Author Topic: What did you do to keep your house cool?  (Read 4768 times)

Boofinator

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Re: What did you do to keep your house cool?
« Reply #50 on: May 29, 2019, 12:38:10 PM »
Just my take. Obviously my numbers are kind of guesstimated but if there are any fundamental errors feel free to correct them.

Again, the mass of various objects is not relevant. The sunlight has the same amount of energy regardless of the mass of the object it shines on. All that sunlight energy becomes heat.

To the contrary, the thermal mass of various objects (as well as their efficacy in absorbing the sun's radiation) is the most relevant factor in the entire equation.

Designing so that the sun shines on intentionally heavy materials known to readily absorb solar energy is a major part of passive solar design.

To avoid solar gain, you would do the opposite - ensure the sun does NOT shine on heavy materials that readily absorb solar energy. And you can do that by having the sun shine on a blind instead.


That last part is where you've gone wrong. Both high mass and low mass objects turn sunlight into heat. High mass ones just release that heat more slowly, allowing it to be stored for later. So on a sunny winter day, a high mass object can store heat from sunlight into the night. That high mass object will take longer to heat up though. A low mass object will heat up faster in the sunlight, but won't store much heat into the night. It releases its heat right away. Think about sitting on a stone bench first thing in the morning versus a folding camp chair. On a sunny summer day, that low mass object will act the same: heating up fast and releasing the heat fast. If that low mass object is in your house, it is releasing the heat into your house.

Consider also the paradox in your current model of how things work. The sunlight has entered your house. That's energy in your house. You can't make that energy disappear. You can pump the heat out or store it or contain it, but you can't make it disappear. It sounds like you think the blind is making the energy disappear.

It sounds like you think a 2lb blind heated to 80 degrees by the sun can significantly affect the temperature of a 100,000 lb 75 degree house.

The sun's rays have far different effects on different materials. Stepping on grass vs stepping on blacktop is a good example of this. Your logic is proved wrong by the existence of the urban heat island effect. These heavy, sun-absorbing materials like concrete and steel make everything around them hotter. Your argument would have the grassy green areas at the same temperatures because they're simply releasing their heat right away.

In fact, this is such a factor here that it overrides whether or not something is inside vs outside of a house.

US Dept of Energy:

"Window awnings can reduce solar heat gain in the summer by up to 65% on south-facing windows and 77% on west-facing windows....

In cooling seasons, cellular shades can reduce unwanted solar heat through windows by up to 80%"

The reason for this is that cellular shades are made of such a light, heat-resistant material compared to an awning which must be durable and able to withstand wind, rain, and other elements. The awning will absorb the sunlight and slowly transfer the heat to your house which it is connected to. It is obviously still extremely effective, especially if is light colored or reflective.

I'm going to hop on Tyler's boat here. The thermal mass is completely irrelevant in scenario (though it plays a large role in home comfort for different reasons). The reason cellular shades work so well is that they 1) reflect some sunlight back out the window and 2) are insulated well enough to significantly increase the temperature between the shade and the wall, thereby allowing for decreased conductive/convective heat intake during the summer. If the cellular shade wasn't placed up against the window but was instead placed on the floor where the sun was shining, you'd find your house heating up just as fast as if that shade wasn't on the floor at all.

As to the comment on the urban heat island effect, it isn't the thermal mass (I'm not sure but I would think urban areas have less insulative properties than urban, thereby increasing effective thermal mass); on the contrary, from what I've read it's mostly due to decreased reflectivity, decreased evapotranspiration, decreased wind, and decreased solid angle exposure to the cold night sky.

J Boogie

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Re: What did you do to keep your house cool?
« Reply #51 on: May 30, 2019, 08:57:41 AM »
Just my take. Obviously my numbers are kind of guesstimated but if there are any fundamental errors feel free to correct them.

Again, the mass of various objects is not relevant. The sunlight has the same amount of energy regardless of the mass of the object it shines on. All that sunlight energy becomes heat.

To the contrary, the thermal mass of various objects (as well as their efficacy in absorbing the sun's radiation) is the most relevant factor in the entire equation.

Designing so that the sun shines on intentionally heavy materials known to readily absorb solar energy is a major part of passive solar design.

To avoid solar gain, you would do the opposite - ensure the sun does NOT shine on heavy materials that readily absorb solar energy. And you can do that by having the sun shine on a blind instead.


