Here’s a treat for you DIYniacs…

I forgot all about this! Could maybe have used it a couple of days ago, but it’s never too late…

Yes, the classic Redneck AC Unit has arrived at the Lair. Landlady made this last weekend and left it at the Meadow House. She hoped it would cool down the bedroom, and declared herself unimpressed. I delivered some eggs there this morning and remembered that I was supposed to pick it up and put it through its paces. I’ve got frozen water jugs in Ian’s freezer, so this afternoon we’ll see if it has any measurable effect on the Lair’s summer indoor temps.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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10 Responses to Here’s a treat for you DIYniacs…

  1. Ben says:

    Let’s do the math. The smallest window unit that you can normally buy is around 5000 btu/hr. So let’s compare:

    It takes a certain number of BTUs (damn those Brits) to freeze water. When you melt the water, you get that same amount of energy back. In fact, it comes to 144 BTUs per pound of water. So if you have 30 pounds of ice in that chest, you will net about 4300 BTUs of cooling, about the same as running that little window unit for 45 minutes.

    And yes, that should be enough to cool a small bedroom noticeably, but then there would be nothing left to keep it cool.

  2. M.Silvius says:

    You may wish to look in to a John Wells DIY Pepino Swamp Cooler
    He has a set of videos titled “cool project” on his channel on youtube

  3. Mark Matis says:

    I believe you’ll find that the problem with a swamp cooler for the Lair is the water hardness issue. Swamp coolers work by evaporating water, which is fine for desert environments. However, the hardness in that water has to go somewhere, and VERY LITTLE of that evaporates. And calcium crust buildup cuts swamp cooler efficiency fairly drastically.

    Once again, what’s the current battery capacity for the Lair o’ Sparks? Would a 5000 BTU Window AC run for an hour or two be a rational option? And would that take the edge off enough to make it worthwhile?

  4. Joel says:

    Mark is right. Swamp coolers are popular in town, since they only require enough juice to run a squirrelcage fan and a small water pump. If fairly constantly serviced to clean the calcium off the filter screen and out of the flow valve, they’re better than nothing.

    Problem with using one off-grid, in addition to the problems caused by the very hard well water, is that they’re really of no use if you wait till it gets hot to turn them on. They’re feeble things, they can only absorb heat by blowing air through a thin screen of evaporating water. You really need to start them when it’s cool and run them till it gets cool again, all through the dry heat season. If you have the electricity to do that and you’re willing to clean the screens a couple of times a week, they’ll do you some good. Even then you’re still gonna sweat.

  5. Robert says:

    Let’s not even think about what would like to grow inside the cooler; like legionaires disease and uh, stuff.

  6. Joel says:

    Yeah, a swamp cooler in a place like Louisiana or Florida would be … well, a swamp.

    But you can only end up with more of what you start with, and waterborne pathogens are not a big desert problem.

  7. Mark Matis says:

    Yeah, but at least you ain’t likely to end up with a herd of gators like we get in them swamps down here!

  8. Robert says:

    Good point, Joel. I just read a bit on a CDC site about waterborne pathogens and it makes me think how much I would like a cold beer right now. Hmm. Gotta go. Stay hydrated.

  9. Ed says:

    Out of curiosity I tried this type of cooling with a small room humidifier, an old kenmore 2-gallon non misting unit. Backed up to an exterior wall vent in the garage, cracks around it stuffed with rags, the 110° outside air Is chilled into 78° inside air. Not bad. The media isn’t as damp as it could be, so it’s warmer than a true swap cooler, but it does take the edge off the temps.

To the stake with the heretic!