Archive for July, 2010

Use Nature to Cool your Home

Monday, July 12th, 2010

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Many years ago, we came up with an idea to keep our house cool in Summer that used Nature instead of expensive, electricity consuming air conditioners.

We have five cats and since several of them are indoor cats, we could not leave our windows or doors open in the searing heat, so we came up with an idea that meant we could leave the windows or doors open while keeping everyone secure – the result was a grate made from inexpensive materials that fit the purpose, and we want to share it to help all of you in flats and houses who want some cool breeze to enter their homes without leaving doors and windows wide open.

This project requires tools that should not be used by young children –  we know you have common sense to only get adults to build it. Talking of common sense, please be careful of small children when the grate is within the window, it may prevent pets from getting out but not small children – if in doubt, don’t put the grate up.

20.5mm x 33mm sustainable wood
Cup Square Bolt (65mm long) with a washer and wingnut
PVC coated wire mesh – around £10-20 from Wilkinsons (UK) – we used this type of mesh as it doesn’t rust in wet weather and has more strength to prevent animals from clawing it and making holes!

Staple Gun with 6mm staples
Wire cutters
A saw
Power drill and 6 or 7mm drill bit


1. Measure the inside of your window.

Save Our Earth Blog - Measure for the grate

Cut the wood to length, if required use a mitre cut at 45 degrees for a snug fit.

Save Our Earth Blog - Cut Wood for the grate

2. Check that the wood fits together inside the window – you may have to trim as required.

3. Drill and screw the wood together

Save Our Earth Blog - The assembled frame for the grate

Then check it fits inside the window again.

Save Our Earth Blog - The assembled frame in the window

4. With the assembled frame inside the window, mark where you want the bolt to go through.

Save Our Earth Blog - Mark where you want the bolt

5. Drill the hole – I used a 6mm or 7mm drill bit.

6. Unravel the wire mesh and stretch over the frame, and using the staple gun, secure the mesh on one side.

Save Our Earth Blog - Now time to staple the mesh to the frame

Then stretch it across to the opposite side and fix again with the staple gun. Repeat for the last remaining sides.

7. Using the wire cutters, trim off the excess.

Save Our Earth Blog - The frame is almost complete

8. Depending on your windows, you have have to cut a small piece of wood (as a spacer) and use the same drill bit to make a hole – we had to do this as there was a lip on the UPVC windows and the lock would not secure properly.

Save Our Earth Blog - The spacer for the lock

9. Now you will need to cut a another piece of wood to use as the lock – see image.

Save Our Earth Blog - The lock for the grate

10.Push the bolt through the hole from the mesh side, through the spacer and the lock and twist on the wingnut.

11. Back to the window, insert the frame gradually and slowly as you do not want to tear the draught excluder around the window frame. Twist the lock up into
the horizontal and tighten the wingnut.

Save Our Earth Blog - The finished grate - let Nature cool you

There you are, simple. You can now enjoy Nature’s cooling breezes during the Summer and allow your pets to enjoy the fresh air.