Because the Mobile Hermitage is so tightly constructed, fresh airflow can be precisely controlled by using a combination of the front door, the three windows, and the exhaust vent. If there’s a breeze and a decent temperature outside, then climate control can be achieved without any energy at all. There is a small window at the head of the simple futon bed in the loft.
In hot humid weather, when the air is still, airflow is created by using an electric fan. What seems to work best is having a single fan blowing air out the large center window downstairs. With the door and all other windows closed, opening the bedroom window (shown above) creates an amazing rush of air that draws warm air out of the loft and replaces it with fresh outdoor air as the breeze flows downstairs through the loft passage (pictured at left) and out through the fan in the large middle window below.
The efficiency of the fan can be enhanced by using foam or other insulating material to fill any gaps that might allow a backflow of air between the fan and window. This makes it possible to move the same amount of air using less power.
On a cooler evening, sleeping with a continual flow of fresh cool outdoor air creates a kind of deep relaxation and oxygenation of the body that few homes can offer. Sleeping with a fresh flow of air amidst rich wood paneling is reminiscent of staying at a beach house with wood paneled walls. Fresh night air is something most people rarely, if ever, experience. Perhaps during a camping trip or while staying at a resort, but in a permanent residence it is almost unheard of.
The challenge with trying to ventilate most homes is that they are typically too big and drafty to create the necessary vacuum and functional windows are usually not available at the head of a bed. Also, larger homes are designed for central air and heat with air exchange through a furnace or air handler, so manually controlling fresh air exchange is almost impossible.
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