excessive heat, how do you protect your house during a heat wave?

kerneldrop

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I'm surprised regulations haven't touched on asphalt shingles. Nothing absorbs heat like an asphalt shingle.

Where I live it gets over 100 and the humidity is brutal, but we have shade in most places.
 

idleprocess

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I thought "Heaven forbid a single drop of sweat should fall from your brow as you walk from your air-conditioned office building and get in your vehicle to drive home!"
There's a nontrivial percentage of the population in the DFW area (and I suspect large slices of the south and southwest) that effectively spends nearly the entire 4-6 months of summer within the envelope of climate control.
 

bykfixer

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There's a nontrivial percentage of the population in the DFW area (and I suspect large slices of the south and southwest) that effectively spends nearly the entire 4-6 months of summer within the envelope of climate control.
Many of whom cry out "save the planet".....

I have family who de-cry "we're killing the planet" who use way more non replenishable resources than others but think because they use cloth bags at the grocery store and drive hybrid cars they themselves are saving the planet.

My home has fiberglass shingles with little strips of asphalt to glue them to one another. And the attic stays cooler now that we have those.
 

idleprocess

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Many of whom cry out "save the planet".....
A single 15 minute cycle of the HVAC compressor consumes almost as much power as running all the LED lights in my house for 24 hours; I don't much concern myself with switching them off when I leave a room during the day given that they're at least a factor 4 reduction vs incandescents.

I have family who de-cry "we're killing the planet" who use way more non replenishable resources than others but think because they use cloth bags at the grocery store and drive hybrid cars they themselves are saving the planet.
One does have to look at the entirety of one's consumption. Recall a former coworker a ~decade ago miffed their conversion from incandescent to CFL didn't make a dent in their next electric bill when:
  • Switched in June
  • Refrigerated their home to 68F
  • On an average billing plan
But it's easier to obsess over the 'sacrifices' one is willing to make - especially when they're celebrated by one's in-group or it happens to be easier for you.

Personally, upside I'm not commuting 30 miles to work five days a week, downside I'm at home running the HVAC harder than I would be otherwise. Likely a net benefit in terms of overall resource consumption but it's a case that has to be made rather than being self-evident. It will be a bit simpler when the SO returns to work in August and I can adjust the thermostat to something more appropriate.
 

orbital

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Thought about how long it would take to recoup its cost & it's a bit goofy,
but I ordered one of those self-inflating foam mattresses (a big one) and on the hottest days of summer, I'm going to 'camp' in my basement.
I'v always had a hard time sleeping and if I'm hot, forget it
It's MUCH cooler down there than my upstairs where I normally sleep (even in summer it probably only gets to upper 60s' Fahrenheit max)

Also, figured it wasn't the worst thing in the world to have,,,
ordered it before this thread went live.
 

KITROBASKIN

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I just read about a personal space cooler called artic air pure chill. Seems like a portable fan that blows cool air for about $40.
Act now, and they will throw in a Super Tactical Arctic 3 Mile flashlight for just a shipping and handling fee.

Interesting ideas here. Exterior blinds sound great but where we live, the winds can be quite distracting. Any strategies to minimize slumber noise from wind?

Researching mini split heat pumps on diysolarforum; still too much unknown for our application. Being off grid, we only have so much electrical oomph. Really needing to not exceed ~1000 Watts though it seems possible to run some units at a lower level? But would it then be strong enough for some comfort in our small abode?
 

The Hawk

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We run a ceiling fan in our bedroom at night to circulate the air. We also run one in the family room when we are in there.
 

turbodog

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...

At work, I once saw a 30-ish woman that remote-started her SUV (apparently while she was still in the building) and it sat there running for several minutes. I had just got in my car and it startled me when the thing cranked up by itself. I could hear the AC cycling. Out of curiosity I sat and waited. Several minutes went by then I saw the woman come out of the office building, walk the ~80 yard distance (I measured later), and get in the vehicle and drive away. I thought "Heaven forbid a single drop of sweat should fall from your brow as you walk from your air-conditioned office building and get in your vehicle to drive home!"

You don't know. She may have another job, starting soon, that she has to show up for looking presentable.

And 80 yards, in the heat, to arrive at a scalding vehicle, is a good ways.
 
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Interesting ideas here. Exterior blinds sound great but where we live, the winds can be quite distracting. Any strategies to minimize slumber noise from wind?

I was pleased to learn that the one-inch mini blinds are much less susceptible to the wind than the "solid" plastic blinds. Here, in the great State of Washington (politics aside) the wind tends to blow when the sun is shining. Before installing them, I assumed the individual curved slats would react like an airplane's wings when the wind blew. That hasn't been the result. I keep the slats open as much as possible while blocking the entirety of the sunshine. Of course, when the wind blows hard, the blinds could be raised - especially at night as they aren't needed.

