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Old 02-15-13, 01:00 PM   #1
Exalta-STA
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Default Cooling down a house in tropical climate

I've a long term project to implement over the next two years, that is to make my house more ecologically compliant and energy efficient.

I live in a tropical country (Philippines) which has only two seasons (very hot and humid and extremely rainy non-stop for weeks at a time) so temperate climate methods do not work all the time here.

I'm planning to

-repaint the metal roof in white
-repaint the interior and exterior with newer stuff (paint keeps on bubbling and peeling)
-replace the windows with bigger ones to bring in more light and also have the new ones tinted
-and a lot more you guys can suggest

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Old 02-15-13, 02:22 PM   #2
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Bigger windows will bring in more heat when you don't want it and also windows have terrible insulating value so they are a detriment at night with the cold on cold nights and on hot days too much windows and you will be baking in your house and need more cooling.
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Old 02-15-13, 08:35 PM   #3
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Shade the house from direct sun, but not from airflow as much as possible.

Thermal mass works in both directions.

If you have a source of cool water around you, start a siphon flow through a radiator with a fan attached to it. It's free A/C. Keep a pan under it, it will attract moisture.

Save a lot of the rain water if you can, and keep it spraying on to the roof during the hot season. The high humidity makes it less effective, but evaporative cooling still works.

Depending on the type of house you have, instead of using the fan, you can radiate the cool from the water by installing tubing under the floor boards just like hydronic heater units do, although it's less effective as an overall cooling system.

Of course, you know that it's always cooler underground than it is on the surface. That applies when you build a hill, too. If you can waterproof part of your walls and build a 'hill' against the house, it will help.

Instead of tinning your roof, look at something like a green roof. It will actually make the water spray more useful and effective, too.

Other than that stuff, if we have more details abotu your situation, you might be able to get a few more suggestions.
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Old 02-15-13, 09:48 PM   #4
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Wow thanks for the quick replies.

Never thought of the drawbacks of those windows. Ill guess Ill just replace the existing ones with some sliding

glass with screens..and get the tinted ones and maybe add additional tint on it and use those thermal blinds

instead of the drapes I'm using at the moment on all the windows.

It's quite hard to dig below ground since the place gets a huge amount of rainfall and the ground is made up of

adobe..had to use a jackhammer just to dig some pillars for the garage.

Waterproofing has always been a problem for me, the paint on the interior keeps on bubbling no matter if i scrape

and reapply paint...and that happens even on the second floor of the house.

I already have a rainfall collector, all the rain collected in the roof goes to the roof gutters then gets

channeled down a pipe which I can tap with a hose to fill some barrels and buckets.

Here are some pics of the house. The satellite pics shows where the sun is coming from in the morning. (from below

the picture) the front part of the house faces SSE.









the whole side of the house absorbs the brunt of the sun in the noon till the sun sets...its the hottest side of the house...you could bake in that heat LOL. It doesnt show but at afternoon that whole side is covered with direct sunlight from top to bottom.

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Old 02-15-13, 10:08 PM   #5
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Can you hang trellis away from the walls of your home? Maybe something like Kudzu [ick] kept in check will grow where you are and keep the sun off the walls.
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Old 02-15-13, 11:41 PM   #6
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How about extending the roof and/or adding awnings to the windows for more shade?
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Old 02-15-13, 11:50 PM   #7
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White paint and white roof coverings come to mind, along with the window shades Piwoslaw mentioned.
Something i have always wanted to do is this:
In ground cooling pipes, to cool water to be used in a radiating cooling system,driven by a solar powered water pump.
Also having PV panels on the roof and selected walls would cut down on the houses heat absorption.
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Old 02-16-13, 12:16 AM   #8
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I see that you don't have room to plant tall trees nor to do lots of earthwork for ground loops.

Close to the equator the sun will mostly be hitting the roof, so +1 on the PV panels. If that is too expensive, build a second roof on top of you roof, raised 10-20 cm, like an umbrella. It will shade and allow ventilation of the hot air already trapped.

Also, do you have an attic, or is the roof directly above the upper floor ceiling? Any kind of insulation will reduce heat gain from above.

Another idea is to make a ventilation heat exchanger that will allow you to replace stale with fresh air without losing/gaining too much heat, and reduce humidity a bit. Your house would have to be tightened up, but this is also the case if you have any kind of air conditioning.

As for A/C (I saw that you have a unit), maybe hack it a bit? Use a larger condenser (the hot side) and place it in the shade.
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Old 02-16-13, 09:26 PM   #9
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I love the white roof paint idea!

Used to have a bamboo trellis in the front but wood rot/moisture softened it and typhoon winds (10-16 hurricanes a year) knock down anything not built out of concrete...maybe a concrete one will last better but those are kinda expensive.

I've always dreamed of putting on PV panels except I have to find an affordable supplier that are windproof and sun-resistant...my neighbors who used polycarbonate sheets/panels got theirs cracked in just 2 years. Even car paint fades in a year due to the conditions here.

There is a space but there's nothing there. Just the I-beams holding the bolted down metal roof sheets on top and a gypsum ceiling. Distance from ceiling to the roof are 6 feet to just a couple of feet in some areas...so far, the gypsum has been termite resistant but fails as soon as moisture seeps through the roof.

I think your insulation idea will work because in the 2nd floor in high noon, when you raise your hand above your head, the temperature is wayyy hotter than on eye level.

on the ground floor, there is a gypsum ceiling about 1 foot from the concrete top.The ground floor is a lot cooler than the second floor (obviously)

I'd love to do ground loops but like you guys pointed out..no space...yet

I am looking at that heat exchanger thread of yours and I am very interested in it. Once I replace the current AC with a more efficient screw type one, I could do that with the old one.

Man, i love this forum!

PS. Planning to put up a garage roof for the car, it can't take any more punishment from the desert-like sun. I think the additional shade will help cool down the side of the house.
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Old 02-16-13, 09:37 PM   #10
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By the way, am looking at these rolls of insulation from home depot. They're foil with foam in the middle. Do you think these would help?



You install them above/behind the gypsum ceiling or install them behind the metal roof sheets? Which would be more efficient?

the ecorenovator in me wants to insulate both the roof and the ceiling with it hahaha



Cant use any cellulose/wood-based material..moisture and termites will kill it instantly.

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