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Preparing for extreme heatwaves.
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 5324
Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well of course if the temperatures are against you use common sense and wait until sundown to turn the fans on. As to stale air I am referring to the approximately 11,000 liters of air each day an adult human exhales that has been stripped of oxygen and laced with CO2.
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woodburner



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, a small room of 3x3x2.5m holds 22.5m3, that’s 22,500 litres for just over 2 people for a day. If the room is bigger, and many are nowadays especially with many people preferring open plan accomodation, then that means loads more air. Going back to the small room with 2 people in it, and no ventilation, and with an approximation of 4,000ppm CO2 in exhaled air, that will raise the concentration to around less than 0.4% after a day, using your figure. If O2 is 20.9% then the stale air will still have 20.4% O2 after a day.

I agree ventilation is a good thing, and I don’t like draught proofed buildings.

However, instaed of turning the fans on at night, just open the windows.
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
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Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't forget the pets and the oxygen used by the gas cook stove etc.
Having wood burning stoves and a furnace I don't have to worry about it as I have an eight inch stove pipe venting into a thirty foot tall chimney year round. It is black fly season here so opening a window works as long as it is screened but in the heat of the summer more flow then what gravity will do is demanded by the management. Wink
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ReserveGrowthRulz



Joined: 19 May 2019
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Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The conversation seems to be all about avoiding the use of modern conveniences. Any reason why you just don't grab a window A/C unit to bring the particular room down to a nice temp when necessary rather than planning out an entire remodel to optimize (maybe) air flow during relatively uncommon events?

Back in my farm house days, hot days were just days. They happened, and not being sissified city folk, we did all the usual farm stuff. Played in the local creek, went hunting in the woods where there was plenty of shade and on the ridgelines a nice breeze, etc etc.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My suggestion to keep a battery operated fan was as a prep in case an extreme heatwave coincided with a power failure.
It would be cheaper and greener to use mains electricity whilst available, with a battery fan in reserve for emergencies.

I do have a portable air conditioner and use it in very hot weather, reluctantly due to the noise produced and the electricity consumed.

No good in a power cut though.

Heatwaves have killed significant numbers in the recent past, some of the victims might have survived if they had a mains operated fan, and a battery one in reserve.

I have no handy creek.
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
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Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:
My suggestion to keep a battery operated fan was as a prep in case an extreme heatwave coincided with a power failure.
It would be cheaper and greener to use mains electricity whilst available, with a battery fan in reserve for emergencies.

I do have a portable air conditioner and use it in very hot weather, reluctantly due to the noise produced and the electricity consumed.

Same here. Of course I'm up in the hills so it is seldom needed.
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kenneal - lagger
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Joined: 20 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The middle east thrived for a thousand years without the use of electric fans by using wind towers connected to a cool basement under a high mass house often with an artesian powered small fountain to add to the cooling. It's just proper design rather than the flimsy stick built houses which are common in many parts of the world.

Most UK houses have one or two people in an 8000 cubic foot (264 cu m) house. Keeping that air cool and reasonably fresh with the windows shut for 10 to 12 hours in even a hot UK climate shouldn't be a problem for the average masonry built UK house. Some houses might require some solar shading on the south or especially west elevations. What an average, light weight, stick built US built house would be like I don't know.

Air conditioning is a design failure.
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ReserveGrowthRulz



Joined: 19 May 2019
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Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:
My suggestion to keep a battery operated fan was as a prep in case an extreme heatwave coincided with a power failure.
It would be cheaper and greener to use mains electricity whilst available, with a battery fan in reserve for emergencies.


Locally, we use a natural gas fired generator wired into the main house electrical box. They became quite popular after the derecho that hit the east coast a few years back.

Main line power loss isn't even noticeable. Plus you can become quite popular among your neighbors if they have a decent extension cord.
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ReserveGrowthRulz



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal - lagger wrote:
The middle east thrived for a thousand years without the use of electric fans by using wind towers connected to a cool basement under a high mass house often with an artesian powered small fountain to add to the cooling. It's just proper design rather than the flimsy stick built houses which are common in many parts of the world.