That last part is where you've gone wrong. Both high mass and low mass objects turn sunlight into heat. High mass ones just release that heat more slowly, allowing it to be stored for later. So on a sunny winter day, a high mass object can store heat from sunlight into the night. That high mass object will take longer to heat up though. A low mass object will heat up faster in the sunlight, but won't store much heat into the night. It releases its heat right away. Think about sitting on a stone bench first thing in the morning versus a folding camp chair. On a sunny summer day, that low mass object will act the same: heating up fast and releasing the heat fast. If that low mass object is in your house, it is releasing the heat into your house.

Consider also the paradox in your current model of how things work. The sunlight has entered your house. That's energy in your house. You can't make that energy disappear. You can pump the heat out or store it or contain it, but you can't make it disappear. It sounds like you think the blind is making the energy disappear.

It sounds like you think a 2lb blind heated to 80 degrees by the sun can significantly affect the temperature of a 100,000 lb 75 degree house.

The sun's rays have far different effects on different materials. Stepping on grass vs stepping on blacktop is a good example of this. Your logic is proved wrong by the existence of the urban heat island effect. These heavy, sun-absorbing materials like concrete and steel make everything around them hotter. Your argument would have the grassy green areas at the same temperatures because they're simply releasing their heat right away.

In fact, this is such a factor here that it overrides whether or not something is inside vs outside of a house.

US Dept of Energy:

"Window awnings can reduce solar heat gain in the summer by up to 65% on south-facing windows and 77% on west-facing windows....

In cooling seasons, cellular shades can reduce unwanted solar heat through windows by up to 80%"

The reason for this is that cellular shades are made of such a light, heat-resistant material compared to an awning which must be durable and able to withstand wind, rain, and other elements. The awning will absorb the sunlight and slowly transfer the heat to your house which it is connected to. It is obviously still extremely effective, especially if is light colored or reflective.

I'm going to hop on Tyler's boat here. The thermal mass is completely irrelevant in scenario (though it plays a large role in home comfort for different reasons). The reason cellular shades work so well is that they 1) reflect some sunlight back out the window and 2) are insulated well enough to significantly increase the temperature between the shade and the wall, thereby allowing for decreased conductive/convective heat intake during the summer. If the cellular shade wasn't placed up against the window but was instead placed on the floor where the sun was shining, you'd find your house heating up just as fast as if that shade wasn't on the floor at all.

As to the comment on the urban heat island effect, it isn't the thermal mass (I'm not sure but I would think urban areas have less insulative properties than urban, thereby increasing effective thermal mass); on the contrary, from what I've read it's mostly due to decreased reflectivity, decreased evapotranspiration, decreased wind, and decreased solid angle exposure to the cold night sky.

You picked the wrong boat to hop on :)

Or the right one, given your wacky take on the UHI effect.


If you re-read my post, you'll find I don't place as much importance on thermal mass as you seem to argue. I use unscientific terms like "sun-absorbing" and "heat-resistant" which are the non-engineers version of "conductive" and "convective" as I am not an engineer.

However, thermal mass IS relevant in this scenario as it can act as a battery that gets filled up under the right conditions. If a given object readily absorbs the sun's heat energy, it's thermal mass matters. You might argue that regardless of whether or not an object has thermal mass, the heat will be transferred to the surrounding air, and you'd be right - but if windows are open and cross ventilation is in action, the rapidly released heat won't stick around like it would if a given object or material has significant thermal mass to store the heat.

Imagine your cellular shades NOT covering up a tile floor as the morning sun beat down on it. Then imagine 2pm rolls around and you close up your windows as the outdoor temp exceeds the indoor temp. The tile will have stored up all that heat that it otherwise wouldn't have. Yes, the cellular shade on the ground would have absorbed and released SOME (less as a tile floor is more conductive/convective than a cellular shade) heat, but that relatively small amount of heat would have been able to be ventilated during the cool morning hours. Now the tile floor will be releasing the heat into your house and you're not going to let it out at the risk of letting in a bunch of 95 degree air.


Regarding the urban heat island effect, you're right that it's not just one factor. But the major factor is that concrete and asphalt both absorb and STORE heat far more readily than vegetation.

How can I argue that it's the major factor? Not only is it the first factor mentioned in the wikipedia page, but the fact that the UHI effect is most dramatic at night demonstrates the how the thermal mass of concrete and asphalt stores up heat during the day and releases it at night. Not sure what you're saying about insulation as you used the word urban twice and I'm not sure which one was meant to be non-urban, but I don't think that argument would be sound if you meant urban areas have insulative properties. Pavement has none, and the insulation that buildings have are meant to keep the INSIDE a certain temperature.


