Help on cooling my house

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by JasonMC, Jul 13, 2004.

  1. JasonMC

    JasonMC Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2001
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    0
    I live in a two-story house that is ~2100 sq ft. We don't have air conditioning. We do have a evaporative cooler that came with the house that is piped into the air return duct in our furnace. This doesn't do well to lower the temp. It also creates a lot of humidity so my wife and I decided to not turn it on this year.

    I recently had an attic fan installed in the Gable house area of my attic. I believe it helps to lower the temperature. We currently have cheap window fans installed to blow out the air during the day and bring in air during the night.

    It is still damn hot in our house. What types of things can we do to make us more comfortable without buying whole house AC?

    Thanks,
    Jason
     
  2. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer

    Joined:
    May 6, 1999
    Messages:
    2,259
    Likes Received:
    25
    Real Name:
    Carl III
    Ceiling fans are the main reason I'm able to stay comfortable in my home during the summer months without the expense of running central air.
     
  3. CalvinCarr

    CalvinCarr Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    0
    You can get a couple of window units for the main areas during the day.
     
  4. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2002
    Messages:
    1,282
    Likes Received:
    0
    Long term plan, plant some trees. Should keep the house cool in about 30 years or so. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,654
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Pittsfield, MA
    Real Name:
    Jay
    Wondering how good a dehumidifier would be or would that be an expense akin to just getting central air? Sometimes it's not the heat that bothers me, it's the stickiness with humidity. However, a whole house demhumidifier, I'm thinking, might just be as costly as central air.

    Jay
     
  6. Bob Graz

    Bob Graz Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2002
    Messages:
    798
    Likes Received:
    0
    The best way to cool the house without A/C is with a whole house fan. This takes the air in your house and blows it out through your attic and outside. This would mount in an upstairs, typically hallway ceiling. Some have variable speed controls, some just low, med, high. They work very well in bringing cooler evening air through the house and attic. Just need to be sure you have sufficient ventilation in the attic for good airflow.
     
  7. CalvinCarr

    CalvinCarr Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    0
    The whole house fans work great. A friend of mine had one in Georgia.
     
  8. Philip_T

    Philip_T Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2002
    Messages:
    876
    Likes Received:
    0
    We have central air in our 2 story house and it works great for cooling off the 1st floor, not so good on the second floor. I've thought about having an attic fan installed to blow out the hot air in the attic to try and help, but it looks like you've already tried that. My wife started closing up the house during the day, closing the windows and blinds to try and keep the heat out and it seems to work a little bit. Might be worth a shot. It doesn't help either that its been ugly hot here in Denver last few days. I actually live in Littleton as well Jason.
     
  9. CalvinCarr

    CalvinCarr Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    0
    There is a big difference between a Gable Vent fan and a whole house attic fan. Which do you have?
     
  10. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Messages:
    13,078
    Likes Received:
    765
    Real Name:
    Malcolm

    I don't believe running window fans during the heat of the day, in either direction, is helping you. If you're blowing air out of the house, that air has to be replaced from somewhere and it's probably hot outside air that is infiltrating around windows, doors, and any cracks in the walls.

    I live in a second floor apartment and have similar issues. I usually run the fans at night to pull in cooler air, then shut things up tight during the daytime. Pull blinds/curtains on all windows exposed to daytime sun (or install some if you don't have any).

    I do have two portable A/C units, but try to keep their use limited to extreme heat/humid days only. Since we're having a fairly normal summer this year (after 8 of the past 10 being the hottest ever), I haven't even put in the bedroom unit this year.

    I also have a ceiling fan in my living room which keeps things tolerable most days.
     
  11. JasonMC

    JasonMC Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2001
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't have a whole house fan. I've heard those are very loud. Some have stated that it sounds like a jet engine. We were trying to blow the hot air out of our house during the day basically so we don't have stagnant air. How much are whole house fans?

    Philip,
    I live in the Ken Caryl Ranch area. How about you?

    Thanks for all your input.
    Jason
     
  12. Philip_T

    Philip_T Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2002
    Messages:
    876
    Likes Received:
    0

    Howdy neighbor! I'm just south of KC near The Meadows Golf Course. Great area!
    Here's what I found for Whole House Fans at Home Depot. Not as expensive as I was thinking but Im not sure how loud they are.

    EDIT: Not sure if that link works right, but just look under ventilation and there it is.
     
