Summer Cooling Strategies/Log

All the different ways of solving the shelter problem. To be static or mobile? Roots, legs, or wheels?
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Jean
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Re: Summer Cooling Strategies/Log

Post by Jean »

well then, if it gets really hot and i have no river, i just accept to be sweaty, and drink accordingly. With low rellative humidity sweating is very efficient way to cool oneself.

Laura Ingalls
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Re: Summer Cooling Strategies/Log

Post by Laura Ingalls »

ducknald_don wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2024 2:28 pm
An alternative option is to move to a cooler part of the country. This problem is going to get worse over time and you will find it harder to deal with as you age.
You don’t have to stay there year round 😏. I guess winter here ranges from cheesy to brutal depending on the year.

We are currently enjoying the Black Hills of South Dakota. The weather is constantly changing (rain often seems imminent but only actually rains on 1 out of 10 of those occasions). So far very pleasant.

We are going to be the last folks to partake in the heatwave. Also the homeowner in this housesit must like it like a meat locker. The first thing we did upon her leaving was raise the thermostat up. Knowing that any AC consumption we have seems tame and relatively guilt free.

AxelHeyst
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Re: Summer Cooling Strategies/Log

Post by AxelHeyst »

I just scrounged a spray/mister bottle and the thing is a game changer. I'm pretty sure I could handle up to 105F indoor air temps now, maintain tolerable cognitive function.

Western Red Cedar
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Re: Summer Cooling Strategies/Log

Post by Western Red Cedar »

AxelHeyst wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2024 5:42 pm
I was interested in other people's strategies and adaptations to heat in their areas, and having a space for general information/ERE-praxis for Not Dying When It Gets Hot/maintaining basic function.

All the ideas and advice are appreciated though.
A few I've picked up while in SE Asia. The humidity is much more extreme than what I'm used to back home:

-Locals tend to stay out of the sun as much as possible, but the beaches are often crowded in early mornings and at dusk. I've adjusted my schedule so a lot of my outdoor activity happens early in the morning or in the evening. I also utilize gyms to get physical activity and avoid the heat. I still go out in the midday sun, but try to limit my time to 10-15 minutes before reaching a cooler destination (such as a restaurant with a fan or air conditioning for lunch).

-Wear weather-appropriate clothing. I used to wear a lot of t-shirts in hot climates. Lately I've been using button-down linen shirts. They look better, are cooler, don't show sweat, and dry more quickly. Bonus points for a breathable hat.

-DW and many locals make use of umbrellas while out and about. They work surprisingly well.

-If you must be out in the heat, try to walk in the shade - even if it means you need to go out of your way or cross a street.

-Stay well hydrated and try to ensure access to cool drinks.

-If possible, identify a body of water to jump in to cool off.

-Don't forget sunscreen. The sun-damage I've seen on some of the older westerners is frightening. DW knew a lot of Europeans while growing up in the tropics and many of them got skin cancer.

basuragomi
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Re: Summer Cooling Strategies/Log

Post by basuragomi »

Living in a humid place near a cold water source, I put cold water into large pots. Hold them while sitting or point a dehumidifier/fans at them. Then use the warmed water to flush toilets and rinse dishes. Prevents condensation on toilet tanks/underfloor sewage runs and cools the air at the same time. A 10L pot at 15C has about 879 kJ of cooling capacity in contact with a human. That's 244W or 800 BTU of cooling capacity over an hour. (Edit to add: Probably at most 100-120W is actually achievable, as the benefits largely disappear once the pot reaches room temperature. That's still half the total heat output of a sedentary adult.)

Rinsing the mouth and arms with cold water is also very helpful in cooling down quickly.
Last edited by basuragomi on Tue Jul 09, 2024 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

AxelHeyst
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Re: Summer Cooling Strategies/Log

Post by AxelHeyst »

Personal-scale conductive+convective-transfer Thermal Energy Storage with incidental infrastructure condensation mitigation is the most ERE HVAC thing I've ever heard. Amazing.

macg
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Re: Summer Cooling Strategies/Log

Post by macg »

Western Red Cedar wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2024 5:57 am
-Wear weather-appropriate clothing. I used to wear a lot of t-shirts in hot climates. Lately I've been using button-down linen shirts. They look better, are cooler, don't show sweat, and dry more quickly. Bonus points for a breathable hat.
Any recommendations on brands for the button-down linen shirts? Sounds intriguing, I'm still mostly wearing t-shirts... Thanks!