Boofinator

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Re: What did you do to keep your house cool?
« Reply #52 on: May 30, 2019, 11:40:56 AM »
You picked the wrong boat to hop on :)

Or the right one, given your wacky take on the UHI effect.


If you re-read my post, you'll find I don't place as much importance on thermal mass as you seem to argue. I use unscientific terms like "sun-absorbing" and "heat-resistant" which are the non-engineers version of "conductive" and "convective" as I am not an engineer.

However, thermal mass IS relevant in this scenario as it can act as a battery that gets filled up under the right conditions. If a given object readily absorbs the sun's heat energy, it's thermal mass matters. You might argue that regardless of whether or not an object has thermal mass, the heat will be transferred to the surrounding air, and you'd be right - but if windows are open and cross ventilation is in action, the rapidly released heat won't stick around like it would if a given object or material has significant thermal mass to store the heat.

Imagine your cellular shades NOT covering up a tile floor as the morning sun beat down on it. Then imagine 2pm rolls around and you close up your windows as the outdoor temp exceeds the indoor temp. The tile will have stored up all that heat that it otherwise wouldn't have. Yes, the cellular shade on the ground would have absorbed and released SOME (less as a tile floor is more conductive/convective than a cellular shade) heat, but that relatively small amount of heat would have been able to be ventilated during the cool morning hours. Now the tile floor will be releasing the heat into your house and you're not going to let it out at the risk of letting in a bunch of 95 degree air.


Regarding the urban heat island effect, you're right that it's not just one factor. But the major factor is that concrete and asphalt both absorb and STORE heat far more readily than vegetation.

How can I argue that it's the major factor? Not only is it the first factor mentioned in the wikipedia page, but the fact that the UHI effect is most dramatic at night demonstrates the how the thermal mass of concrete and asphalt stores up heat during the day and releases it at night. Not sure what you're saying about insulation as you used the word urban twice and I'm not sure which one was meant to be non-urban, but I don't think that argument would be sound if you meant urban areas have insulative properties. Pavement has none, and the insulation that buildings have are meant to keep the INSIDE a certain temperature.

Let me add to my wacky ideas about the heat island effect by citing sources that don't stem from a Wikipedia article.

https://climate.ncsu.edu/edu/Vegetation: "With vegetation covering about 20% of our planet, itís no surprise that plants affect climate.  However, it is surprising how much plants affect weather.  Plants process and release water vapor (necessary for cloud formation) and absorb and emit energy used to drive weather.  Plants also produce their own micro-weather by controlling the humidity and temperature immediately surrounding their leaves through transpiration.  Most plants and forest soils have a very low albedo, (about .03 to .20) and absorb a large amount of energy. However, plants donít contribute to overall warming because the excess warmth is offset by evaporative cooling from transpiration."

Here's a couple more that are good reading material:

https://cdn.dcs.bluescope.com.au/download/sustainability-technical-bulletin-urban-heat-islands
http://profile.nus.edu.sg/fass/geomr/roth%20uhi%20hefd13.pdf

Long story short, thermal storage does and doesn't affect the UHI effect. It does in the sense that it delays the time that the UHI is most pronounced (as you mention), but it doesn't in that it is neutral on the energy balance (which is what I was trying to emphasize), because it absorbs as much energy as it releases. Figure 11.2 in that last link is really illustrative of this effect.

As to your comment on the air blowing out the heat in a house with a blind on the floor, yes, you'd be right, in that scenario thermal storage would make a difference. But it is kind of an odd-duck scenario, because nobody has blinds on the floor.

J Boogie

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Re: What did you do to keep your house cool?
« Reply #53 on: May 30, 2019, 01:36:43 PM »
You picked the wrong boat to hop on :)

Or the right one, given your wacky take on the UHI effect.


If you re-read my post, you'll find I don't place as much importance on thermal mass as you seem to argue. I use unscientific terms like "sun-absorbing" and "heat-resistant" which are the non-engineers version of "conductive" and "convective" as I am not an engineer.

However, thermal mass IS relevant in this scenario as it can act as a battery that gets filled up under the right conditions. If a given object readily absorbs the sun's heat energy, it's thermal mass matters. You might argue that regardless of whether or not an object has thermal mass, the heat will be transferred to the surrounding air, and you'd be right - but if windows are open and cross ventilation is in action, the rapidly released heat won't stick around like it would if a given object or material has significant thermal mass to store the heat.

