Recirculate Basement Air - bring downstairs air up
Sometimes I cool the upstairs with basement air. It sounds odd, but it's easy to do.
I installed an add-on air plenum and damper that allows me to redirect furnace air recirculation to pull cool air up from the basement and discharge it upstairs through my normal heating ducts.
The normal cold air returns are blocked off so the warmer air upstairs is then pulled down the basement stairway and through the cooler basement where it's cooled and recirculated through the house.
It works great for a few days until the basement is warmed up with the heat that used to be upstairs. Then the effectiveness starts to drop noticeably. With better attic insulation, the effectiveness of this technique should last much longer.
Implementing this energy saving tip requires an investment in a new air plenum, but since I use the air plenum primarily as an alternate means of heating the house, it was well worth the investment I made to have a sheet metal shop fabricate the new air intake structure for me.
The way I look at it, there's an untapped resource of cool basement air, so I need to take action to make good use of it by recirculating it upstairs where I spend most of my time. It's like a huge heat sink below my main floor - a thermal battery in reverse.
All I did was find a way to send the warm air downstairs so the heat could be extracted. If you have a forced air furnace, the solution is probably well within your grasp.
In a way, the basement represents ground source cooling at your fingertips. All you have to do is figure out how to make best use of it in the most efficient manner.
Just think of it as air conditioning for frugal living.
Done with Basement Air, take me to Ways to Save Energy