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Old 08-15-11, 11:28 AM   #1
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Default Low Energy and Unusual Ways to Keep Cool

I was just reading Gary's blog over on builditsolar and figured it was worth posting. He has some interesting ideas/projects done by others on how to stay cool and/or reduce the amount of cooling needed in summer. We've talked about a lot of these methods here, but not all. One new one is to build a conditioned sleeping space instead of central air for the entire house to keep cool at night. I kind of do this myself using a window AC unit when necessary in my bedroom and just close the door at night.

Build-It-Solar Blog: Low Energy and Unusual Ways to Keep Cool

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Old 08-15-11, 07:43 PM   #2
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I had the same idea using the basement air! Did it last summer with just a fan at the base of the stairs pointed upward. Worked wonderful, between that and opening windows at night for the cool air we hardly ran the a/c most days if at all.

This year I cut an access panel in the return duct before the filter which is level with the basement floor and just leave the furnace fan on recirc.

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Old 08-23-11, 09:14 PM   #3
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Hi,
Has anyone thought about the water bed one -- where you sleep on a water bed with only a thin layer between you and the water bed bladder?

It seems potentially pretty effective, but I'm wondering if you would need to actually have a way to introduce cooler water into the bladder as it warms up? That might get kind of complicated.

We tried using the basement cooling method yesterday (95F high) -- we opened a couple windows in the basement and then used the whole house fan in the ceiling of the main floor to pull the cooler air up from the basement. It definitely worked. But, we decided that we like our usual method of precooling the house the night before with ventilation, and then in the afternoon when the house starts getting warm, we have small, roll around evap cooler -- it just seemed a bit more comfortable than the basement air solution. We have it pretty easy here -- even when the high for the day is high it cools off at night and humidity is always low.

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Old 08-23-11, 09:54 PM   #4
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I know from personal experience as a kid that even a room temperature water bed can sap quite a bit of heat out of your body. I don't think you'd have to worry about introducing cooler water into it. Even sleeping on an air mattress can get chilly with not much between you and the mattress.

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