Imagine your cellular shades NOT covering up a tile floor as the morning sun beat down on it. Then imagine 2pm rolls around and you close up your windows as the outdoor temp exceeds the indoor temp. The tile will have stored up all that heat that it otherwise wouldn't have. Yes, the cellular shade on the ground would have absorbed and released SOME (less as a tile floor is more conductive/convective than a cellular shade) heat, but that relatively small amount of heat would have been able to be ventilated during the cool morning hours. Now the tile floor will be releasing the heat into your house and you're not going to let it out at the risk of letting in a bunch of 95 degree air.


Regarding the urban heat island effect, you're right that it's not just one factor. But the major factor is that concrete and asphalt both absorb and STORE heat far more readily than vegetation.

How can I argue that it's the major factor? Not only is it the first factor mentioned in the wikipedia page, but the fact that the UHI effect is most dramatic at night demonstrates the how the thermal mass of concrete and asphalt stores up heat during the day and releases it at night. Not sure what you're saying about insulation as you used the word urban twice and I'm not sure which one was meant to be non-urban, but I don't think that argument would be sound if you meant urban areas have insulative properties. Pavement has none, and the insulation that buildings have are meant to keep the INSIDE a certain temperature.

Let me add to my wacky ideas about the heat island effect by citing sources that don't stem from a Wikipedia article.

https://climate.ncsu.edu/edu/Vegetation: "With vegetation covering about 20% of our planet, itís no surprise that plants affect climate.  However, it is surprising how much plants affect weather.  Plants process and release water vapor (necessary for cloud formation) and absorb and emit energy used to drive weather.  Plants also produce their own micro-weather by controlling the humidity and temperature immediately surrounding their leaves through transpiration.  Most plants and forest soils have a very low albedo, (about .03 to .20) and absorb a large amount of energy. However, plants donít contribute to overall warming because the excess warmth is offset by evaporative cooling from transpiration."

Here's a couple more that are good reading material:

https://cdn.dcs.bluescope.com.au/download/sustainability-technical-bulletin-urban-heat-islands
http://profile.nus.edu.sg/fass/geomr/roth%20uhi%20hefd13.pdf

Long story short, thermal storage does and doesn't affect the UHI effect. It does in the sense that it delays the time that the UHI is most pronounced (as you mention), but it doesn't in that it is neutral on the energy balance (which is what I was trying to emphasize), because it absorbs as much energy as it releases. Figure 11.2 in that last link is really illustrative of this effect.

As to your comment on the air blowing out the heat in a house with a blind on the floor, yes, you'd be right, in that scenario thermal storage would make a difference. But it is kind of an odd-duck scenario, because nobody has blinds on the floor.

I think we mostly agree on UHI's mechanics, but haven't established why we view it as a problem. If, for example, people being unable to sleep without using their ACs (which then in turn make the city even hotter) is one of the main problems, then thermal storage is indeed one of the main culprits of the UHI effect. If the main problem is that it's too hot in the morning, than thermal mass probably isn't to blame. However, if you meant what I think you meant about rural vs urban insulation, I stand by my claim that you have a wacky take on UHI...

I agree, a cellular shade left on the floor is kind of an odd duck scenario... Why'd you choose it?? :)

Regardless, I think we can apply the same mechanics without such a strange example. I, for example, have solar shades on my east windows. If I use them, the morning sun gets in my house but ultimately only directly heats up the shade and the window stool area. If I don't use them, it heats up my heavy oak floors all morning long and then when it's no longer shining on them, they continue to heat my house. And unfortunately I've closed the windows now because it's midday.

Anyways, I'm happy to spar until we're nitpicking to a seriously nerdy and overly contentious degree. Have we reached that point yet? Guess I'll keep going until it's glaringly obvious :)


Peeples

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Re: What did you do to keep your house cool?
« Reply #54 on: May 31, 2019, 03:16:10 AM »
things to help keep the house cool:

1. Keep the blinds finished to keep off direct daylight.

2. Mop the floors with virus water.

3. Put a major can of ice before a fan and let the air blow over it.

4. can also use any dehumidifier which is best suited some are there https://dehumidifierslist.com/

4. During the evening, open a window toward one side of the house, and another where you need to be coolest. Put a fan in the far window so it hauls the warm let some circulation into. In the first part of the day, or when it begins getting warm, close the windows to keep the sight-seeing out.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2019, 03:20:07 AM by Peeples »

Boofinator

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Re: What did you do to keep your house cool?
« Reply #55 on: May 31, 2019, 10:00:23 AM »
Anyways, I'm happy to spar until we're nitpicking to a seriously nerdy and overly contentious degree. Have we reached that point yet? Guess I'll keep going until it's glaringly obvious :)

Yep, we've reached that point, since I think we're fairly close to consensus, and to top it off we've veered a good way from the intent of this thread. (And for the record, urban areas are less insulative than rural. On reexamination that point didn't make much sense on my part.)

