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Keeping the house cool, ideas please.

Discussion in 'Home Automation' started by ericmark, 27 Jul 2021.

  1. ericmark

    ericmark

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    The living room gets the sun from around 9 am in summer, so my process is in morning open the patio doors in living and dinning room and turn on a fan to cool the house down, I keep an I on the outside temperature and when it raises, close the doors.

    On a warm day around 1 pm tend to switch on the AC which vents up the flue, this will stop temperature raising, but not big enough to bring the temperature down. So it will hold temperature to around the 26°C mark, without it more like 30°C mark.

    It works, but all manual, forget to open doors in morning, close the doors too late, and the living room can get really hot, if we close internal doors we can retire to dinning room which stays cooler, kitchen is coolest room at North corner.

    Auto opening of doors not really an option, but an alarm to remind when to open and when to close, bigger AC would help, but would like not to run AC if I can help it.

    It is clear the fabric of the building stores energy, at 8 am close the doors and soon the recorded temperature raises.

    Last house was a semi and the party wall was on south side of the house, so no south facing windows, or even walls, so never a problem getting too hot, so something new for me. So ideas.
     
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  3. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    My own regime is....

    Open first floor windows on an evening, as soon as it gets dark/cooler outside than in to cool the internal fabric down. Close them all on a morning to prevent the heat getting in. We get the sun in the living room, after 3pm, so vertical blinds are drawn to help bounce the heat back out and prevent the sun landing on internal surfaces. We have a couple of 12" portable fans and if it's hot and sticky, we use one in the living room to help in staying cool (the dog loves it). If it gets to the point of heat building up in the house, due to several hot days together, I might go as far as opening windows and doors up when I do not normally - then soak towels to put in front of fans, for extra cooling. That can pull the temperature down by a few degrees.

    We are troubled by flies and we have an inner and outer back door, which we like to have open, between them I have a one of those magnetic close fly-screens. The one which is supposed to stick into place with double-sided tape. The tape didn't stick for long, so I bought some 20x20mm timber and made up a frame, so I could fix it in place with screws. We rarely now get flies in the house.

    If it's hot and sticky at night, I sometimes add one of the fans on a window ledge, drawing cooler outside air into the bedroom. Sometimes open the loft window and the loft hatch. I wear the absolute minimum of clothes, but need pockets, so if I go out in hot weather I wear a very lightweight sleeveless jacket (gilet?), which has lots of pockets.

    We don't have a/c in the house, just the car. I also have a weather system, which indicates both indoor and outdoor temperature and humidity, so I can decide when it's worth opening and closing windows..
     
    Last edited: 27 Jul 2021
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  4. RandomGrinch

    RandomGrinch

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    I have been looking for brise soleil for my south facing windows. They made a huge difference when they were installed in my workplace. Unfortunately, for something relatively simple, there doesn't appear to be any DIY solutions, only expensive modules.
    If summer temperatures keep rising the way they are, I'm going to simply block the windows with a panel of celotex!

    Edit:
    Regarding flyscreens, I've installed these from Avosdim:
    https://avosdim.com/uk/window-roller-blind-fly-screen-pvc-recess-fit.html
    Absolutely brilliant! I would never have kept windows open over night before these.
     
  5. Munroast

    Munroast

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  6. JohnD

    JohnD

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    loft hatch open is the best thing for me.

    open downstairs door on the shady side of the house in the early morning, close as outdoor temp rises.
     
  7. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    My caravan is fitted with a combination unit of flyscreen plus silvered blinds, on every window, plus a spring wound screen at the door - shame you cannot buy a similar system for home. Along the top is a double roller, each with a coil spring, guide tracks down the height of the window at each side. You can pull flyscreen down, or the blind, or both and still get some ventilation without insects getting in.

    Just back from a trip when it has been too hot and the silvered blinds are really effective.
     
  8. ericmark

    ericmark

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    I think that sounds a good idea, we have been looking at caravan stuff, at the moment out balcony leaks and we are waiting on builders, but considering the caravan type Canopy or Awning. I know my problem is the twin doors onto the balcony and white curtains are not enough, but latter part of July and up to date August there has not been a problem, it seems on average just 3 to 6 weeks a year where the sun through the glass causes a problem, so no need for French style shutters yet.
     
  9. RandomGrinch

    RandomGrinch

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  11. winston1

    winston1

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    A fan does not cool the house. It just blows the air about and adds the 50w or so to run it to that air, yes it actually heats the house. It will cool a hot body in front of it provided that body is hotter than the air.
     
  12. Munroast

    Munroast

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    indeedy, once the air temperature gets above 37c, a fan will turn your house into a fan oven. Cook yourself faster - LOL
     
  13. JohnD

    JohnD

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    or if the body has water on the surface that the moving air will cool by evaporation.

    humans are designed to facilitate this.
     
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  14. RandomGrinch

    RandomGrinch

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    I've often found that the subjective temperature we feel (...especially when relating to SWMBO), is often completely at odds with the objective, measured temperature of a thermostat, or thermometer! :)
     
  15. ericmark

    ericmark

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    The fan goes on in morning, and I watch the room temperature and outside temperature, and look for outside to be at least 2°C cooler to house, other wise doors and windows closed, I did live in Algeria in a place called Hasi'Rmel for a time so do understand how opening windows can heat up rooms at the wrong time of the day.

    But this all needs manual intervention, and getting up early to cool the house, really looking for some automation, even the air conditioning unit is not ideal, as it only switches off the refrigeration part of the unit, the fan does not stop, so I use the temperature reported by the TRV to decide if the AC needs turning on before starting for home, again manual intervention.

    I have buy a thermostat relativity cheap, Ink bird 308 at around £30 and 1000 at £15 but is differential thermostat is much more expensive. And as @winston1 points out a 50 watt fan will heat the room not cool it.

    If I was still living in Algeria then I would buy a large AC, but in Mid Wales looking at around 4 weeks a year, so not really worth great expense. The AC we have is designed for a small room and a sliding window and the exhaust goes through the window, however I have a large room and hinged windows, so the exhaust goes up the flue, which works reasonably well, but it is not big enough for the room, so yes if I switch on in the morning it will stop the temperature raising, but once the room is hot not big enough to cool the room down again. And moving to smaller room, there is no where for the exhaust to go.

    I see no point in reinventing the wheel, so I made sense to ask what others do, @RandomGrinch @Harry Bloomfield @JohnD and others have come up with some ideas. I personally find heat enters house from loft, but clearly not all homes are the same. The Awning seems a good idea, stop the heat getting in and the AC can likely keep up, so thank you for all the ideas.
     
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  16. Bodgedbuild

    Bodgedbuild

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    That's the biggest part of the problem..... For every cubic metre of hot "exhaust air", the same amount of outside temperature air will be drawn in from outside. Portable AC units do have a place but they are not even in the same ball park as a fixed unit that only passes freon from inside to out.
    A portable unit with an outside pack an umbilical cord is a very good compromise if it is only for seasonal use.
     
  17. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    Yep, the banking chain I used to work for had server, which generated a lot of waste heat. In those many older sites where they had no a/c, in the height of summer, the servers would trigger over-temperature alarms. A bank with a failed server, grinds to a halt. Their solution was to hire portable units with large flexi hoses, which they poked out of a window. Generally, the opening of a window helped as much as the portable a/c units.

    Another hired solution they employed for staff, in the tightly locked confines of the secure areas, was the water evaporation fan units. The humidity in the areas would rise rapidly, with these in use and high humidity can be much worse than high temperatures.
     
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