Home Cross Ventilation

5 Ways to Improve Cross Ventilation

Improving the cross ventilation in your home adds value and comfort. Whether the warmer days of an Iowa spring, or the refreshing days of early fall, the area around the Quad Cities is ideal for cross ventilating our homes. There’s no better way to make your house feel comfortable and refreshed than by encouraging a steady flow of fresh air. Even as summer approaches and the mercury begins to rise, cross ventilation can keep your home comfortable and your utility bills low.

This natural method for cooling your home, or any structure, has been around since the dawn of time. Today the idea of utilizing natural cross ventilation is becoming more popular as it reduces your utility costs and your carbon footprint. With a few simple tweaks you can make sure to get the most from natural cross ventilation and keep your home cool and comfortable.

How Cross Ventilation Works

Air flow is created when there’s a degree of pressure, an opening to bring air into the room, and another in which the air leaves the room. For the optimum cooling effect you’ll want the air flowing into the room to come from the cooler side of your house, typically the more shaded side.

Gusts of cooler, fresh air brought through an inlet window will push hot, stale air out, allowing it to escape through the outlet window. The airflow will not usually cut across hard angles, so the location of inlet and outlet windows, doors, and vents, is crucial to get the most out of cross ventilation. 

What You Can Do to Improve The Cross Ventilation in Your Home

The first step to getting the most out of your cross ventilation is understanding the way air moves through your home. Open some windows and doors on either side of your structure. You should be able to detect air movement. If you have a two-story home you can open windows on the upper and lower levels of your home and feel how the air flows through the levels of your structure as well.

Now that you know how the air moves through your home you can determine the optimum manner for cool air in-hot air out. Here are a few things that will help:


The idea of using a window, or box, fan to move air is nothing new, however you may have been using your window fan the wrong way to improve cross ventilation. By placing your fan in a window on the hottest side of your house, and facing it to blow outside you can bring in much more of the naturally cooling air from your homes shady side. The fan will aid in moving hot air out of your home much more efficiently as well.

Time of Day

Always use the outside temperatures to your advantage. Open windows and use window fans in the cooler morning hours, or, if you feel comfortable, after you go to bed. Typically the lowest temperatures occur at these times.

Window Placement

If you have the advantage of determining where your windows are to be placed-either in new construction, or remodeling your home, you will benefit most from having your windows across from each other. For rooms with interior walls, create an archway or doorway that will assist in wind movement. Consider installing transoms above interior doorways which can be opened, encouraging air flow. 

Doors for Cross Ventilation

The slamming of the old screen door may be a memory from childhood, but it’s time to bring it back in the form of a new, energy efficient storm door. Not only does this exterior door offer greater energy efficiency and security, a screen door provides another inlet/outlet for cross ventilation. You should also consider installing deck or patio doors, particularly on the cooler side of the house. Energy efficient deck or patio doors are a great investment and add value to your home.

Skylight Windows

Installing a skylight window in a room that is otherwise unable to be cross ventilated, such as a bedroom with an interior wall, is an easy way to provide air movement. A skylight window will also provide natural light and make a room feel much more open.

Expert Advice and Quality Products

For more on how you can improve your home’s comfort level through cross ventilation talk to our window and door experts. Seiffert Building Supplies is proud to offer the finest in custom, made-to-order windows and doors. Our product line is of exceptional quality and provide you with high performance energy efficiency. Contact our experts today and find out why new windows and doors are like a breath of fresh air.