To jump on the actual topic, I open my windows at night and close them in the morning. Thermal shades work great, especially for windows where the sun shines through. Also, I don't turn on the air conditioning unless my house and outside temperatures are at least 84įF at bedtime; this is a little painful for the first few warm days each spring as my body acclimates, but after that it's extremely comfortable.

robartsd

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Re: What did you do to keep your house cool?
« Reply #56 on: May 31, 2019, 12:30:26 PM »
My climate usually has high diurnal temperature variation, so we try to capture as much cool air as possible at night. A high velocity exhaust fan (whole house fan) is great for this. I have a 20" Air King window fan set to exhaust air in one room and windows open in every corner of the house to allow cool night air to enter. Our house also has limited solar gain through windows and a brick exterior that provides thermal mass. For the rare night that doesn't cool off, we have a window AC unit to run in the bedroom we sleep in (which also has the worst summer afternoon exposure).

FINate

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Re: What did you do to keep your house cool?
« Reply #57 on: May 31, 2019, 01:52:49 PM »
We put R49 batts in the attic and then added Gila brand thermal window tint (from Home Depot) to most all of our windows. It made a huge improvement to do the tint. It's not super dark but reflects 73% of the heat and 99% of UV rays.  Made differece of 5-10* in most locations. Also put a light mesh "awning" over the porch and it was a 15* difference... I measured with my thermal laser tool from Harbor freight.

We also have thermal curtains to help cover windows and keep the cool/heat in depending on the weather. Also ceiling fans.

Yesterday it was 96*. A/C set to 76* inside... I only heard it kick on a couple of times to maintain the temp!!

Gila window film works really well. Installed it on a large kitchen window that was causing the room to become an oven in the afternoon. Not only was this terribly uncomfortable, but was also bad for food spoilage and made the fridge work too hard. After tinting some  heat gets through but way less than before. Install was tedious and a little tricky, but it's a very inexpensive solution.

MrSal

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Re: What did you do to keep your house cool?
« Reply #58 on: June 01, 2019, 10:56:38 AM »
Metal roofing makes a HUGE difference!

I don't have metal roof but my neighbour has it. His metal roof is black and my asphalt shingles are also black. Same sun orientation. Out of curiosity its 12:30 and checked with a IR thermometer the temperature of my roof and his.

It's sunny and 83F with a Real Feel of 91(and increasing) and my roof is at around 125-130F (facing west - just waint until the sun starts blasting at it more directly). My neigbour's roof on the other hand is at 85F! That's a HUGE difference! I never would have thought for the difference to be so great especially with the black color! That's a 40-45F difference!

lthenderson

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Re: What did you do to keep your house cool?
« Reply #59 on: June 03, 2019, 07:21:17 AM »
Metal roofing makes a HUGE difference!

I don't have metal roof but my neighbour has it. His metal roof is black and my asphalt shingles are also black. Same sun orientation. Out of curiosity its 12:30 and checked with a IR thermometer the temperature of my roof and his.

It's sunny and 83F with a Real Feel of 91(and increasing) and my roof is at around 125-130F (facing west - just waint until the sun starts blasting at it more directly). My neigbour's roof on the other hand is at 85F! That's a HUGE difference! I never would have thought for the difference to be so great especially with the black color! That's a 40-45F difference!

I hope you took the measurement of your neighbors roof while standing on it and from the same distance away. The maximum distance one can get an accurate measurement from an IR thermometer is 36 to 48 inches. Beyond that, those things aren't very accurate.

Roadrunner53

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Re: What did you do to keep your house cool?
« Reply #60 on: June 03, 2019, 09:05:13 AM »
I have a whole house fan and rarely use it. It draws in pollen and other dust particles. It really only helps cool the house down when the temps outside are colder. When the temps outside are hot all you do is draw in more hot air.

We have a window ac in the bedroom and a fan that blows across the bed. The dog insists on it!

We have a ductless ac unit in the living room that cools the upper floor nicely. We have a giant awning on our deck. Custom made by an awning company. I love it and it helps keep the house cool by shading the deck. We have one paddle fan in the dining room.

Insulated drapes help keep the heat out by closing them as the sun shines on them.

Yes, we have several months of higher electric cost but I want to sleep at night and be cool on a 80-99 degree day. My house gets hot and stays hot. NOPE, not gonna be miserable. I crank my ac on as soon as it gets hot/humid.