Most UK houses have one or two people in an 8000 cubic foot (264 cu m) house. Keeping that air cool and reasonably fresh with the windows shut for 10 to 12 hours in even a hot UK climate shouldn't be a problem for the average masonry built UK house. Some houses might require some solar shading on the south or especially west elevations. What an average, light weight, stick built US built house would be like I don't know.

Air conditioning is a design failure.


Depends on what you temperature requirements are. Your method of "designing" the home around generating a user designated temperature is regulated..how? Sounds like we are describing two different design criteria for what "shouldn't be a problem".
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woodburner



Joined: 06 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vtsnowedin wrote:
Don't forget the pets and the oxygen used by the gas cook stove etc.
Having wood burning stoves and a furnace I don't have to worry about it as I have an eight inch stove pipe venting into a thirty foot tall chimney year round. It is black fly season here so opening a window works as long as it is screened but in the heat of the summer more flow then what gravity will do is demanded by the management. Wink


Gas cookers should have a dedicated combustion air supply in the UK
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A high mass, tightly built house to modern UK building regulations with good orientation or good solar shading in the UK suburbs or rural areas should keep in the mid twenties C for a week at least using night time cooling. That would feel comfortable with an outside temperature in the mid thirties C or above. In a city centre there could be a problem with urban heat island effects where the night time temperature doesn't drop much from the day time temperature.
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woodburner



Joined: 06 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vtsnowedin wrote:
Don't forget the pets and the oxygen used by the gas cook stove etc.
Having wood burning stoves and a furnace I don't have to worry about it as I have an eight inch stove pipe venting into a thirty foot tall chimney year round. It is black fly season here so opening a window works as long as it is screened but in the heat of the summer more flow then what gravity will do is demanded by the management. Wink


Gas cookers should have a dedicated combustion air supply in the UK
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The urban heat island effect needs addressing urgently as governments are locking the world into higher temperatures and sea level rise by sticking, or not depending on the government, to the 1.5 deg C rise in temperature.

This can be addressed by painting roofs with reflective paint and growing trees along roads among other things. Restricting air conditioner temperatures to higher settings would reduce the amount of energy that they dump into the environment. I've been in buildings in the UK where you have to put a jumper on in the summer because the aircon is set too low! 25C is quite OK with just a shirt and 30C might be necessary in the future. 21C feels cold with a high outside temperature.

Eventually many coastal cities will go under water anyway so won't be a problem any more.
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
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Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Gas cookers should have a dedicated combustion air supply in the UK

Good idea but not the practice here in the US. Even water heaters have a good exhaust vent but no provision to bring in the air needed for combustion outside of the buildings existing leaks and drafts.
As to air conditioning being a design failure it might be true in the UK but tell that to my daughters that live in Maryland and Atlanta. The Maryland daughter spent a year in Kuwait and thinks all the complaining about the heat in Maryland comes from a bunch of "sallies".
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adam2
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A heat wave is expected in many parts of the UK over the next few days.
Some forecasts suggest that the highest ever UK temperature record is likely to be broken.

It would therefore be well not only to review preps for extreme heat, but also to keep an eye on friends, neighbours and relatives who may be vulnerable to extreme heat.

The official HMG/NHS guidance is readily available on line, and is IMHO sensible with one exception.
They advise AGAINST the use of electric fans at temperatures over about 38 degrees, or blood heat.
This I can not agree with. Even at ambient temperatures in excess of body temperature, air movement whether naturally occurring or man made will assist in cooling as it promotes evaporation of sweat.
Still air at say 40 degrees will evaporate some sweat, fast moving air at the same temperature will produce greater evaporation.

All this evaporated liquid must of course be replaced, and ample fluid intake is of extreme importance.
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