Our summers here in Seattle are shorter than in other parts of the country, but they can be just as intense. Especially over the last few years, summers have been getting hotter and hotter. The difficult thing is the heat that comes into your home does not distribute itself evenly throughout the house. People with multi-level homes find that their basements are too cold and the upstairs rooms way too hot.
As a homeowner, what can you do about this? There are a few different options available to you, and you may as well try the free ones first!
What can you do about your hot bedroom in Seattle
- If you have a forced air furnace in the house, the first thing that you’re going to want to try is setting the fan to run 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. What this can sometimes accomplish is taking the colder air from the lower parts of the house, sucking it into the duct system and pushing it to the upstairs of your house. In this sense it’s not a cooling system, but a redistribution of cold air.There are downsides to this. If the only refuge from hot parts of your home was the nice cold basement, you’ll find your basement will get increasingly warmer. Over time, as you run out of cold air to redistribute upstairs, the entire house will be more equal in heat, with nothing left to redistribute. You can set up fans, but again, that’s not really cooling it down, you’re just creating airflow which may cool your body down a bit.
- You can install something referred to as a “window shaker”, which is a window-unit that can be bought at Costco. Because your window is always open, this creates a security issue. They run almost 24 hours a day when it’s hot, so they can be noisy, leak, and don’t offer a lot of power.
- Another option is to install something called a portable air conditioner. They sit inside your room while the ducting system goes to the window, and have a similar effect as the window shaker. They run a lot, they are not very powerful, and they make a lot of noise and sometimes leak water.Ultimately, if none of the less expensive options are possible, or you’re interested in cooling more rooms than a single sweltering bedroom, you are only left with whole home air conditioning.
Whole house air conditioners are rapidly getting more popular in the Seattle area. 30 years ago, only a small percentage of the population had them. Nowadays, in some areas almost 50% of homes or more have them. Whole house air conditioners are also more cost-effective than you may imagine.