Window units are so cheap to buy! $99-$199 depending on BTU. The ductless unit was much more expensive and required professional installation. But it is cooling a lot of square feet.


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Re: What did you do to keep your house cool?
« Reply #61 on: June 03, 2019, 09:30:54 AM »
Hey y'all,

robartsd: I just bought the Airking 20" whole house fan (got in on Venting Direct's memorial day sale). My problem is that I have casement windows, so I don't have a seal around it, but I can probably rig up something to make that work. Even so, it does pull in some cool air through the bedroom windows in the evenings. It's really loud in my little house, though.

I got a general phone estimate for a mini split system: 8-9k! Yeah, nope. It could be that I could downsize to fewer inside units to get it to be cheaper, but geeze. I was expecting 4-5k for my small house. Hence the $130 Airking. 

I have a metal roof, too! I hate to think how much worse it could be if those were asphalt shingles a few feet above my bedroom.

So far this year I can't complain. I've stayed fairly cool. But now it's June....



robartsd

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Re: What did you do to keep your house cool?
« Reply #62 on: June 03, 2019, 11:20:21 AM »
I have a whole house fan and rarely use it. It draws in pollen and other dust particles. It really only helps cool the house down when the temps outside are colder. When the temps outside are hot all you do is draw in more hot air.
@Syonyk used a auto air filter with a housing he made out of cardboard and duct tape to create a filtered air intake for his previous house.
https://syonyk.blogspot.com/2015/12/a-post-summer-review-of-my-vent-fans.html

Villanelle

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Re: What did you do to keep your house cool?
« Reply #63 on: June 03, 2019, 11:41:37 AM »


Cool showers at night, and going to bed with wet hair (especially for someone with thick, long hair) help tremendously.  As does a damp wash cloth put in the freezer or a frozen water bottle wrapped in fabric or a sock.

I sleep very hot (and with my sensory issues, sleeping without covers is not an option).  These things help a lot.  But we also have a portable a/c unit in the bedroom which we can use when it's extra hot or humid.  Cheaper to cool our one room than the whole house. 

Syonyk

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Re: What did you do to keep your house cool?
« Reply #64 on: June 03, 2019, 12:35:07 PM »
@Syonyk used a auto air filter with a housing he made out of cardboard and duct tape to create a filtered air intake for his previous house.
https://syonyk.blogspot.com/2015/12/a-post-summer-review-of-my-vent-fans.html

I'm still using the fans.  I don't bother with a filtered intake anymore - we moved, and have a screened window that will keep bugs out when we open it.

They're still quite the useful air movers!

MrSal

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Re: What did you do to keep your house cool?
« Reply #65 on: June 04, 2019, 05:21:16 PM »
Metal roofing makes a HUGE difference!

I don't have metal roof but my neighbour has it. His metal roof is black and my asphalt shingles are also black. Same sun orientation. Out of curiosity its 12:30 and checked with a IR thermometer the temperature of my roof and his.

It's sunny and 83F with a Real Feel of 91(and increasing) and my roof is at around 125-130F (facing west - just waint until the sun starts blasting at it more directly). My neigbour's roof on the other hand is at 85F! That's a HUGE difference! I never would have thought for the difference to be so great especially with the black color! That's a 40-45F difference!


I hope you took the measurement of your neighbors roof while standing on it and from the same distance away. The maximum distance one can get an accurate measurement from an IR thermometer is 36 to 48 inches. Beyond that, those things aren't very accurate.

Yes, at end of next day I even went to his attic. My attic inside was at 140 degrees while his attic was sitting at 95 or so

I also have the airking 20". Got it last year and I was torn between the 16 and 20 inch version... god, the 20" is a monster! It caught me off guard of how big it is. Anyhow, I mount it in a side window in my office, which is very inconspicuous and I don't care really. I have the fan on Sonoff wifi plugs and have some IFTT conditions in them. I turn them manually at night if temperature is below than inside, and I have auto conditions to turn them around 4-5am if temps are low. Around 5am is when temps are lowest so we want to intake as much air as possible of those cold temperatures in order to "reset" the house for the coming hot day. It helps if its going to be a really hot day.

