How can I cool my loft?

I have an extremely hot loft, which is keeping the top half of my house hot as well. I'm running 2 large air conditioners upstairs, but the heat isn't escaping through the loft which is at least 10 degrees hotter. Downstairs is around 5-6 degrees cooler than upstairs.
I don't have a loft skylight (nor the will or cash to install one), so does anyone have any ideas on how to cool the loft so that I can get rid of some heat upstairs?
Thanks!
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put an extract fan in the loft area, either to an outside wall or a chimney or even through a tile
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On Sun, 02 Jul 2006 19:19:24 GMT someone who may be "mentalguy2004"

Any particular reason why you are burning electricity to run these two gadgets? Could you not open the windows? Depending on the orientation and design of the house it should be possible to provide gentle ventilation that will keep the house cool via the windows and other ventilators. This sort of passive ventilation should be designed into all houses, by many builders appear ignorant of it.

The loft should have suitable ventilation. If it doesn't then I would be worried about rot. There are plenty of descriptions of loft ventilation on the web.
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David Hansen, Edinburgh
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wrote this:-

Ummm, because it's too hot and opening the windows doesn't help.

Thanks.
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On Sun, 02 Jul 2006 19:40:17 GMT someone who may be "mentalguy2004"

Then the house may be badly designed, though without looking at it I couldn't say.
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David Hansen wrote:

Design doesn't come into it...EG my house was a baking 25C inside and 31C outside with no air movement, how is opening a window going to cool it down?
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On Sun, 02 Jul 2006 21:50:31 GMT someone who may be "Phil L"

Oh yes it does:-)

As I keep on saying, that depends on the design and how the building is operated. If it has suitable high level windows or vents then the hot air will escape through them and draw in cooler air from lower down, moderating the temperature during the day by counteracting solar gain. Leave the windows open at night and the house will be cool in the morning. With decent insulation it will not become too warm the next day.
In the absence of suitable vents proper design will include windows that can be safely locked open for the ground floor and any other easily accessible windows.
While nothing substitutes for proper design I have managed to keep mass produced houses cool by suitable ventilation. One tip is to operate the windows so that the air drawn in comes from the side of the house in shadow.
This is a subtle process. Gales through the windows mean they are not at the correct settings.
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Phil L wrote:

Indeed. So was mine today...downstairs where I kept the windows shut, curtains mostly closed, and the large brick chimneys and concrete floors held it down to that.
Upstairs it rapidly shot past 30C as thecomputer equipment heated it up..
Its very hard to cool BELO ambient..your best bet is to install thermal mass that will keep cool during the day and release its heat at night.
Lofts will often rise well ABOVE ambient due to solar heating. All you can do is thatch the roof really :D Its the case for having insulation OUTSIDE the structure...keep the thermal mass inisde and moderate extremes..
Ventilation may help to reduce the loft to ambient temp, but thats only if the wind blows..
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On Mon, 03 Jul 2006 00:03:09 +0100 someone who may be The Natural

Since you kept the windows shut you have demonstrated that keeping the windows shut will not cool things down. Congratulations, though it was unnecessary to conduct this experiment as I would have told you this if you had asked.

A sensible way of reducing solar gain.

Incorrect.
Hot air rises. With suitable high and low level vents the temperature in the loft can be moderated. It will probably not be as low as in the house, as the tiles are thinner than the walls, but it should not be "baking".
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Yes, open upper storey windows as well as ground floor ones. There will be air movement even if there is no wind.
Mary

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wrote this:-

You are having a laugh of course. A high thermal mass building with heavy to super insulation and appropriate eves overhangs to keep the sun off windows and the walls, with adequate ventilation will be "very" cool in summer time. There is NO need for a/c in the UK if the house is designed right
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Doctor Drivel wrote:

Oh, to be in my parents house right now. It's built of of cob - mud/clay, straw and flint stones with a thatched roof. There is no damp course. Not least because if the cob dries out it starts to crumble.
So it has a high thermal mass, external insulation and evaporative water cooling!
It's lovely and cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
-- -------------------------------------------------------------------- Guy Dawson I.T. Manager Crossflight Ltd snipped-for-privacy@crossflight.co.uk
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Guy Dawson wrote:

Yep. These factors are BEGINNING to be appreciated as we start to get too hot summers as well as dreary cold winters..
In fact the humidity outside was such that the air coming into the house via the windows the spouse keeps opening 'to cool the place' - despite the fact that the house interior is some 5 degrees less than outside air temperatures - cooled enough to set a humidity sensored extractor going..
Mass inside, insulation outside, and deep overhanging eaves is as good as it gets this weather. Now if ONLY the computers equipment wasn't so bloody lossy...

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wrote this:-

Making electricity contributes to the heat.
Shade windows where the sun is coming in, draw curtains work to a greater or lesser extent. Open doors and windows to allow some air movement. Stay in the shade.
It's just as hot for us, we manage without AC.
Mary

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On Mon, 3 Jul 2006 12:50:44 +0100 someone who may be "Mary Fisher"
Indeed. Boys, in particular, seem addicted to toys.
Meanwhile it is perfectly possible to manage without such toys. http://www.est.org.uk/partnership/energy/index.cfm?mode=view&news_idE8 is just one article that the cluless could read to get a few clues.
--
David Hansen, Edinburgh
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Mary Fisher wrote:

I am a bit skeptical of the curtains issue. Our upstairs living area was around 30 degrees yesterday, the loft was 40, but I haven't got any insulation at all up there since all the ceilings were replaced.... back to the curtains though :-
Vertical thin off-white blinds were giving reading 30 degrees in direct sunlight, whereas hardwood roman blinds were at least 5 degrees hotter according to IR thermometer in the same living area on identical direction windows. Once the sun gets through the windows, it's still going to radiate into the room is it not?
Just to boast about 1970's architecture.... Downstairs semi-underground bedrooms were a relaxing 22 degrees at about 18:00 last night. :)
Water bed set to minimum temp of 18 degrees sucks away any unwanted body heat. cool enough to keep our summer/winter duvet on the bed!
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On Tue, 04 Jul 2006 17:17:06 GMT, "Pet @ www.gymratz.co.uk ;)"

Someone I know has rigged a beer cooler to their water bed to keep it at a habitable temperature!
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Peter Parry.
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On Tue, 04 Jul 2006 17:17:06 GMT someone who may be "Pet @

With the appropriate use of the various ventilation options my 1960s house remains at about 20-22C even in the warmest weather. That is true of the south facing public rooms and the north facing bedrooms. The walls and roof are reasonably reflective, both are insulated. However it does not have external shading. I do ensure it is cooled overnight, by ventilation. However, I do understand what is going on and how to get the building to behave as I want it.
--
David Hansen, Edinburgh
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On Sun, 02 Jul 2006 20:37:09 +0100, David Hansen

Because it is too hot?

One could, it makes very little difference however.

Not it won't, if the house is reasonably well insulated and has reasonable solar gain the upstairs is going to be too hot in summer. There are numerous greeny house is Milton Keynes and Oxford which are abandoned in summer because they are unbearable.

How old do you think the house is?

Suitable and adequate loft ventilation to prevent rot will have almost zero effect upon temperature in the loft.
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Peter Parry.
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On Sun, 02 Jul 2006 21:45:19 +0100 someone who may be Peter Parry

That depends on how well the house is designed for natural ventilation. I know of houses, including my own, where the appropriate use of windows and vents allows a nice even temperature to be maintained in hot weather, day and night, including the southward facing public rooms.
It is usually not even necessary to run the extract fan in summer when having a shower or bath. The natural ventilation extracts the damp air very well.

I disagree, having seen all sorts of naturally ventilated buildings.

Tick.
Tick.
Cross.
The upstairs may be too hot in summer, but only if the house is badly designed.

Not places I frequent. Were they designed for passive solar ventilation? When were they designed?

No idea. However, in the absence of more information, I assume the OP has a mass built house rather then one designed by an engineer.

That depends on how it is designed and operated.
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David Hansen, Edinburgh
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