Needed: a left-handed wind shifter

To paraphrase the old joke.

Here’s the sitch. We live in Florida. It is sticky, hot and nasty in Florida in the summer, and the AC bills get out of control.

However, we live right on the ocean, and there is an almost constant 10-15 mph wind coming off the ocean, day and night. If we could harness that breeze, we would rarely need the AC, our bills would drop like a rock, and we would singlehandedly save the planet.

Problem: our windows face north and south, and the breeze, naturally, comes from the east. There are few things as frustrating as laying in your bed at night, drowning in your own sweat, as you hear that cooling breeze rush by your window.

So, is there anyway to divert the breeze to go into the apartment?
Conditions of this engineering experiment:

  1. We have two south facing windows, of approximately average size.

  2. We have a sliding glass door on the north side leading onto a (approx) 3’X8’ balcony.

  3. We have a slightly oversize window on the north side, as well.

  4. The windshifter must not be obtrusive, garish, or otherwise annoy the members of our condo association.

  5. Suggesting the use of fans or other energy-consuming devices is cheating, and will result in your Pitting.

Type neatly, and show your work.


I assume east and west walls are common walls (neighboring condos, etc.)? Else you could just install new windows there…


We are one apartment in from the ocean side. One option that has been considered and (provisionally) rejected is to kill our next-door neighbors and move into their (east-facing) condo.


Solution B: Sue the condo board for building the structures in such a decidedly negligent manner (i.e., not sited to take advantage of the prevailing winds), and request that they pay for your cooling costs from now on. :wink:

Too garish? I know they’re supposed to go on the roof but it’s the first thing that came to mind. If the neighbors ask, tell them it’s how you communicate with the mothership.

maybe you could replace your windows with casement window? Casement windows open like a door, and if you set it up correctly, the open window would deflect some of the air into the opening. Surely the condo assoc. wouldn’t object to that.

Well, without getting fancy, I guess you want something like this:

It’s a collapsible wind scoop for a boat. I imagine you could cobble (or buy) something similar for the window.

If you want complicated, you could use the breeze to power a pulley to run a ventilator. Technically, it’s a fan, but it’s an eco-friendly fan…

IF the wind flows past your window instead of diverting the air into the window it might work better if you divert air out of it. (this would be the natural flow of air)

you would need a sorce of replacement air from somewhere though, possible pulled from w/i the apartment complex which may be undesirable. If you have a vent system you might be able to draw cool damp air from the basement.

Sleep on the balcony.

The wind scoop was what I was thinking of too, but Finagle beat me to it. Wind scoops work quite well. You could build one out of some light weight pvc and nylon fabric that could hang out of the window.

Answer: Move back to Brooklyn Sua!

You’ll only need the A/C for three months a year and you can ditch that boat-sized car of yours and really help the environment.


I think a key thing to keep in mind is that you’d want one window wind diverter to to open eastward and another on the opposite side to open westward. That way you’d get an air current through your condo.

paperbackwriter nailed it. Casement windows work wonderfully out here in Cali.

Consider replacing your south-facing windows with casement windows. For best results, leave your northern window/patio door open a reasonable amount.

A cheaper-than-new-windows way would be shutters. Rig them the old way, so they actually swing on a hinge. Then find a way to prop one straight out on each window. To bring in air, open out the leeward shutter. To exhaust air, open out the windward shutter.