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Chris
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Re: Summer Cooling Strategies/Log

Post by Chris »

For science:

Skin temp before cold shower: 95F
Skin temp after cold shower: 83.5F

Took a good 40 mins before returning to 95.

suomalainen
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Re: Summer Cooling Strategies/Log

Post by suomalainen »

@jean High of 30° for a few hours with low humidity? What paradise do you live in?

Here in Houston-cum-Mumbai, our nighttime lows in the summer are 30° with high humidity. Can’t go underground when you’re built on a drained swamp. Can’t use trees near buildings cuz the hurricanes put them thru your roof. Can’t sweat cuz humidity. Can’t leave cuz court-ordered-custody.

The only coping mechanisms are those outlined by WRC - stay out of sun midday and use shade of trees when you have to be outside for brief periods; use AC or go to places with AC. I go to the gym in the early afternoon via a short 10-min bike ride. Otherwise, I pretty much stay inside in the AC.

I do have one project I’m wondering about and will get a picture up tomorrow and ask the question / post an idea for feedback.

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Chris
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Re: Summer Cooling Strategies/Log

Post by Chris »

If you're in a climate where AC is the only feasible solution, there's the negative thermal battery strategy as a way to save on cost. If your home is well-insulated, and assuming your utility offers variable pricing.

suomalainen
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Re: Summer Cooling Strategies/Log

Post by suomalainen »

So our house is not a thermal masterpiece by any stretch:

1) The windows are single-pane with cracks and gaps everywhere.
2) The attic has at most like 2 inches of 50 year old insulation.
3) It faces east/west, with little shade from trees from the east, while the west enjoys some shade from two trees in our / our neighbor's yard and a bunch of trees in the yards across the street for low-angle blockage.
4) The backyard has a LOT of concrete, which is a huge, suffocating heat sink. See photo:

Image

As a result, it gets so hot that the air conditioner can't keep up with the daytime heating and while it runs all day, the house gets hotter. We've tried a few things to mitigate this:

1) Curtains on the outside of a big east-facing window in our bedroom that has zero overhang. This has helped a lot, but localized to the one room.
2) Sunsails or shades or whatever (the blue things) over a portion of the concrete to shade it and reduce the radiative effect and also to have some usable shaded space.
3) Watering the roof every hour or so last summer when we had 45 straight days of highs above 100F or 40C. This caused our water bill to be over $200 last August, up from a normalized $60 or so, I think. Our AC still couldn't keep up.

Other things I have thought about since we're renters and can't do anything permanent.

1) Put a sprinkler on the roof with a timer to do 5 minutes of watering every hour to at least keep the edge off, but see cost noted above.
2) Insulate the attic anyway, which would cost at least $1500 to rent a blower and buy cellulose. One website said you would save 15% on your cooling costs, which back-of-the-napkin assumes a decade or more for payback.
3) Build a giant pergola with potted vine vegetation to shade all or almost all of the concrete.
4) Do a mister set up as noted elsewhere, but not sure how effective this would be.
5) Deal with it.

loutfard
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Re: Summer Cooling Strategies/Log

Post by loutfard »

I was sitting on a restaurant terrace up in northern Europe yesterday. Temperatures were unusually high for the area - above 303 Kelvin. They had a diy mister and fan setup to cool off the terrace. Highly effective and probably very cheap.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Summer Cooling Strategies/Log