Just this weekend on Saturday, it was 90s outside, the house finished the day at around 74F without using AC. We opened the windows at night to cool the house and it decreased to 72F or so. However at 5-6am, once the fan kicked in for 2 hours, it got the house to around 63F in the morning. At 4Pm during 90 degree weather, the house was still at a very cool 70F. Im sure if I didn't have or use the airking fan, the AC would have kicked in probably since there wasn't as much buffer.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2019, 05:36:02 PM by MrSal »

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Re: What did you do to keep your house cool?
« Reply #66 on: June 04, 2019, 07:22:56 PM »
I don't know about how feasible this idea is, but grape vines grown over a pergola can be a great solution to this type of problem.  They provide shade in summer, and let light through in winter when they drop their leaves.  The also provide fruit, and as they are plants, evapotranspirate moisture into the local environment, changing the "feel" of the air.  This may be a solution that takes a couple of years, but vines grow fairly quickly.

They will require maintenance, but can also add significant beauty to a lot of houses.

Roadrunner53

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Re: What did you do to keep your house cool?
« Reply #67 on: June 05, 2019, 03:21:00 AM »
I don't know about how feasible this idea is, but grape vines grown over a pergola can be a great solution to this type of problem.  They provide shade in summer, and let light through in winter when they drop their leaves.  The also provide fruit, and as they are plants, evapotranspirate moisture into the local environment, changing the "feel" of the air.  This may be a solution that takes a couple of years, but vines grow fairly quickly.

They will require maintenance, but can also add significant beauty to a lot of houses.

The only drawback of this solution is that the fruit draws bees and yellow jackets. Not to mention birds swooping down to get some fruit and probably other wild life like deer. Maybe some non fruit bearing ivy vines would work.

robartsd

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Re: What did you do to keep your house cool?
« Reply #68 on: June 05, 2019, 09:48:22 AM »
Metal roofing makes a HUGE difference!
Yes, at end of next day I even went to his attic. My attic inside was at 140 degrees while his attic was sitting at 95 or so

I also have the airking 20". ... I have the fan on Sonoff wifi plugs and have some IFTT conditions in them. I turn them manually at night if temperature is below than inside, and I have auto conditions to turn them around 4-5am if temps are low.
I'm guessing that the attic is also very well vented.

The only thing that disappoints me about the AirKing is that large gaps between the main housing and the side panels that adjust for width as well as the gap between the fan housing and the window. The window mine is mounted in does not have a insect screen, so I have made no attempts to automate yet - as I have to open and close the window manually when turning the fan on/off. I fear if I just put a screen in, a significant amount of the air will blowback through these gaps. I might try to find some rubber weatherstripping sweeps that can cover these gaps in the future.

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Re: What did you do to keep your house cool?
« Reply #69 on: June 06, 2019, 03:08:24 PM »

Optimiser

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Re: What did you do to keep your house cool?
« Reply #70 on: June 07, 2019, 12:09:38 PM »
We just installed a whole house fan recently. We have only had a handful of hot days so far this year, but I have been very impressed. The main benefit is that by running it at night and in the early morning we start the day with a very cool house. By evening it starts feeling too warm right around the time that it makes sense to open the windows and turn the fan back on.

Like the poster above me we got a Quiet Cool as well. It is much quieter than the older style whole house fan my parents' used to have.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2019, 03:45:45 PM by Optimiser »

ender

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Re: What did you do to keep your house cool?
« Reply #71 on: June 09, 2019, 07:40:50 PM »
Wholehouse fans are excellent.


sillysassy

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Re: What did you do to keep your house cool?
« Reply #72 on: June 10, 2019, 12:24:06 AM »
do u guys keep lots of potted plants?

i keep a few big leafy potted plants and i find them cooling down the home remarkably. i can honestly feel the slightly cooler air around the plants.

Optimiser

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Re: What did you do to keep your house cool?
« Reply #73 on: June 10, 2019, 03:46:57 PM »
do u guys keep lots of potted plants?

i keep a few big leafy potted plants and i find them cooling down the home remarkably. i can honestly feel the slightly cooler air around the plants.

I could see how a big pot of soil could help by adding thermal mass to your house, but how does a plant cool the air?

ChpBstrd

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Re: What did you do to keep your house cool?
« Reply #74 on: June 10, 2019, 04:18:52 PM »
First of all, look at how you can avoid adding heat to your house. Some ideas:

1) Hook up a gas grill to your natural gas supply and cook outside as much as possible.
2) Line dry clothing.
3) Shorten the long steamy showers and try to use cooler water.
4) Of course you donít use incandescent/halogen bulbs for ANYTHING, right?

Second, if your attic is under-ventilated like most attics (very safe to assume it is), a quick weekend project to add a turbine and some soffit vents could drop it 10 degrees F in the summer, which will make a huge difference for less than $100 in materials. 140 degrees F in the attic on a 100 degree day is too hot. Aim for 120 F.

