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Low/no power air conditioning techniques

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posted on May, 30 2010 @ 09:34 PM
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I live in South Texas. I've tried alot of things, but I learned my best stuff on long camping trips with the family. Wife is sensitive to heat but we found ways to help out.

1. Ice/Fan. I've had to drive for HOURS in a truck that had windows that wouldn't roll down and no AC. The fan and ice work out really well for a road trip. Not a box fan, just get a bucket of ice adn one of those swivel-clip fans from the Automotive section at your local superstore, clip it to the side and you're good to go for a few hours.

2. Your body has a natural temperature regulation system. Sweat. Drink lots of water, find a place with a breezeway or create your own. Use mud or adobe to make your tent out of at night. Mud's easy to find, easy to build you a little teepee lookin thing out of twigs and branches, then throw rocks in the big gaps and mud over the rest. If thought out, it can do one of two things, either bake inside or keep you cool depending on how you vented it.

3. The very best thing I've ever tried as far as AC goes would be based on the same principal as the 'Chillers' used at power plants. An encolsure that allows water to run over cooled metal then into a catch-basin that you sit in... only a few inches deep, then if you live in a high-humidity area like I do, it'll generally cool the area or wet air around you. It's the difference of about 10-15 degrees. Just make you a tall thin box about 4 feet by 8 inches. Get on Craigslist and look under the FREE section. Or go through trash for them, but get a bunch of CPU heatsynchs and use them inside the box. Best to go staggered with them on the inside so the water will drip from one synch to the next. Then, when it gets to the bottom, just let it flow into your catch basin. Dig a hole in the ground at the other end of the basin. Cooled water coming in from one side of the basin will push the warmer water out the other side and into a bucket that is INSIDE that hole. After an hour or two depending on the rate you're cooling the water, just pick up the bucket, refill the holed bucket above your mini chiller, replace your bucket, and enjoy. There will be a war of attrition with your water supply as it tends to evaporate. Every third bucket I have to refill the original supply. Possible solution would be to us saran wrap or duct tape to create a screen around two sides of the enclosure you're sitting in but leave yourself a breezeway. A few things I've learned: 1. The slower the flow, the cooler the water. 2. the finer the water source, the cooler the water. 3. it ain't perfect. There are lots of things I want to try to improve it, and I think they should be easy to implement. Fans on the heatsynchs would be an improvement. Mixing it with alcohol would help with the evaporation process. It's crude but it works. My wife is small so the little encolssure is good for her, but for bigger folks it might not be too accomodating.

Very few things beat water and a fan though. Get yourself wet, sit in a breeze or in front of a fan. Gives me shivers no matter the outside temp.




posted on May, 30 2010 @ 09:49 PM
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Originally posted by rocketman70433

So does anyone know any ideas or techniques to cool a house without using the A/C??


Whole house fan
Misters for outside
Shade
Insulation
Solar panel big enough to run A/C
Thicker walls
Underground house
Less cement, asphalt and rocks more plants and dirt
Less airtight house

[edit on 30-5-2010 by Freedom or Death]



posted on May, 30 2010 @ 10:22 PM
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Ah, and one I almost forgot for the HOUSEHOLD and it'll save you bundles.

ROOM PRESSURE! Most brand-new houses do this, but older homes don't. You need to have an empty vent from room to room if you want to keep your whole house cool. Having unequal pressures in different rooms of the house will cause central AC systems to go insane and provide you with a 400.00 electric bill while giving you one room that's 10 degrees above your AC setting and another that's 10 below. Wether you're using window-units or central air, or just opening your window for a breeze, make sure that you have a way to stabilize the pressure in all your rooms or your place will cool unevenly. A vent-shaft above the doors between rooms works extremely well.

As far as dropping your electric bill and finding better ways to keep your house cool, pay attention to your local weather. If you're AC is set to 76 year-round, turn it off at 10pm and turn it back on at 9am. Might be a slight temp variance over the course of the night, but not enough to make a difference.

Don't keep your stuff in your attic. One of the biggest screwups people make regarding house cooling is storing all their unusued gear in the attic and blocking the flow of air. Think about that. You have vents into your attic and usually one big blow-hole at some point. The circular vent under the gable or the turbine vents through your roof. If the air can't move up there, then it just heats up and that is transfered partly through your ceiling making your AC work harder. IF you have a path for the hot air to escape and a breeze to clean up behind, your house will stay cooler, cheaper. Kill your AC alltogether, open your windows, clear out your attic and you'll have a 70-80 degree home even in the dead of summer in south Texas. Test it for a week and let me know if I'm wrong.



posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 03:36 AM
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how about this ,dig a trench 3 feet deep and say 100 feet long wind it around in your backyard,keeping 3 feet between trenches and lay in 100 feet of 2inch pvc pipe and cover it up with wet dirt then blow air into pipe from inside house and have puller fan to suck out air into house ,that ought to cool the house down somwhat.simple, low cost ,low matinence,you could rig up a wind mill to pump the air if you had to.

