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Old 07-16-11, 12:05 PM   #1
Ryland
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Western Wisconsin.
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Default Cooling the house with the basement.

My house that was built in 1906 doesn't have A/C, last summer we put 16" of insulation in the attic and that helped both with keeping the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
We are pretty good about keeping the heat out in the summer, closing windows up at 6am and pulling shades to keep the sun out, but there was a week or so were it was 95F or more in the day time and never got cooler then 80F at night with high humidity, last summer at some point we brought the dehumidifier up from the basement to dry the air in the living space, this worked well but made the living space warmer, so this hot humid weather made me tempted to get a window A/C unit, then my room mates brother, who is a HVAC installer suggested last week that we use the furnace to cool the house with basement air, I've always snubbed my noise at this idea but thought that I would give it a try, so we taped over the safety switch that keeps the fan from coming on if the furnace is open to the basement then installed a twist timer across the two contacts that turn just the fan on (our thermostat doesn't have a "fan" setting) I also installed another air filter to keep dust from the basement out of the duct work so with the dehumidifier running in the basement we are now pulling cool dry air from the basement in to the rest of the house, running the blower for 10-15 minutes is about right, the humidity readout in the basement starts out reading 50% and jumps up to 70% as the air is moved around and takes about an hour or so to get the humidity back down to 50% in the basement, at that point I repeat the cycle.
The theory is that even tho the dehumidifier is warming the air, the basement walls are sucking up that heat, cooling that dry air, it takes time but it has kept our house very comfortable, right now the indoor readings are 77F with 54% and the out door readings are 79F with 84% humidity, the over all feel inside is very comfortable, outside it feels hot and muggy.

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