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

i like the pergola concept, but I don't like to think of you guys out in the heat DIYing it at this juncture. You can buy very large sections of shade cloth cut and bound to custom size with grommets for lashing from the Greenhouse Megastore and shade tents with insect protection are also quite inexpensively obtained. Another thought would be limiting the air conditioner venting to just a couple rooms and actively venting the attic with a fan, and also creating an outdoors living space under the shade cloth, perhaps with a pool with an aerating fountain periodically filled with cold rain-barrel water. Rain-barrels could also be used for spraying the roof. You could also just run very basic webbing with a wicking system down from the roof edge to the ground for quick growing vines to climb up from large buckets or even bales which could be kept watered. Your backyard is basically a desert* now, so consider how an oasis is created in nature. Making your backyard into a relative oasis will have secondary effect of attracting critters of all varieties, so some pre-planning for that eventuality would be warranted. If you manage to attract some amphibians to the micro-climate now covered with concrete, put a gold-star for backyard permaculture in your ERE WOG badge book ;)

*But with the height differential from your roof system providing opportunities for gravitational feed.

Western Red Cedar
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Re: Summer Cooling Strategies/Log

Post by Western Red Cedar »

macg wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2024 3:47 pm
Any recommendations on brands for the button-down linen shirts? Sounds intriguing, I'm still mostly wearing t-shirts... Thanks!
Unfortunately I've only found them in India and Thailand while traveling. Locally made stuff. I picked up three earlier this year in Bangkok (white, blue, and black) and was planning on getting a couple more while in Chiang Mai but haven't been able to find them. I ordered a size larger but they tend to shrink, and one of them is already almost too short to wear. I probably should have opted for XL rather than L, even though I wear a M.

I think either linen or cotton would be ideal. Think along the lines of what you see for "beach wear" in the Caribbean or some other tropical area. Light weight, natural fabrics that fit loosely but still look nice and clean. You might look a bit out of place in the US, but solid colored natural fabrics have a clean and classic look.

On this trip, I've found my slightly thicker polo almost gets no use. I have another dark plaid-patterned Volcom button down cotton shirt that I wear regularly and it doesn't show too much sweat. I've had it for more than a decade and its still going strong. I think the key is natural materials, or something designed for hot environments that you might score at a thrift store designed for hiking.

If you can thrift something from Patagonia, North Face, Merrell, or other outdoor brands you might be in good shape. I've used stuff that works well for backpacking trips, but clothing I would necessarily want to use for international travel. One thing DW realized is that it make sense to invest a bit on your wardrobe while traveling (too many photos in hiking boots and hiking pants in front of beautiful places in India). There are loads of iconic photos and it might be worth it to not look like a slob while you are visiting the Taj Mahal.

If you are just bumming around town or your homestead, you can thrift older dress shirts and they work well for sun protection and drying quickly (choose the color and material wisely). This is the Beau Miles move and one I've used as well. A great way to work through the old office wardrobe ;)

Jin+Guice
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Re: Summer Cooling Strategies/Log

Post by Jin+Guice »

I think all major clothing brands make button down linen shirts? I got a Brooks Brothers one last year at a church sale for $1. They are much harder to come by than cotton or polyester shirts though.

I went the opposite route though and I'm wearing tank tops and shorts. I also started carrying a sun umbrella (which is just a regular umbrella).

It seems like most of the solutions are: staying out of or reflecting away the sun, cooling with evaporation or heat (cool) transfer of some kind from something that is already cold (usually water).

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Ego
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Re: Summer Cooling Strategies/Log

Post by Ego »

Western Red Cedar wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2024 7:56 am
One thing DW realized is that it make sense to invest a bit on your wardrobe while traveling (too many photos in hiking boots and hiking pants in front of beautiful places in India). There are loads of iconic photos and it might be worth it to not look like a slob while you are visiting the Taj Mahal.
We've been gradually doing the exact same thing. We started with lightweight travel clothing (Patagonia, REI, Arc'teryx) that I got second-hand at the swap meet. Too jungle safari. Gradually, we've been doing the Jack Reacher thing by dumping them in the box at the Humana thrift stores when we find lightweight linen clothing to replace them. I am bummed because the cool, lightweight linen shirt I found at the flea market in Porto for €1 was ruined by the red scarf and sash from the San Fermin festival that bled into the fabric. The downside to linen is that it wrinkles and even with ironing they are hard to get out. I just accept the rumpled look. It will be 106°f (41°c) here today.

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