[edit on 21-6-2010 by madokie]



posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 03:45 AM
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Wind catchers.

en.wikipedia.org...

The basic idea is to catch the wind and funnel it down through a tunnel/pipe underground where its cool and comes up on the house somewhere. Can also do this with windows down low on one side of the house and up high in the other side. The cooler air is lower and comes in the lower windows and the hot air exits the upper windows. However a wind catcher would be more effective generally and can be equiped with fans also for times of little or no wind.

[edit on 21-6-2010 by hawkiye]



posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 03:48 AM
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No idea for low / no power AC.
However I would install a TV in the bath tub, problem solved!



posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 09:22 AM
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An in ground heat exchanger is an incredibly effective form of air conditioning and it's very low cost, far less than traditional AC. It may not give you the ice cool chill of an AC but it can be run off of solar panels if you are using an actively pumping system and it will cool your home down to a level that is easily tolerable. In fact as you are basically using the Earth as a heatsink the cooling effect can be applied 24/7 and will eventually fall so low it may be to cold. Just shut off the pump and the temperature will rise and you can easily hook the pump into a thermostat.

I once saw one of these systems being installed when i helped a builder out on a new house. It was so simple it just couldn't go wrong, the only part that could break was the pump and the pump was really cheap both to buy and run.

So yeah, heat exchanger, buried below 4 feet. The larger an area you cover with the pipe work the more cooling you get. However in drier climates you may also need to feed in a soaking tube, this wets the ground and so increases the rate of thermal trasfer.

EDIT

Edit to add that if you have a source of water anywhere nearby (lake, river, stream) you can use that to stick the pipe in. This will provide a system that has massive thermal transfer, it will just soak heat away from your home.

[edit on 21-6-2010 by ImaginaryReality1984]



posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 09:31 AM
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Some say that opening all windows at the coolest part of the day to let the cool air in and then closing and covering them to trap the cool air works ok. then when the hot air builds up again...this along with fans in the rooms can make a big difference. I lived in a house with an attic fan once, and turning it on for just 10 minutes to suck all the hot air that built up through the day made a tremendous difference. This od course is assuming you have the power to run these things.

The cool shower and laying under a ceiling fan helps too, as do misters. I find that it's a lot cooler in the house since we removed all the wall-to-wall carpeting and installed wood and tile floors too. Decluttering to allow air to circulate helps too.



posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 09:39 AM
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If you live where the overnight low is reasonable [unlike Phoenix, etc.]
you can open all your windows at night & blow the cooler air in using [relatively low energy consuming] fans, & then close & seal windows & doors tight during the daytime heat. Bubble wrap sheets & towels are cheap, low-tech additional seals if you have old leaky windows & doors.

The white roof thing is good, but i wouldn't paint it, because that creates a mess of dripping paint in the rain & snow.
There are light colored or white asphalt shingles available.

The attic vent is also a good idea. Attics can build up a tremendous bubble of hot air constantly radiating down into your living space. A vent means it will never get any hotter than the outside temperature.
If you have attic vent controls [open & close sealing] maybe with a fan, again you can blow in cool night air & seal it up during the morning until the heat builds up. With a thermostat & controls, that could all be done automatically.

If you have an under the house crawl space you can use a similar air methods, although it tends to stay cooler anyway.



posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 09:40 AM
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If you live where the overnight low is reasonable [unlike Phoenix, etc.]
you can open all your windows at night & blow the cooler air in using [relatively low energy consuming] fans, & then close & seal windows & doors tight during the daytime heat. Bubble wrap sheets & towels are cheap, low-tech additional seals if you have old leaky windows & doors.

The white roof thing is good, but i wouldn't paint it, because that creates a mess of dripping paint in the rain & snow.
There are light colored or white asphalt shingles available.

The attic vent is also a good idea. Attics can build up a tremendous bubble of hot air constantly radiating down into your living space. A vent means it will never get any hotter than the outside temperature.
If you have attic vent controls [open & close sealing] maybe with a fan, again you can blow in cool night air & seal it up during the morning until the heat builds up. With a thermostat & controls, that could all be done automatically.

If you have an under the house crawl space you can use a similar air methods, although it tends to stay cooler anyway.



posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 09:45 AM
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Also,

Use Compact Fluorescent bulbs,

they use less energy, partly because they produce a lot less heat.

Incandescents mean you heat up the air & then have to spend twice on the air conditioning just to get it back to where the temperature was without them.

Save money. Save the environment. Be more comfortable.

