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Reeltree

High Heat

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I live in a two story old farm house. It is 8pm and 92 degrees upstairs with windows open and all ceiling fans swirling.  I've been hibernating in the bedroom with an A/C window unit at full blast. Now its cooler outside than indoors during these late evening hours. But over all these years I have learned to adjust to these conditions with the trade off being able to enjoy the wildlife and surroundings.

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I hear ya. Fans in windows with something to seal around the sides of the fans. Fans blowin in and fans blowin out. It takes alot of airflow to cool a building.  Maximize airflow through the building at night when it cools down and maybe even close windows during the day if its cooler inside than out. Controlling humidity is important so the building does not get wet which causes problems but dehumidifiers make some heat so theres a tradeoff between dry air and heat in the building. I think its better to be dry then cool. Thats just my when opinion. Last year my A/C went out I did the fan thing but after a few days the basement started to get wet and stinking. Dehumidifier dryed it out so it smelled better but it warmed it up to. I went with dry. 

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Look into a whole house fan that sucks air in from outside and pushes it into the attic forcing the really hot air out. The one I put in the folks house was a 30". They would only work where I am in the morning and late evening, as it will be 100F at midnight and the low will only be 90F at 3am. With single and low teen humidity , swamp coolers work great until the monsoons hit.

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I don't have a good area for a whole house fan, Bro in-law use to have one,also allow  the woodstove in basement to heat upstairs. I have learned all about cross drafts and. I keep

 downstairs windows closed during the day and open at night to capture the cool air. A fan in window on one side upstairs blowing out (sunnyside) other side of house window with the best pathway a fan blowing in (shadyside). I reverse ceiling fan over the stairwell to draw up the slighter coolness from downstairs.  You do what you have to do with what you have to work with I reckon.

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When I moved to Colorado, it seemed like everyone I met would claim they didn't need air conditioning.  After 17 years here, I can tell you that it gets above 95 degrees F every day for about two months solid.  Inside my 1904  home, temperatures regularly went above 110 degree F on those days, and the heat remained well past midnight despite all efforts to ventilate.  While I understand the concept of adapting to the heat, I can tell you that I see a lot of evidence of heat stroke, especially in traffic.  The drivers that take longer to react to everything invariably have their windows down in 100 degree weather.  Whenever I hear about studies concerning sleep deprivation and car crashes, I wonder how much of that is due to heat.  Those heat-stroked drivers are in poor condition to get a good nights sleep when their bedroom is hotter than the day's high temperature.

For what it's worth, I think a lot of people overlook some "old school" solutions to hot weather.  Trees that provide shade to the Southern exposures are tremendously helpful.  Fewer and smaller windows on the Southern exposures are a big help as well.  Very few homes today have canopies to shade windows, trellises, or solidly light-blocking curtains to close during the harshest times of day.

Even simple stuff like effective exhaust fans for kitchens have been downgraded to where they don't address the heat generated by appliances.

My neighbor seriously over- insulated the roof of his garage.  I believe he got it upwards of 5' deep at the peak because he salvaged insulation that was being thrown out of a construction site.  It seriously felt like he had air-conditioning in there on hot days.  During the dead of winter, he could use a tiny space heater to make the whole three car garage comfortable.

I've been meaning to seek out an HVAC firm that's got experience with residential split systems.  From what I've read, they're pretty good solutions for old home owners looking for a way to add zoned whole house A/C and heat without having to add another combustion based system. 

 

 

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