Well, the past few days have been nice and cool outside, but before that, it was pretty warm around here. I've found that a few air circulators (in the real world, we call these fans) make a dramatic difference in cooling efficiency. My house is great at cooling the downstairs, but there's not much airflow to the upstairs, so it was still staying fairly toasty even with the A/C on. It was better than before the heat pump, but not necessarily good enough to justify the many thousands of dollars I spent to cool it. Now I have a fan bringing cold air from downstairs to the second floor, and all is well. The only drawback is that now I have a fan in my stairwell. I imagine that this will only be necessary for the hottest couple of months each year, but it's hard to tell at this point. I'll need to come up with some creative solution for next summer.
Next time I buy a place, in the distant future, I will make sure that the house was designed for air conditioning. It's still hard for me to grasp that air conditioning is not common here, so ventilation systems are designed lazily and do not support it well.
I find that the conveniently-placed ceiling fan in our living room has worked wonders for air circulation. Perhaps you just need a ceiling fan in your stairwell.
I agree with Matt on this one. For some reason I want to say that you aren't a big fan of ceiling fans, but they actually work great for moving the air around. The only day were my place was unbearable was that day where it was 98.
Yeah, a ceiling fan in my stairwell is a likely solution. I don't hate ceiling fans in concept; I hate having wind blowing on me or papers moving around or constant white noise in a room where I'm trying to sleep. There's no way I'm putting one anywhere near a place I spend a lot of time, like the bed or the computer room, but elsewhere is acceptable.
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