  13. Bob Graz

    Bob Graz Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2002
    Messages:
    798
    Likes Received:
    0
    On high they can be loud, not on low and low is typically what you would use or you could turn your house into a wind tunnel. They work very, very well. I installed one in my house in NY years ago. It was pretty straight forward if you are handy with that kind of thing at all.
     
  14. JasonMC

    JasonMC Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2001
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    0
    I guess I'll look into a whole house fan. I'm not very handy. Would it be better to hire somebody to install it? Do you have to cut a new whole in your ceiling?

    Thanks for all of your input.
     
  15. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2001
    Messages:
    1,096
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hole in the ceiling and the roof (this is a bitch), wiring and, for best results, tied into the thermostat system to activate when you're not home. Still, the downside to these fans is you must have the downstairs windows open for day and then close those and open the upstairs windows at night. They are wonderfully effective but only if you live in a relatively dry climate where the temperatures drop to comfortable levels during the night when cooling is most important. If it's hot out it's just going to pull hot air in from the inside.

    One solution is to bring the air in from outside using an underground ventilation shaft that pulls in air from a point further on the property, runs it underground to cool it, then brings it into the house. You have to put in an ionizer to remove the musty smell that develops but Littleton is relatively dry so you shouldn't have a mold problem with the air shaft. The initial expense is rather high but since you're only running a ceiling fan you save money in the long run. Short of that you can pull air through your basement and that alone can drop the air temp a few degrees.
     
  16. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

    Joined:
    May 23, 1999
    Messages:
    2,983
    Likes Received:
    6
    I'd would have to agree with a whole house fan. Have it blowing out during the day and night. Also, open the windows as the fan will create a natural breeze through out the house. This alone should cool the house down by 10 degrees. The best thing I had until I moved, and I looking to re-invest in one.
     
  17. Jassen M. West

    Jassen M. West Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2000
    Messages:
    526
    Likes Received:
    0
    Blowing air out during the day doesn't work, if you're sucking air out of the house where is the air thats replacing it come from... outside where its hot. I was able to keep my apartment about 5 to 10 degrees cooler by blowing cool night air in starting about 8 or 9 pm. Then before heading to work close the windows maybe leave them cracked a bit and close the blinds or shades. If you have mini blinds angle them so the part of the blade closest to you is facing up bouncing the sunlight away. Also never let the ceiling fans stop spinning, keeping a breeze going is the key, once they stop the heat rises to the ceiling and when you start them up again it blows back down.
    my father used to swear by the blow air out method until he came to my apartment and saw how much cooler it was

    --
    jay
     
  18. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Messages:
    11,680
    Likes Received:
    648
    Location:
    Since 2006
    Real Name:
    Cameron Yee
    I don't get the temperature extremes as many of you do - we have yet to hit 90 degrees this summer! Probably one of the most mild seasons I can remember.

    Anyway, my house gets pretty warm regardless - no shade on either the south or west. I put up an outdoor blind on my porch to block western exposure coming into the living room (this also helps dim it for the home theater) and basically have my aluminum blinds closed all the time, angled up as one person mentioned. I leave one window open during the day, the small kitchen window that faces north. This seems to introduce some cooler air or allows for some circulating air. When it hits about 7PM I open my bedroom window, which has a straight shot to the kitchen, creating a cross current. A fan helps in that endeavor. By the time I go to bed it's comfortable enough to sleep. But like I said, we haven't had a truly hot day and the worst days from last year were the ones where it was still warm in the evening. I considered buying a portable air conditioner, but given the price and frequency I'd use it, I'd rather spend my money on HT stuff (and have!). [​IMG]
     
  19. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2000
    Messages:
    2,149
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jason,

    Do you already have forced air heat throughout the house? If so, adding a whole house air conditioner may not be as expensive as you think if the duct work is already more or less done.

    I would get some estimates regardless, as I have found home HVAC contractors are all over the place with prices. I recently got estimates and from the low price, there was variation as great as 100-125% more for the same exact equipment installed.

    One of the best way to keep heat gain down is through well insulated windows and the use of curtains. Just keep curtains closed during the day can help tremendously.

    J
     
  20. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Messages:
    11,680
    Likes Received:
    648
    Location:
    Since 2006
    Real Name:
    Cameron Yee


    I would also check with your utility company for financing such a project. Mine offers a 5-year, 0% loan up to $7,500 to do a full heat pump install.
     

Share This Page