Note of Caution: They do contain mercury, so if they break do very careful clean up. Try not to break them in the first place. Also when you dispose of them, bag them up & maybe pad them with newspaper or other padding trash to keep them from busting.



posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 03:40 AM
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Another common error is the idea that if you turn on a fan you must open a window.

No.

If it is cooler inside than out, you will get vastly better relief to turn a fan on in the house with the windows remaining closed.
Getting it positioned to blow across you/your-skin will provide a lot of cooling to you.

Only open windows when it is cooler outside than in [in the Summer]



posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 03:51 AM
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Originally posted by rocketman70433
I live in the deep south. It get so hot that towards the end of summer, we appreciate days in the low 80s. So for us, air conditioning isnt a matter of comfort, it's of survival. There have been a few times that I worked too hard in the hot summer sun, and almost got heat stroke. A cold shower & the A/C is the only thing that kept me from passing out.

So does anyone know any ideas or techniques to cool a house without using the A/C??


Yeah, I do! It's called opening a window...And it won't use any A/C. And it won't cost any $$$, aswell!



posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 11:19 AM
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If you are considering a "TSHTF" scenario.. you can do nothing really other than opening windows or going in a basement. If curfews or martial law were to be imposed, you MUST stay in your home and bake or freeze if the grid is lost . One way to weed out the weak and keep order I suppose.

Im from the deep south. We had attic fans and shade trees surrounding the house. It was tolerable if you didnt want to run the AC and my dad wouldnt run it until it until it was mid to late june! Us kids spent 24/7 outside or in some water when it got real hot. LOTS of water drinking. If the power goes out.. your screwed either way. You will discover that ac isnt actually a necessity unless you are ill or elderly. Even then, we're built to survive reasonably high temps.



posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 11:39 AM
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reply to post by rocketman70433
 


I realize you can't in reality build a new home..but its nice to look at the menu...

I am looking into building my own home...if plans go well...and yes its based on the theory of the survival froum...self sufficient, no power lines...and natural as possible uses of all natures and mans discoveries, from looking into small designs that can be adapted to an existing home ..such as this www.irpedia.com...

If you was to build a wind tower or as I call them hot rooms...they are built to get hot...so the natural air flow "heat rises" draws in cool air from stategicly placed vents low to the ground on the shade side of my house....preferrably through a mass of ferns for partial air quality filteration, but I could ramble on here for hours....
good thinking...

ETA ..yes I realize my thoery of air movement is not the same as the towers in the link...but I'm incorperating other aspecrts of other ancient architectures into a natural "hot room" with an exit of sorts above it thus creating an exit for the hot air and creating a drawing affect not unlike an attic fan..but without the use of electricity..

2nd ETA...if one was to use my theory its very easy to test ...
you can use a large cardboard bao or a shed if you have one that you can paint..."BLACK" put a chimney outa this unit, then run a piece of PVC pipe to your home the rising heat going out the chimney will be now drawing air from your home via the PVC pipe you just hooked up.
Now you just gota make use of natural shade and manual opening/closing "as the sun moves "vents in stategic places to draw in the coolest air.
In my theory it can work at night as well, if you put say 15-20 55 gallon barrels of water in it to retain the days sun heat ...to keep the air flow going into the evening..

3rd ETA...if done propperly you are also creating a natural..no power ...water heater unit..that should be slighlty up hill from you to create just enough water pressure...
and if sat up correctly its a self maintaining system the water you use, "when the valve is open is syphoning water out of the creek into your containment barreles/tank....
and is also kinda like a heat exchanger that should keep you much warmer in the winter if used in reverse...or capped to trap heat..

[edit on 23-6-2010 by Doc Holiday]



posted on Apr, 20 2011 @ 12:37 PM
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Lol, wow.... You know, back in the day, there was no such thing as A/C, people survived just fine without it... I have been without A/C for three years, you get used to it. I guess it helped that a lot of the time, I was nailing floors in the summer, there was no A/C in most of the houses, as they were newly constructed. You learn to drink a lot of water, and sit in the shade once in a while. When you don't have A/C, you appreciate simple things more, like a nice cool breeze.
edit on Wed, 20 Apr 2011 12:38:10 -0500 by TKDRL because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 20 2011 @ 12:49 PM
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reply to post by rocketman70433
 
I too have found the dripping rag to work well. When fishing on a hot day, I'll cover a can of worms with a wet cloth, besides covering my head and shoulder with a wet towel. I think the cooling effect has much to to with the evaporation of the water on the towel or rag.



posted on Apr, 20 2011 @ 06:06 PM
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geothermal heating and cooling basically it consists of the water loop with a heat exchanger.

prices do vary

another alternative living the the south is you have one of the best free resources anyone can ask for which is the sun.

solar panels have come down alot alot in prices or there are various youtube videos that can show you how to build your own.

couple of panels and your set and you will never have to worry bout fuel.



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