we had 60 people over for a potluck bbq. Our windows are always open unless we know it's supposed to rain- hooray for no hvac electricity costs!

Anyway, we take our kids out for a walk in the evenings, and without fail, every single neighbor has their house shut up tight. I understand if some have allergies (fall is also ragweed season), but you can't tell me that every single neighbor suffers. I don't get it. Why not let the fresh air in and let mother nature take care of your heating/cooling needs?

MrMoneyMaxwell

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Re: Closed windows/conditioned air 24/7?
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2015, 09:56:48 AM »
I'm convinced this is about 80% how you're raised. My mom always had the windows wide open, fresh air as long as the weather permitted. To this day I'll still open up the windows as late as October or November if the weather allows it. Hell, last December it got up to 45 or 50 and I opened all the windows in the house (much to the chagrin of my housemates at the time who refused to wear anything but t-shirts and shorts inside the house year round).

I have friends that will never open their windows. It's either AC or heat on full blast year round. I cannot, for the life of me understand it.

The same goes for lighting. If it's sunny, I have the blinds open and the indoor lights are off.  I've had housemates in the past that keep their blinds closed and light their room with a television and several standing lights until all hours of the night. I just don't understand it.

BlueMR2

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Re: Closed windows/conditioned air 24/7?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2015, 10:02:42 AM »
The new high efficiency HVAC units are designed for "sealed house" use.  The only way to even turn them off completely is go to the power cutoff on the blower unit.  In the "off" position, they still circulate air (very slowly)!  You can still buy standard efficiency HVAC does shut off.  I'm interested to see if the sealed house/high efficiency is cheaper or more costly to run than open the house/standard efficiency.

It doesn't stop me from opening the windows occasionally though.  I'm probably done using the whole house fan since the HVAC replacement though.  With the extra dirt pulled in by the fan and the constant circulation of the HVAC, I'd be replacing filters constantly at $30 a pop.

Geostache

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Re: Closed windows/conditioned air 24/7?
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2015, 10:05:29 AM »
To this day I'll still open up the windows as late as October or November if the weather allows it. Hell, last December it got up to 45 or 50 and I opened all the windows in the house (much to the chagrin of my housemates at the time who refused to wear anything but t-shirts and shorts inside the house year round).

Same here. It's especially nice to open the windows in the winter after months of stuffy, forced air heating.

The same goes for lighting. If it's sunny, I have the blinds open and the indoor lights are off.  I've had housemates in the past that keep their blinds closed and light their room with a television and several standing lights until all hours of the night. I just don't understand it.

That just made my head explode.


Money Mouse

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Re: Closed windows/conditioned air 24/7?
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2015, 12:33:00 PM »
It's fall here in the DC area, which generally means warm, dry days and cool nights. The last time we turned our a/c on was on September 6th, when we had 60 people over for a potluck bbq. Our windows are always open unless we know it's supposed to rain- hooray for no hvac electricity costs!

Anyway, we take our kids out for a walk in the evenings, and without fail, every single neighbor has their house shut up tight. I understand if some have allergies (fall is also ragweed season), but you can't tell me that every single neighbor suffers. I don't get it. Why not let the fresh air in and let mother nature take care of your heating/cooling needs?

This is me, right now. House shut up tight with my portable HEPA air filter following me around the house like a puppy and doped up on antihistamines. The A/C isn't on quite yet, but with the afternoon sun hitting the house I'll likely turn it on soon. It will run until the sun sets and I'll shut it off again.

But yeah, before the allergies hit I had the house wide open, and once they run their course I'll open the house up again with glee!

Gone Fishing

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Re: Closed windows/conditioned air 24/7?
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2015, 12:50:29 PM »

I have friends that will never open their windows. It's either AC or heat on full blast year round. I cannot, for the life of me understand it.


Not saying people don't do stupid things (like my once roommate that ran the heat, a fan and had the window open in sub-freezing weather), but with milder temperatures, the A/C and/or heat shouldn't be running full blast, maybe just a few minutes here or there to maintain the temperature.

Sibley

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Re: Closed windows/conditioned air 24/7?
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2015, 03:08:45 PM »
One of the few things I loved about living in California is that I could have the house open or just close the windows but not need heat until usually December. I hate A/C, the air gets so dry and it makes my sinuses freak.

scottish

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Re: Closed windows/conditioned air 24/7?
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2015, 07:15:25 PM »
My wife has bad environmental triggered asthma especially in August/September.  We keep the windows closed then and run the A/C so she can breath.  I grew up with the windows open and no A/C, so this has been a big change for me.

Making Cookies

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Re: Closed windows/conditioned air 24/7?
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2015, 08:12:47 AM »
I miss my house in Italy which had steel shutters that allowed me to leave the house open but locked up during the day. No A/C. For that matter no central heat either. There was a system but we never used it. We were bachelors and used kerosene heaters to heat single rooms. This was years ago and we were young.

Today at my house we're big on having the house open as much as possible. I think it is heathier b/c we're not breathing the off-gassing of whatever plastics or furniture finishes are in the house among other things. We love the clean smell that the house has when the house is open. 

I remember the family I knew well next door when I was growing up. When I'd play with their son - I thought it was weird that they never, ever opened their windows. I wonder now if those windows would even open. They were the crank out windows seen on contemporary houses. FWIW - they were frequently sick with a sniffle or a cough. Father was a DR who gave his kids antibiotics whether they needed it or not.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2015, 08:17:24 AM by Joe Average »

okits

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Re: Closed windows/conditioned air 24/7?
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2015, 08:50:41 PM »
Warm days, cool nights sound ideal.  We're opening the windows at night to cool the apartment, then shutting during the day to keep the heat out (trying to enjoy the sunshine by going outside.)  I don't actually know how big our electricity bills are, but I think habits like this help keep them reasonable.

psinguine

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Re: Closed windows/conditioned air 24/7?
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2015, 08:32:12 AM »
The new high efficiency HVAC units are designed for "sealed house" use.  The only way to even turn them off completely is go to the power cutoff on the blower unit.  In the "off" position, they still circulate air (very slowly)!  You can still buy standard efficiency HVAC does shut off.  I'm interested to see if the sealed house/high efficiency is cheaper or more costly to run than open the house/standard efficiency.

It doesn't stop me from opening the windows occasionally though.  I'm probably done using the whole house fan since the HVAC replacement though.  With the extra dirt pulled in by the fan and the constant circulation of the HVAC, I'd be replacing filters constantly at $30 a pop.

Maybe it's just because I grew up with it, but I had just assumed standard practice was to turn your heat off at the breaker on the electrical panel as soon as the temp was reasonable. That's how I do it, and my father before me, and his father before him, and by goodness gracious that's what I was going to teach my son as well. When you've got a vampire as thirsty as electric heat you kill that basted at the source.