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Looking for Ideas on 'Green' Home Cooling


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smokey

I guess heat and humidity is one of the things many of us have to adjust to living in the Phils. Easy enough to add air conditioning, but I'm looking for 'green' alternatives. My observations so far. Would like to know your actual experiences.

 

1. Two story homes - heat rises and the upstairs are like ovens here. But the downstairs remains fairly cool and I find fans more than adequate during the day. How can I achieve the same effect with a one story home? 

 

2. Vegetation - in older subdivisions, there tends to be a lot of trees. More breezes tend to blow through that a bare new subdivision.

 

3. Rooftop fans? - have seen a small number of homes with exhaust fans. Are these a significant help for home cooling? Are there solar powered models? Would these be a good idea for the vertical walls?

 

4. Wall/flooring - hollow tile brick walls, concrete flooring seem to help keep the home cooler.

 

5. Roofing material - is there something that works well here?

 

Anyway, am open to practical ideas based on real experiences and not so much theory. 

we solved the problem with a de humidifier ... don't seem that hot when the humidity is below 45

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Dragonladies.org

The few places in the US I lived in that had a 'whole house' type fan that was in the attic, sucked air via louvered vent in the ceiling, and out the side of the attic, kept pretty cool.  These were 50's era houses.   One we never needed to run the A/c, but it was brick, and on a lot with a lot of mature trees.  The whole house fan was a little oversized, and would suck the blinds inward from open windows and blow papers off of my desk.    (Sure would clean out cooking mistake smells in a hurry, though)

 

I remember reading an article about how they kept houses cool pre A/C, I think it was in the 'Old House Journal'.

 

A lot depended on oversize roof overhangs to have some shade around the house, and using fans to draw the air in from whichever side of the house was cooler at that time.  (opening/closing appropriate windows)

 

There are solar powered 'whole house fans' I see online, not cheap, but may be worth it. (amazon)

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Headshot

The few places in the US I lived in that had a 'whole house' type fan that was in the attic, sucked air via louvered vent in the ceiling, and out the side of the attic, kept pretty cool.  These were 50's era houses.   One we never needed to run the A/c, but it was brick, and on a lot with a lot of mature trees.  The whole house fan was a little oversized, and would suck the blinds inward from open windows and blow papers off of my desk.    (Sure would clean out cooking mistake smells in a hurry, though)

 

That is the kind of fan my dad uses. It would just about suck paint off the walls if the windows were closed when you turn it on. It certainly cools things down though...and it is remarkably quiet for the amount of air it's moving. He installed it in the mid-70's.

Edited by Headshot
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Dragonladies.org

I think insulation, shade/overhangs and ventilation are the keys.   You don't have to  live in a dark cave with some of those new diffused light things that go in the roof.   (don't heat up inside) FWIW, I've lived in Central Florida without AC.

Yeah, some of  the older fans would sound like a C-130 starting up in your attic, but once they got running it would be kind of mild hum.

I'd flip mine on year round to scare the squirrels out of the attic. 

Occasionally I'd go outside hoping to see furry body parts being ejected from the louver, but never happened.

:)

 

I always found masonry/brick/cinder block houses a bit cooler, slab foundation, but never had to deal with a metal roof.

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Read a Mother Earth??? magazine years ago that featured a story about a guy who had an old farm house and how he cooled it at a low cost

 

What the guy did was bury big PVC sewer pipe below the frost line . He popped one end up in a nest of trees and took the other end thru his foundation and adapted it to the old houses gravity furnace duct work

 

He put a low voltage solar powered fan at the intake with a rain cover and fine mesh screen to keep the bugs out and in the basement he had a filter and fan before the old  duct work

Edited by KID
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riklynbor

What kind of material is that? I've seen a variety of materials being marketed. Was interested in some concrete/fiber material that was supposed to be both fire and bug resistant (for roofing and interior walls). Think it was Korean or Thai made.

 

I do think the natives had the right idea with their nipa huts. I'm inclined to favor a high roof. I don't really like the boxy low ceilings with an attic space above - at least I've not seen any that were of decent construction/materials.

 

 

LOL. That is certainly green. Used to have a wall covered in such a fashion. Was a pain in the butt to keep trimmed.

It's a product made by Union Galvasteel called Duratherm

 

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riklynbor

That roof is brown! Is your house already built? Do you have sofit and gabel  or ridge vents. Very cheep to modify adding them and they will help alot. Hollow block and tile collect heat all day, and raidate it all night. I used black fish netting (very cheep) to block suns rays on my front porch. Add foail/foam to bottom of roof if access is posiable, styrofoam like ( not strofoam) 4x8 x2" sheets on top of ceilling. It will melt, but not support flame, i have a supplier.

 

The cloth shop near Carbon sells umbrella material that is silver on one side, and various other colors on the other. They make great curtains, or curtain liners reflects a lot of heat, we use them.

Not finished but getting close to lock up stage. Since pictures walls are rendered and finished getting sealer painted on as we speak.

 

Most exterior walls are CHB outside and stud wall inside with a 50mm cavity.

Windows are ordered and waiting installing. Almost more glass than exterior walls.

 

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hilyfe

High ceiling is the best thing you can plan to do

 

More trees i guess but make sure its those strong trees

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hyaku

A lot depends on the location of the house. Widows on all side does it for me. But then again I have a mountain breeze. One thing for sure is if you are too close to trees animals will hop over onto the roof to make it their home too. I would not build a wooden house if you gave me the money. This is termite city/typhoon alley. No amount of killer will stop them. They 'will' take over.

 

I had a green house like that once. Also a million mosquitoes that loved it. Had too reach out the door and spray outside just to get to the car,

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Headshot

Widows on all side does it for me. But then again I have a mountain breeze.

 

Were the widows creating the breeze by talking about you all the time?   :cool:

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