karel: (Carlisle ► vampire baseball)
[personal profile] karel posting in [community profile] homeeconomics101
So I've been looking around Google for this, and it seems like I'm just phrasing things wrong (and that there's too many other things "fan" describes), so I figure that this could be a question that might help others a little too.

My air conditioning recently went out, and while insurance is covering the cost of replacing the unit, it's going to be a few days, and it's Las Vegas in the summer. I have a few fans on my hands, and I was wondering if anyone can recommend placement of them for maximum cooling efficency. I have a big box fan, a mini desk fan, and one on a stand. I've already got the rooms I don't use and don't need to cool all closed up. I also have west-facing windows covered, and since it's a condo in a building, the rest of the windows are pretty well-protected.

Any other general tips for keeping cool in the summer with or without ac?

Date: 2011-07-21 05:56 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] pippin
Dry or humid?

Date: 2011-07-21 06:04 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] pippin
Ah! Well, an easy thing then is using water and ice. Don't just wet your face, but wipe down your arms and legs and stomach and back and ears too! If you have a floppy hat, soak it in water and leave it on your head. Likewise, soaking sweat bands for your neck can be good.

Try to keep lights off, don't use the oven, etc. I've heard that you can kinda make an AC with a fan and a bucket of ice water, but I've never done that myself.

(And I think the best placement would be "all pointing directly at you" but I can happily deal with higher temperatures as long as I have airflow so ymmv.)
Edited Date: 2011-07-21 06:06 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-07-21 06:12 pm (UTC)
jenna_thorn: a cowboy hat and Texas flag bedecked Dreamsheep (Texas Dreamsheep)
From: [personal profile] jenna_thorn
the keyword is swamp cooler, but basically, you put cool moist air into the stream of air coming at you. Hanging a wet towel (carefully, so it doesn't get caught in moving parts) is the low tech option. there are higher tech plans on the 'net, but I don't know how much energy and time you want to put into it.
Edited (to add the Wikipedia link) Date: 2011-07-21 06:13 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-07-21 06:17 pm (UTC)
zillah975: Painting of my Night Elf, Tyrnathera Stormcaller (Default)
From: [personal profile] zillah975
You might want to stop by the gas station or grocery store and pick up a bag or two of their ice. It'll definitely help. :)

Date: 2011-07-21 06:37 pm (UTC)
rhi: Two fluffy kittens, inside front paws raised.  "It was him.  He did it." (pawpointing by lanning)
From: [personal profile] rhi
Even a bowl of ice water between the fan and you would help a lot. Make sure it's a good solid one the cats can't knock over, however. Good luck to you and the cats!!!

Date: 2011-07-21 06:16 pm (UTC)
zillah975: Painting of my Night Elf, Tyrnathera Stormcaller (Default)
From: [personal profile] zillah975
I've heard that you can kinda make an AC with a fan and a bucket of ice water, but I've never done that myself.

This kept me alive in college. I was in a dorm with no A/C in southwestern Arkansas, and the best way to keep cool overnight was to position the fan pointing right at the bed, and put a bucket of ice in a bowl directly in front of the fan, so the air blows sort of into and over it. By morning the ice is water, but it really helped a lot. With the kitties in play, you could try one in front of each fan, let the fans oscillate, and the kitties will probably flop out in front of the breeze.

Unless they're like my cat, who, on the hottest days, always found the hottest place in the house for napping. :)

Date: 2011-07-21 06:23 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] pippin
We give our cats refridgerated water in summer, and a friend puts ice blocks in her cat's water (doubles as a play toy).

I guess just make sure you've brushed them well, and help them find tiles to sleep on.

Ours will quite happily sleep in the sunlight when it's above 40°C though, so.

Date: 2011-07-21 06:39 pm (UTC)
jenna_thorn: auburn haired woman wearing a tophat (Default)
From: [personal profile] jenna_thorn
Also, if it's of help, we did a go 'round of this last year or so (sorry, it was in my journal, but it took me a while to find it).

Bunches of tips there.

Date: 2011-07-21 06:04 pm (UTC)
boundbooks: Zhang Ziyi (Default)
From: [personal profile] boundbooks
Keep the blinds/shades drawn. Filtering the sunlight can really help cut down on heat.

Check the indoor vs outdoor temperature before you open windows in the morning. If the outdoor temperature is higher than the indoor temperature, then keep your windows shut.

If the outdoor temperature is cooler, put the big box fan in the window itself.

