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Old 05-01-2008, 08:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Saving on A/C Costs

I don't know how many of you use your air conditioner during the summer, but in the Southwest you would have to be tough not too. While thinking about swamp coolers, I remembered a technique I saw while watching Living with Ed...

Depending on your local climate, the A/C condenser can be aided along with evaporative cooling. Placing water misters along the sides of the condenser will cool the ambient air up to 30F. The cooler the air the condensor receives, the less it has to work to liquify refrigerant.

As water is usually scarce in any areas this would be useful, I'd consider diverting waste water from showers, sinks, etc. to the misters. Just a thought.

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Old 05-01-2008, 10:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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One thing I'm considering this summer is a simple shade structure for the unit. Ours is on the west side, so it gets full afternoon sun. Some sort of box or shelter to keep the direct sunlight off it should help.
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Old 05-02-2008, 02:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Well, if you have central air, as I do, you can put a small window unit in your bedroom at night and only cool that one room. Also Bedfans (TM) and other fans help: http://www.bedfan.com/
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Old 05-02-2008, 03:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I saw this on Living With Ed once: http://www.coolnsave.com/splash.html



It is Energy Star approved.
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Old 05-02-2008, 03:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Cool

Wow, I may consider this device if it works. My A/C costs and consumption are the highest value in the home throughout the year.

It makes sense, and my compressor could use all the help it can get.

Anyone here have one?

RH77
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Old 05-02-2008, 08:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RH77 View Post
Anyone here have one?

RH77
Not yet but I'm going to buy or make one. Thanks for posting that Arminius.
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Old 05-02-2008, 10:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
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You can do a few things.

1. Tint your windows

2. Cycle your A/C (in combination with #1)

3. Install an underdrive crank pulley on your car that will spin all your accessories slower.
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Old 05-02-2008, 12:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Sorry Johnny grey, we are talking about Homes, not cars.

I've already done something similar with a sprinkler valve, some misters, a 220 rated wal wart and a non leaky hose. Works OK in South louisiana.

I want to do something heat excange related direct to the freon pipes, basically just a wrap around with copper tubing and some solder. I'm planning on recirculating pool water right now, but may be "geothermal" still weighing options.
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Old 05-02-2008, 06:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arminius View Post
I saw this on Living With Ed once:
That's the thing I remembered.

The biggest limitation to the technique is your local climate. Evaporative cooling is dependent on the local humidity. If it's hot and humid outside, as I suspect most of the midwest is during the summer, then it will not work very efficiently. The southwest, where it is often hot and dry, allows the latent heat of vaporization of water to absorb energy from the air.

Great ideas about the shade and portable wall unit...I hadn't thought of those.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dremd View Post
I want to do something heat excange related direct to the freon pipes...
That got me thinking. I know at least one freon tube is routed to my house above ground. It is only insulated with a degraded foam sleeve. Wouldn't the efficiency go up by:

1.) Shading the pipe from direct sunlight?
2.) Increasing the quality and quantity of insulation around the pipe?

If your "geothermal" method works, be sure to post about it.

- LostCause

Last edited by LostCause; 05-02-2008 at 06:28 PM..
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Old 05-02-2008, 07:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Arminius -

Thanks for the Cool-N-Save stuff. I am going to look into this. I am an *OGRE* when it comes to using AC. What I want to do is close off the kitchen so that it is the only room to be cooled when the heat hits this summer. ... Reading about Cool-N-Save ... Hmmmm, maybe it won't work for window units. I have a 1.5 ton (18000 BTU) AC unit, and Cool-N-Save appears to be designed for a free-standing AC unit.

PaleMelanesian -

Our single AC unit is on the South Side, so I should do the same. Just been a lazy SOM.

...

I've done a lot of research on solar powered swamp coolers, but have never pulled the trigger because it's pricey and I am worried about evaporative pad maintenance. Here is one I have been tempted to try :

Solacool
http://www.partsonsale.com/solacool.html


google google google ... found some (obsolete?!?!?) prices (sans solar panels I bet) :

Re: Solar A/C Systems Available? - Fri Jun 21, 2002 way too out of date!!!!!!!
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/solar-ac/message/712
Code:
MODEL: DIM (H x L x W): FAN: CFM: ACTUAL WATTS: RECOMMENDED PV:

1212 HP 18.5 X 19   X 17 12" 800 25 DAH:40    30 - 45 W $533.00

1224    18.5 X 19   X 17 12" 1200 56 DAH:45   75 - 90 W $549.00

1612 HP 21.5 x 20.5 x 21 16" 1400 35 DAH:56   35 - 55 W $604.00

1624    21.5 x 20.5 x 21 16" 1800 60 DAH:48   65 - 80 W $588.00

2012 HP 26   X 21.5 X 25 20" 2400 49 DAH:78   60 - 75 W $659.00

2024    26   X 21.5 X 25 20" 2500 69 DAH:55   80 - 90 W $667.00

2212 HP 28.5 X 22   X 37 22" 3300 53 DAH:84   65 - 75 W $749.00

2212 ES 28.5 X 22   X 37 22" 1700 21 DAH:34   30 - 40 W $749.00

2224    28.5 X 22   X 37 22" 2600 61 DAH:49   80 - 90 W $777.00

3012 ES 35.5 X 22   X 37 30" 3000 24 DAH:39   30 - 40 W $919.00

3012 HP 35.5 X 22   X 37 30" 5000 75 DAH:120  90 - 120 W $888.00

3024 HP 35.5 X 22   X 37 30" 5200 80 DAH: 64 100 - 120 W $924.00
Here's another pricesheet that looks similar :

Solacool prices and specifications
http://www.partsonsale.com/solacoolspecs.html

From what I dimly remember, I *think* I would like the 2012 HP because it is 12 volts and requires a 20" wide window.

CarloSW2

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