Preparing for extreme heatwaves.

What changes can we make to our lives to deal with the economic and energy crises ahead? Have you already started making preparations? Got tips to share?

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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

Full house air conditioning is still rare, I doubt that even 1% of new homes in the south have it.
I know of only two such installations.

Air conditioning of one or two rooms is increasingly common and is increasingly regarded as being as important as heating.
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Post by Potemkin Villager »

adam2 wrote:I have admitted defeat and started using my air conditioner, reluctantly due to the power consumption and the noise.
Uses a bit less than 1KW and claims to produce over 2KW of cooling.

My home has solid stone walls that retain heat or cold for a long time. It remains comfortable during brief hot spells, but during the present more prolonged hot weather indoor temperatures have steadily increased to uncomfortable levels.

Living room yesterday afternoon was 28 degrees, without air conditioner and 23 degrees with it running. The humidity is also much reduced.
What path is the heat getting to the interior via? Is it mainly through the walls or air changes? How hot is your roof space getting?

I assume you are reducing passive gain through windows by leaving them closed and covered during the day.

I have managed to stabilise house at about 20C by keeping south facing windows closed and covered during the day and not leaving doors open then opening windows in evening when it cools down. Also get some updraft through two open fireplace chimneys which seems to help as well. (Yes Ken I know!)
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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

Heat gain is suspected to be mainly via the walls, solid stone that takes ages to heat up but does retain the heat in prolonged hot weather.

Opportunity for alterations is limited due to being a listed building.
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Post by fuzzy »

If you are working/out the house, I imagine you are limited by security for leaving doors and windows etc. I spray the sunny wall of my house when I am watering the garden. Can't say I notice much, but it seems to help on the roof of a timber framed garage in sunny weather. Can you shade the sunny side of your house with something like a cricket screen?. Or velcro strips vertically either side of the outside of sunny windows and then clip a shade of some sort, with a convection gap from the glass and frame. We certainly have lousy house designs in the UK and few options for designing and building your own.
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

Potemkin Villager wrote:.......... Also get some updraft through two open fireplace chimneys which seems to help as well. (Yes Ken I know!)
:-) :-) :-)

Glad the message is getting through!
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

Can you growth something up the walls, Adam? That would shade them in the summer and the transpiration of the plants would cool them to an extent. In the winter the plant material would slow the flow or air over the wall and reduce the heat loss a little. Most plants are suitable except ivy which roots into the wall and is not good at all. Wisteria works well.
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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

The risks of burglary restrict the extent to which windows can be opened, though I do what I can.
I have had the outside painted white.

Not even allowed external "blinds. shutters, awnings or the like" due to being in a conservation area.

Modest use of a portable air conditioner seems unavoidable in very hot weather.
Capital cost is effectively zero since I already had two units.
Running costs are about 15 pence an hour for about 6 hours a day, or about £1 a day.
I doubt that it will be needed for more than about 20 days a year.
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Post by vtsnowedin »

We just arrived home from a weekend South for a graduation party. Outdoor party was a bit muted due to the high heat and humidity(92F.) but the teenagers just hit the back yard pool and were fine. After sundown here on the hill and it is still 86F outside (30C) and the upstairs was an oven. I've opened as many windows and doors as practical to vent it out. The cats having free access to and fro through a pet door were splitting their time between the cooler concrete basement and the shadiest places under the maples outside.
I will probably have to insert a window AC unit in the bedroom before the management will let me retire for the night.
It seems we have become wimps compared to what I remember working through making hay in the summers long past.
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Post by PS_RalphW »

I must say that my listed thatched roof home has stayed very comfortable the last few weeks. Very little of the house faces south, all the windows are small, and the white wattle and lime plaster walls retain little heat, and are less than 7 feet high anyway. The thatch is an excellent insulator.

In fact, with the windows open and a moderate north east breeze, I was a bit cold one day last week.

8)
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

PS_RalphW wrote:...
In fact, with the windows open and a moderate north east breeze, I was a bit cold one day last week.

8)
Joys of living on the East coast!!
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Post by vtsnowedin »

I worked with a paving crew today placing 2500 tons of hot mix (295F) on an Interstate highway. It was 96 in the shade but that wasn't a problem as we were nowhere near any shade. I went through most of a gallon of water and retreated to the AC in my truck when needed but after a twelve hour day on the job plus three and a half hour commute I'm one wrung out tried pup.
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

And you've added to global warming a bit more!! You must be really gutted. ;-)
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Post by vtsnowedin »

kenneal - lagger wrote:And you've added to global warming a bit more!! You must be really gutted. ;-)
I'd like to think it was a wash. The old pavement will be recycled and smooth pavement on main highways saves gas for each car and of course they are going to maintain the highways wither I participate or stay home.
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Post by adam2 »

Friends own a farm in Wales and are experiencing extreme hot weather, said to be the hottest in living memory in the area.

The main concern is the welfare of dairy cows, they are clearly at least a little distressed by the heat.
The animals have plenty of trees for shade, but spend most of the day lying down in the shade rather than grazing. As a result they are loosing condition and milk production has dropped.

Matters have improved a bit after rigging outdoor lights to encourage night time grazing. There is still plenty of grass, and enough water in the lake to water it.

Free range pigs are fine in a shaded wood area.
The only two sheep "seemed unhappy" and have been killed, butchered and frozen.
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Post by fuzzy »

Maybe it was the breed of sheep. All the shorn sheep I saw today when I was out walking [near Craven arms] were well happy sitting in the shade.
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