Installing a sun blocker on the exterior of your windows works much better than installing something inside. Also, insulated windows should not have anything placed near them on their interior. Doing so restricts circulation, resulting in superheating the air. My Window Guy educated me on that fact. Likewise, during colder weather, you want warmer air to be able to reach the window to mitigate condensation.
 

Poppy

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Thought about how long it would take to recoup its cost & it's a bit goofy,
but I ordered one of those self-inflating foam mattresses (a big one) and on the hottest days of summer, I'm going to 'camp' in my basement.
I'v always had a hard time sleeping and if I'm hot, forget it
It's MUCH cooler down there than my upstairs where I normally sleep (even in summer it probably only gets to upper 60s' Fahrenheit max)

Also, figured it wasn't the worst thing in the world to have,,,
ordered it before this thread went live.
A small air conditioner in the basement can serve dual purpose, cool the air and dehumidify it.

Regarding a foam mattress, I was never particualrly comfortable on a air mattress, but I learned to inflate it, and then while lying on it to deflate it to my point of comfort.
 

IMA SOL MAN

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New FEMA web page on heat emergencies:

 

turbodog

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Main HVAC unit in my house finally pushed me too far last year and I had it replaced. It was a 'nice' unit at the time it was bought, scroll compressor, high seer rating.

As part of the replacement, my HVAC guy went through and did airflow measuring/rebalancing at each air vent along with the return line itself.

Turns out, the return line was only sized for about 60% of what it should be. This creates negative pressure on the return, which pulls air into the unit from wherever it can... and this is almost always UNconditioned air.

Both old/new units were 4 ton. The old ran nonstop on days above 95.

The new one still cycles off/on like normal on 95 days, and the compressor never gets out of the first speed.

So, boys and girls, airflow matters. Duct sizing matters. Air leaks, especially HOT attic air, really matter. House has never been this comfortable either. Indoor humidity is lower also.
 

orbital

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Does anyone here have a modern metal roof?

My insurance agent tried talking me out of the idea several years ago, but on some houses (their roof line) they can look really good.
Sure they'll get hot during the day, but won't hold that heat for hours & hours & hours.

no ice dam issues either
 

IMA SOL MAN

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Does anyone here have a modern metal roof?

My insurance agent tried talking me out of the idea several years ago, but on some houses (their roof line) they can look really good.
Sure they'll get hot during the day, but won't hold that heat for hours & hours & hours.

no ice dam issues either
I once worked in a roofing company office. As I remember, standing seam metal roof was the best you could get. BUR was about the worst (flat roof with tar paper, tar and gravel). Sealed seam rubber roof was a step down from metal, but better than BUR (built up roof). We didn't do residential single family dwellings, mainly commercial roofs. We applied a spray on rubber like material, sometimes on top of foam. But yeah, I would love to replace my asphalt shingle roof with a metal one. Same goes for siding, would love to have steel siding.
 

fuyume

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When temperatures reach over 95F air conditioners typically strain to keep up with the heat gain.
Do you take extra precautions to reduce heat gain?
What is this "air conditioner" of which you speak. What sorcery is this?

I haven't lived in a home with aircon for over a decade. Precautions? I open the windows and night, put fans in the windows to draw cool night air through the house, then shut the windows early in the morning before the temperature rises, and close the double draperies to prevent the sun from heating up the interior as quickly. I live alone, so I don't need to wear clothing at home, and since I mostly work from home, I can avoid going out during the day, though by evening, the house gets pretty uncomfortable.
 

Poppy

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What is this "air conditioner" of which you speak. What sorcery is this?

I haven't lived in a home with aircon for over a decade. Precautions? I open the windows and night, put fans in the windows to draw cool night air through the house, then shut the windows early in the morning before the temperature rises, and close the double draperies to prevent the sun from heating up the interior as quickly. I live alone, so I don't need to wear clothing at home, and since I mostly work from home, I can avoid going out during the day, though by evening, the house gets pretty uncomfortable.
LOL, it is sorcery that comes in handy when the night time cool air is not below 68F.
There are locations where the night time cool air struggles to get below, 78F.
See.

Honestly, I do similarly to you regarding opening windows when it is relatively cool outside. I do pay attention to the relative humidity levels though also. I'm also aware that pollen counts are often higher in the morning, so there are other things to take into account, than merely the temperature.

I do confess to being a sorcerer though. I flip a switch, and magic occurs where hot air turns into cold air. It is a wonderful thing!
 
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