Third, there is no justification for wearing jeans, hats, leather shoes/boots, or long sleeves around the house and then turning on the AC because youíre hot. Hell, I usually skip the socks and just wear sandals June-July.

Fourth, if you have AC, at least maintain it. Change the filter regularly and clean the coils inside and out each summer. Also clean the coils on your fridge so it can get air flow and run efficiently.

robartsd

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Re: What did you do to keep your house cool?
« Reply #75 on: June 11, 2019, 12:28:39 PM »
I could see how a big pot of soil could help by adding thermal mass to your house, but how does a plant cool the air?
Trans-evaporation - basically the same way a swamp cooler does but on a smaller/slower scale. More useful in dry climates than in humid ones.

GuitarStv

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Re: What did you do to keep your house cool?
« Reply #76 on: June 11, 2019, 12:52:03 PM »
I could see how a big pot of soil could help by adding thermal mass to your house, but how does a plant cool the air?
Trans-evaporation - basically the same way a swamp cooler does but on a smaller/slower scale. More useful in dry climates than in humid ones.

I was gonna say . . . jungles have some of the highest ratio of vegetation to other stuff in the world, and they're not typically known for being cold.  :P

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Re: What did you do to keep your house cool?
« Reply #77 on: June 16, 2019, 04:54:57 AM »
Don't forget that plants convert solar energy into a storage form (glucose). I'm currently going through the same decision process as OP and leaning toward a trellis and vines (my window is not as high).

CoverMajere

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Re: What did you do to keep your house cool?
« Reply #78 on: June 20, 2019, 07:10:56 AM »
At my home I've only did the plinths.Everything else was done by qualified masters

Car Jack

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Re: What did you do to keep your house cool?
« Reply #79 on: June 20, 2019, 07:57:46 AM »
Our house was built with a large overhang on the south side over windows.  It reduces sun penetration into the house in the summer when the sun is high in the sky but allows it in the winter when it's lower in the sky.

When we visit the Caribbean, we've noticed that most houses have louvers outside of the windows.  This is the most efficient place for them as opposed to interior treatments as it prevents sunlight from coming into the house in the first place.  Of course, most of those houses don't have windows closed up.  They're either open or have screens. 

MrSal

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Re: What did you do to keep your house cool?
« Reply #80 on: June 20, 2019, 03:43:42 PM »
Our house was built with a large overhang on the south side over windows.  It reduces sun penetration into the house in the summer when the sun is high in the sky but allows it in the winter when it's lower in the sky.

When we visit the Caribbean, we've noticed that most houses have louvers outside of the windows.  This is the most efficient place for them as opposed to interior treatments as it prevents sunlight from coming into the house in the first place.  Of course, most of those houses don't have windows closed up.  They're either open or have screens.

This. I never understood the concept of fake shutters in the US houses. It adds nothing. South of Spain and south of Portugal where temperatures get quite hot 100-110F easily, not only houses are painted white to reflect heat gain but also window shutters that close. Make a big difference to the point you can even keep the window open and just have the shutters closed and yet is still comfortable inside.

secondcor521

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Re: What did you do to keep your house cool?
« Reply #81 on: June 20, 2019, 09:53:47 PM »
I have a bonus room over the uninsulated garage which both face west.  The bonus room was getting very hot.

I ended up taping up vertical strips of aluminum foil - overlapping them by an inch or so - over the bonus room window and was shocked at how much it reduced the heat gain.  I think my A/C bill will be cut in half.

Not the most stylish-looking, but it's behind curtains, so it's not visible at the moment.  Also very very very cheap to try.

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Re: What did you do to keep your house cool?
« Reply #82 on: June 21, 2019, 08:08:22 AM »
My top floor has a sliding glass door out to a roof deck on one side and a big window on the west side.  It gets really hot up there.

1.  Thermal curtains on sliding glass door.  Keep shut when sun is shining in.
2.  West window:  blackout cellular shade + Solar shade (one blocks all light and the other lets some through when I want it)
3.  Retractable awning over the roof deck -- keeps deck cooler and also doesn't let the light/heat get to that side of the house & the glass door.  Awning has a wind sensor and retracts automatically in wind.
4.  Solar panels on roof -- mine didn't cost me a penny.  I don't know your location, but please check to see if any of these free offers exist in your area.  In addition to the energy production value, they also provide shade for my roof, which is a huge benefit for cooling. 

My neighbors added trellis + potted vines that grow in the spring/summer up against the wall surrounding the glass door -- makes a huge difference just to shade that sliver of wall.  I'm going to add this to my list for next year.