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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kenneal - lagger
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

Our humidity is fairly constant around 55% so always comfortable. One of the advantages of cob and lime walls.
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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

I have resorted to air conditioning in the current heatwave.
Reluctantly on account of the noise produced and electricity consumed.

Indoor temperatures reached 26 degrees with over 70% RH. 26 degrees is tolerable at a low RH but is most uncomfortable if humid.

With a portable air conditioner in use, the space temperature was reduced to 23 degrees and the RH much reduced to 50%
Running cost estimated at about 10 pence an hour.
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
kenneal - lagger
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

Our house has worked up to 25C and 64% humidity but with a few cooler evenings coming and a few more fly screens on the windows enabling us to open them at night we will soon have that back down to 22 to 23C at no cost as we bought the fly screen material last year. As the external humidity drops so will the internal as the house is always much lower than the outside humidity.
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Catweazle
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Post by Catweazle »

Our external house insulation does a good job of keeping the inside temperatures quite comfortable, although I confess I have no idea what that temperature is. Having walls nearly three feet thick at the bottom helps.

Humidity must be high here, I just washed some floors and they are refusing to dry.
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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

My house stays at a comfortable temperature during brief hot spells due to the great thermal mass of solid stone walls.
In prolonged heatwaves it gets hotter and hotter as the thermal mass slowly warms.

27 degrees at present and 75% RH.
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
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Catweazle
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Post by Catweazle »

adam2 wrote:My house stays at a comfortable temperature during brief hot spells due to the great thermal mass of solid stone walls.
In prolonged heatwaves it gets hotter and hotter as the thermal mass slowly warms.

27 degrees at present and 75% RH.
Our walls are common Pembrokeshire construction = two slate outer walls with clay and rubble filling up the middle, rendered and pebbledashed. In our case 90mm of expanded polystyrene, mesh and render over the top.

It's ugly, we've lost the nice features around the windows, but it's warm.
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adam2
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Re: Preparing for extreme heatwaves.

Post by adam2 »

With warmer weather potentially approaching, members in the warmer parts of the UK, and in particular those in urban "heat islands" should review preparations for any extreme heat event.

Try to make certain that you have the following MINIMUM preps.

Lightweight cotton clothing.
A sun hat.
Sun cream.
Lightweight cotton bed sheets.
An electric fan, preferably two.
Oral rehydration salts, in case you or someone else suffers from dehydration.

Consider also the following more significant preps especially if you or your family are vulnerable due to illness or disability.
Bottled drinking water in case the mains water fails and you cant easily access alternative water sources.
A good quality battery operated fan, in case the electricity supply fails.
Security grilles over windows to admit fresh air but exclude thieves.
External awnings or sunshades to reduce solar gain.
A camp stove or other means of cooking outdoors to minimise indoor heat from the kitchen.
A gazebo or similar for your garden to give shade from the sun, but allow ventilation from all sides.
Possibly an air conditioner. And yes I know that a properly designed house should not need one, but for an already existing house that you can not readily alter, worth considering. Expect to pay ABOUT £300 and ABOUT 15 pence an hour for electricity.
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
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BritDownUnder
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Re: Preparing for extreme heatwaves.

Post by BritDownUnder »

There have been reports of snow in some elevated parts of New South Wales. I did not see any and my impression was that there was some 'cold' in the wind but if I was wearing a coat outside which I have not done for several years now it would be perfectly tolerable.

With regards to hot weather Adams points cover most of what would be done in Australia. I would simplify as, in the following order...
1) Exclude the heat flow into the house
2) Limit the transfer of heat transfer through floors and wall.
3) Use efficient aircon where necessary
G'Day cobber!
kenneal - lagger
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Re: Preparing for extreme heatwaves.

Post by kenneal - lagger »

Many people in the UK cannot see the logic of keeping the windows closed and shaded on a hot day and opening them at night, unfortunately. I have seen many a person sitting in a fan oven breeze by an open window insisting that they "like a bit of fresh air on a hot day!" And they look at you as the lunatic for suggesting that they should keep the windows shut!

To add to Adam's list I would suggest some fine plastic mesh to make insect screens for covering the open windows at night. If they can be fitted on the outside of the windows, inward opening doors and windows, which are not very common in the UK, are required for this, they can be left on during the day and will cut out a bit of sun and heat as well. I'm fitting the plastic for my screens with penny washers, gluing them in place, and sticking a magnetic strip to the frames with a couple of brass hooks at the top so that I can fit and remove them easily. Shading and anti heat screens are best fitted to the outside to stop the heat entering the house in the first place.
Action is the antidote to despair - Joan Baez
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