Cooling???

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by fitwind, May 20, 2006.

  1. fitwind

    fitwind Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking to get some kind of cooling system for my house.Should I go for central air or window air conditioner? Which would be the most cost efficient in the long run? Are house is aprox. 800 sq. ft. Do you have any suggestions? Right now we're just using some fans but would like to keep the house a little bit cooler.How expensive would the electrical be to do for this?
     
  2. Hip_Shot_Hanna

    Hip_Shot_Hanna Well-Known Member

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    Where are you located? That makes a difference too - we are in an area that is dry enough (most days) that an evaporative cooler does a good job, and they use about 1/5 the energy of a central air system.
     

  3. fitwind

    fitwind Well-Known Member

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    We live in S.W. Mo. do you think that would work?
     
  4. SolarGary

    SolarGary Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    The map I have for evaporative coolers does not reccomend them for your area -- to humid. But, you might check with a local AC place to make sure.

    You might also check into the indirect evaporative coolers, which are more expensive, but don't add humidity to the air when they cool it -- they work in areas that are somewhat more humid.

    I've put a bunch of techniques for passive and efficient cooling here:
    http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Cooling/passive_cooling.htm
    You might find something you like.

    If it cools down at night, a combination of reducing heat gains with insulation and shading during the day coupled with lots of ventilation at night might do the trick, and cost a lot less to operate than conventional refrigerated AC.
    A whole house fan can provide a lot of good night ventilation for not much electricity.



    Gary
     
  5. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Evaporative cooler won't work in MO. We had them in CO and they work well when the humidity is low enough. A couple of weeks out of the yr the humidity would be too high and all they did was make the house damp without really cooling much during those weeks.

    I ended up with a 220v window unit. Got twice the cooling for the same money and my handiman just ran a wire and connected an outlet to an existing 220 line. My used mobile home didn't have the central unit with it and I was not willing to shell out the big bucks to buy a new one. I also took out the old electric furnace. (Plan to put in a wood stove.) So the old furnace 220 line is what we used. I figure I will use a pretty fair amt of electric before I use up the price difference between central and window air. Plus the window unit means I can shut off unused rooms. I have a small unit in my bedroom and use box fans to distribute the cool air thru the house.
     
  6. Sherrynboo

    Sherrynboo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think I would go with a 220 unit as well with a house that small. They don't use as much power as a 110 from what I have been told. We had one until it died then when we added on to the house, we went with the central unit. Runs the bill a lot higher but then the house is twice as big as it was before too.

    Sherry in GA
     
  7. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We had the very same experience as Sherry did.
    We cooled around 1000 feet with a sears 220 volt 1400 btu window unit for over 20 years. It was still working well when I put it in the garage to rest 2 years ago. We installed a new furnace so decided to go with central air. Two faults I find with our central air. It uses a little more electric, and don't dehumidify the house like the window unit did. Our electricity costs 10 cents per kilowatt. The window unit raised the bill 10 to 15 dollars per month. The most it ever raised the bill was a month when it topped 90 nearly every day and didn't cool off much at night. That month upped the bill almost $30. Money well spent In my humble sweaty oppinion.
    We used a window fan on the floor in a doorway in the center of the house to make it cool the whole house. I'd even give you the old window unit for a cherry pie with whipped cream on it.
    Unk
     
  8. KindredSpirit

    KindredSpirit Well-Known Member

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    I agree that window units, especially one's rated Energy Star, are more efficient than central air. Not only have I found this by experience, but it just makes sense that it is less effcient pushing the cold air through several feet of duct work as opposed to just blowing it out into the room.
     
  9. terri46355

    terri46355 Well-Known Member

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    If you can, install ceiling fans. They work really well to keep you cooler than just using air conditioning. My last house was the size of your house. I had central air and ceiling fans. The fans really help circulate the cool air.

    The house I'm in now has ceiling fans in every room. It also has a huge spruce tree on the South side and a maple tree on the West side. I only have one window unit upstairs and barely use it, because the fans keep me cool. I think the trees shades the house during the hottest part of the day, so I don't really need air conditioning most of the summer.

    My neighbors have a small house with no shade. They don't use their central air because it costs too much. They have 2 window units with strategically placed box fans to keep the whole house cool.
     
  10. nodak3

    nodak3 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you are well shaded, you might do well with ceiling fans and a whole house attic fan to draw the cool in at night, then button'er up in the early morning. If you want to pinch pennies with the electric, get central and set the thermostat fairly high, like 10 degrees below the outside air, but no lower than 75. That will take a bunch of moisture out and you can still use the ceiling fans for comfort.