That's all I can think of for now!

Date: 2011-07-21 06:37 pm (UTC)
chalcopyrite: White arches holding large bells, against a backdrop of blue water and a distant coastline (seasons: summer: sun-drenched sea)
From: [personal profile] chalcopyrite
Oh, you have so much sympathy from me.

When we lived in Texas (and had AC but couldn't afford the electricity to run it), we found that putting a big fan in a window facing *out*, and opening another window as far away as possible, cooled the apartment down faster than the fan blowing in. I bet you could put a bowl of ice on the windowsill of the "in" flow and introduce some moisture that way, though less efficiently than if it's in front of the fan.

Another thing I did was, when going to bed, just get a t-shirt wet in tap-cold water, squeeze it out, and wear that to bed. You might want a towel under you so less water ends up on the mattress, but it seemed like it dried right out of mine during the day.

Date: 2011-07-21 11:16 pm (UTC)
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
I used ice bottles, in Arizona. Fill a water bottle that won't be destroyed by the freezer partway full, pull out at bedtime, fill the rest of the way with cold water. (If the water is softened with salt, you may need to rinse off the top layer before filling or it'll be horribly brackish.) Wrap in towel. (I suppose I could have also sewn together a towel bag.) Take to bed, wrap self around.

Date: 2011-07-21 06:27 pm (UTC)
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong

Date: 2011-07-21 06:32 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] alphaviolet
Well, on a physical level, you could do this: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heat_guide.asp

Date: 2011-07-21 06:35 pm (UTC)
weaverbird: (Summer)
From: [personal profile] weaverbird
At night - once the outdoor temps drop below the temp indoors - I suggest opening windows and putting fans in one or two of them blowing outward. This way the fans will pull the hot air out, while cooler air will pour in through all the other windows. If there is a breeze outside, put the fans in the windows on the opposite side of your condo, so that the breeze works with you, instead of against. Early-early in the AM, before the temps start to rise, shut off the fans and close the windows up tight and curtain them. Using the fans this way is much more efficient than having them blow inward - the house cools off much better and stays cool longer, in my experience!

Date: 2011-07-21 06:50 pm (UTC)
weaverbird: (Summer)
From: [personal profile] weaverbird
Actually, I never use inward-facing fans at all. I use my fans on the downwind-side windows, all facing outward. Having an inward-facing fan stirring up the air seems counter-productive, so I just let the exhaust fans pull all the hot air out, while cooler air flows steadily and smoothly in through all the other windows. I've cooled my place this way for, oh, 35 years? Something like that. It works like a charm.

Also, if I run a fan during the day, when the house is shut up tight (a very rare occurrence) I arrange it to blow past me but not directly at me. That way, I don't feel like I'm suffocating if I have to walk away from the fan for whatever reason. *g*

Oh, and I do all my cooking at night with an exhaust fan in the kitchen window, and package up the meals in plastic containers or dishes. Then during the day, I can just microwave things and which doesn't heat up the kitchen the way the stove would.

Date: 2011-07-21 06:53 pm (UTC)
syntheid: [Elementary] Watson drinking tea looking contemplative (Default)
From: [personal profile] syntheid
Yeah, generally you want to suck the hot air out of the place it tends to collect. So if you can do an exhaust fan in a hot room and an intake in a cooler room, you'll get the air flowing through and push the hot air out and replace it with cooler air.

Though the other key is to make sure that in the morning, you make sure you shut off the intake before it gets too hot. (While shuttering up entirely probably does keep the temp down better, I find it's easier for me to just leave the exhaust on even if it's hot outside, so there's some airflow, but ymmv?)

Date: 2011-07-22 02:07 pm (UTC)
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
From: [personal profile] kyrielle
If you can afford another fan and the other tips don't do it, get a tornado fan. The years we didn't have AC - but where I live it does NOT get as hot as where you are - I loved my tornado fan for moving air.

Make sure it's one with tight enough structure that the cats can't get into it (have never seen one that WASN'T that well made, but...), and DO NOT leave anything that a good wind can blow around near it on either side.

Yeah, we won't mention my stack of papers. We can't; it ceased to be a stack.
ironed_orchid: pin up girl reading kant (Default)
From: [personal profile] ironed_orchid
I'm from a place with dry heat during the day that cools down at night, and we open all the windows to let the cooler air through at night, then close them and close all the curtains and blinds around dawn.

If you have any windows that are up high, you could open those up, but just a crack, during the day, to let the hot air out.

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