Homeowners are always looking for ways to save energy while making our homes more comfortable. One of the easiest ways of doing this is to improve insulation in the attic. The attic is relatively easy to access. Often, it’s also the source of major energy losses, because warm air rises.

On many cold, sunny days it would be great to air out your home without feeling a nasty cold draft from an open window. In fact, it may be essential to air out the house when you have just fried some bacon and the kitchen exhaust fan can’t remove the odor. But if you open the window, you get a cold draft that only seems to spread the bacon smell throughout your home. You can avoid this fate if you understand the basic science of wind hitting your home.

The side toward the wind will be under positive pressure as air tries to push in. The downwind side will experience suction, and air will tend to move out of the window. So, to easily and comfortably ventilate your home, open a window on the downwind side. Air will move out of the open window as it leaks into the side of your home facing the wind. If you open a window on the windy side, too, air will flow in and out more quickly. If you also open a window on the second story, the effect will even be greater as a chimney effect causes warm air to rise.