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How to cool your home without an AC unit

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by elkimmeg, Jul 12, 2006.

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  1. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    First of all I'm not your typical homeowner. I have tools and equipment most homeowners will never have,
    nor do they need them. Comercial Backhoe ect

    Back in the mid 70's after our first gas/energy crisis a lot of forward think arose Alternative energy thinking, solar pannels and the wood stove golden age. I had a a passive cooling system. Simplistic but worked. I had 200' 6" dranage pipe left of from a dranage job
    I dug a trench 5' deep and installed the pipe. 5' deep level is usually below frost and also usually deep enough the sun does not effect the 55 degree ground temps in MA. With a simple blower, I removed the warmer air from my house pushed it threw the 200 feet pipe under ground and it returned in the mid 60's into my home. A few amps blower is much cheaper to run than a compressor .
    This system made two rooms confortable, the one I slept in and the familly room where most activities occured.
    It woked well for the first 7 years here till a swimming pool was installed. I had to did up the area the the cooling line resided and that ended it. My lot has a lot of ledge and it is not possible to to relocate the line or the pool. Another obsticle was I would have to remove about 200' of stone wall I just built 4/5' high. Loose my wife's herb garden my veg garden and re-landscape too much additional areas then deal with ledge. Could have been done but too much effort was required.

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  2. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    At the time there was not too much research on Radon It was a danger little was published about.
    No internet researches to read up on it. The second key where my exposure was probably reduced the pipe was seamless one piece
    I do not know if radon penetrates PVC piping. You are right to suspect radon usually found around granite ledge, such that exist all around me.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Pretty unlikely as long as there are no breaks. Plastic pipe is typically used to vent radon out of a house.

    I think it's neat that Elk did this. I read about cool tubes in the 70's (Mother Earth News?) and wished I owned a house so that I could try this. No need now that I have a giant air conditioner called Puget Sound in front of us that always keeps us comfortable.
  4. RoosterBoy

    RoosterBoy New Member

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    when you had the system how cool did your house stay at on a 90F day? with the system running

    thanks
    Jason
  5. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    That's a great idea, elk. I suspect you'd know if there was a leak in the piping, as they would eventually fill with water and you would be out of luck. Maybe you could do the same thing with a wood pile. I noticed last night that the gaps between the chunks in mine are much cooler than the ambient air elsewhere.

    Our air conditioner is a huge black walnut tree growing on one side of our house. On very hot days we put a window fan in our bedroom window that is right next to the tree, and draw the cool air in. It's typically about 10 degrees cooler in the bedroom than other parts of the house.
  6. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

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    That's a cool idea, but it seems like you'd have trouble with condensation and mold. Apparently not, but still I wonder where all the moisture from the warm air you blow into the system goes...

    Would there be any relevant code to doing something similar with a water/antifreeze line in the ground and a heat exchanger inthe air handler? We find we can help keep the air temp upstairs down a little just by running the furnace blower, and air circulating through the duct work in the basement gets cooled down by the cooler basement air. Doesn;t speak well to our effiency loss for the furnace ductwork inthe winter, but convenient for the moment.

    Steve
  7. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    The air was cooled I say on a 90 degree day in those two rooms 73/75. Nothing fancy here a simple on off s toggle switch
    I suppose some of the humidity or moisture dropped off in the pipe when the air cooled other than that humidity control was non existant. I know much has made it to the web there is even a name for such a system. It was hot when I was doing the drainage project and I remembered how cool the bottom of the trench felt That is how I came up with the idea, plus having almost a whole extra coil available wondering what to do with it. If I had an air delivery system I might have tried to tie it in. I have FWH by oil
  8. RoosterBoy

    RoosterBoy New Member

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    very nice elk 75 is that my house is at when i run my central a/c unit.

    thanks
    Jason
  9. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Katrina hits we have an energy scare IT's not the first time energy became so important in our lives. What people think they are
    discovering now, research was done long ago and forgotten. We had ethnol at the pumps in the mid 70's billions more gallons of gas/oil would now available now had it continued. Blame Detriot. They took the stand that they would not honnor warranties for cars that burned ethanol so it dissapeared. Fuel priced were cheap enough conservation stopped, with that almost no funding for research
    Nobody was complaining too much about $.65 gas and $.39 home heating oil.

    Time now and forum members are turning again to alternative ways to heat their homes. To me that is only part of the puzzel as and more important is to inprove your current heating and insulation situations. Draft stopping adding insulation sealing and insulating duct work. and water pipes. Better windows. More fuel effecient cars consolidation of trips. Additude change where bigger is not better you got to want to change and conserve. Recycling Thinking outside the box scrounging for wood teaching your children these values
    That is the purpose of my post to get people thinking. What more can I do to be energy effecient? Attack simple things first Outside wall electrical outlets insulated dfaft stoppers are available. Safety Monoxide detectors a fire extinguisher. Most important think at what you are doing read.
  10. RoosterBoy

    RoosterBoy New Member

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    hi elk i agree with you for the most part i have done all that i insulated the heck out of my house and Attic put in new windows stop heating with oil and now cut and split my own wood instead of buying it by the cord. i also plan all my trips and last summer i saw this problem coming. i bought a Honda civic that i don't use yet but will when my small s10 pickup dies.

    like i have said in previous post in a way it's good gas prices are going up and i hope they go up more because it will force people to discover other energy sources id like to be powering my home on solar or wind. or what ever else.

    but in other way it's bad for lower income people that are having a hard time as it is getting buy let alone having to buy expensive gas to get to work and feed there family. but in order for use to move to better things we all have to make sacrifices

    thanks
    Jason
  11. ertzog

    ertzog New Member

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    this type of system can be improved and the concerns about condensation/mold in the pipe eliminated by circulating water through the pipe rather than air.

    more energy is required to circulate the water, but it also gives the benefit of operating as a dehumidifier when you blow air past the heat exchanger (perhaps an old car radiator) in the house.
  12. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Thanks you got me thinking. My water is quite cold well 700 ft down. If I had a blower that pushed air threw a radiator filled with cold water I would have instant AC. Once the water got heated in the radiator say 15 degrees I could pipe it to my hot water tank I would save some emergy there as I would have already gained 10/15 drgrees in temp I would not have to heat to get there. I'm liking the ideas and possibilities
  13. PAJerry

    PAJerry Member

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    I have a 65 ft. deep abandonded well in my basement, 6" casing, and I have wondered if some type of air conditioning unit could be rigged to use it. The water used to be really cold and we only abandoned it since the recovery was too slow and it could not be cleaned out. Any ideas?
  14. ertzog

    ertzog New Member

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    only thing to keep in mind is that you'll need a drain solution near the heat exchanger/radiator to take care of the inevitable (and considerable if you have high humidity) condensate.

    for wells, as long as you can seal it so you are not contaminating the ground water... your pumping energy required is minimized if you have a closed system that returns the heated water down into the bottom of the well.... the siphon action of the returning water equates to the lift energy required, so you only have to apply pump energy to overcome the pump/radiator friction losses.

    also, most "civilized" locals/water districts get excited when they learn people are recirculating water to ground.
  15. jabush

    jabush Feeling the Heat

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    A guy I work with had geothermal installed when he had his house built a couple years ago. I forget the linear footage of pipe, but he said the system covered about an acre of his property. He pumps water with biodegradeable antifreeze through the system, back into the house and then (I guess) through a heat exchanger. Although he splained it all to me, I didn't quite catch the whole concept. What I did hear is...it keeps his house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Also, he claimed it added around $15,000 to the cost of the new house, which I don't think is too bad.
    I'm thinking I should brush up on this stuff.
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