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My air conditioner is broken beyond repair, any ideas on how to keep the house cool until we move? Answered

The people we rent our house from decided to "fix" the air conditioning to the house by getting rid of the unit for the upstairs and just making the duct for the one downstairs bigger. Now the ducts are basically clogged with dust because there's no filter that will fit the main intake and the main unit keeps freezing up because it can't handle cooling the entire house. We live in Florida, so it get's very hot, very fast.

We're currently looking for a new house, but does anyone here have any creative cooling ideas for until then?

I currently have fans upstairs blowing all the hot air out, which is working a little bit.



Best Answer 7 years ago

I think you are already doing this but pull air through the house (fan pointing out a window), don't push it in. Also if the fan is upstairs don't open any other upstairs windows besides the fans. That should help flow.

Also if you have a crawl space or basement that's cooler and opens into the house you can open that to draw to cool air out. (If you do this close all the downstairs windows so you aren't drawing from the outside.)

I think this post will help you a lot http://www.wikihow.com/Cool-Yourself-Without-Air-Conditioning.

By the way visit http://www.rileyheatandair.com for any HVAC service in Maryland, Washington DC & Upper Marlboro :)

Ok so im not gonna lie, even though this is waaaaaay late, im having the same problem but heres what i suggest if it ever happens again, get a sandwich bag and fill it with water and stick it in the freezer for half an hour, take it out and put it on your fore head! Works for me, if that doesnt help, take a cold shower, place a towel on your bed naked, just make sure no fans are on, or you cold get hypothermia. But it cools off a ton, hope this helps next time your ac breaks,

Creative, eh? Sit next to buckets of dry ice, might work :P

Dry ice is CO2 frozen. Be careful of it in small enclosed places, you could die from lack of oxygen if your not careful. Its heavier than air so it pools in the low places. A dog laying on the floor would be the first to go.

Tough situation, since you live in Florida and the humidity is generally so high that typical solutions that would work in a drier climate just won't cut the mustard.

I'd say you're either gong to have to clean the ducting or get a few more fans to keep the air circulating wherever you "live" in the house.

Try blowing the air over a bucket of Ice (dry ice better) or even through a wet sheet or bamboo beach mat - keep it wet lowers air temp by around 10 deg C.

Wet your sheets and go to bed. Evaporating water cools.

Stop air conditioning your environment and allow your body to get used to the heat - You will acclimatise. Shower often.

If it's a trailer or has an OLD (needs replacing anyway) roof, you may convince to owner to let you paint the roof WHITE using hydrated LIME. It will only cost you LESS than 15 dollars to paint the whole roof... and the temperatures in the ATTIC will be reduced by about 40 degrees F... which means temps in the house will go down at least 10 degrees. Every degree helps. My house went from about 92 degrees down to aabout 82. See Dave's White Roof Experiment here (this was written by me, framistan)


If you can't PAINT the roof... maybe you could put a WHITE painters drop-cloth over most of it for temporary. That wouldn't hurt anything and would reflect heat or shade the roof.



First step, stop energy from entering...

THEN consider removing extra heat if needed.

well, look at some methods of evapouration.

this will work, but it will take a while to work unless you dont mind having a room full of alcohol vapoures.

get a tub and place a tube or long bent pipe threading through the base of this tub, making sure though it wont leak.

now, place a towel above and below this pipe, and soak with water or something which evapourates fast.

now find a way to have air flow through your pipe, perhaps a small pc fan inside a larger segemnt of pipe
, and also have air blow across the wet towels, so the air flows into your tub, into the towel, then out again, .

congratulations, you now have a basic air conditioner, if kept running should lower the room temp by 10 degrees celcius at the most, im not sure how much that is in faranheit, but i too live in humid tropics, just as close to the equator, and i can tell you, it makes the air more bearable, though nothing beats a real air conditioner.

the way this works is the same as why you feel cold after coming out of a shower, which is because whater the water evapourates off, due to air movement, not heat, will cool down, and whats happening is the pipe is cooling down, and the air passing through is thus also cooling down.

this is how a liquid amonia fridge works as well

Window air conditioners work. You don't have to cool the whole house, just the bedroom and maybe one other room you'll spend most of your time in.

Reflective/insulating curtains and/or window films, to block IR coming in that way? (May make you feel like you're living in a cave, admittedly.)

Move into the basement? Oh, that's right -- Florida, water table a few inches below ground level, no basements. Pity; a basement, like a cave, tends to settle closer to the year-round average temperature.

Go visit the relatives in Maine?

Filter can be solved -- get one or more filters which will almost fit, and duct-tape in place. Not great, but better than nothing. May be a bit late for that, from what you've said.

Move downstairs. Seriously. I have a downstairs guest room which I've sometimes moved into when the upstairs bedroom was too hot.

Fans do help.

I don't face Florida conditions, but I use a combination of one large-ish window AC for the living room/dining room/kitchen area, smaller ones for the office and bedroom, an ancient and wimpy "spare" unit for other rooms when necessary, and fans to help move the air around. NOT usually all on at once.

I picked most of these up used, so they aren't Energy Star rated by today's standards, but they aren't awful... and odds are that I could probably unload them for not much less [TYPO FIXED] than I paid for them.

Yes, they run up my electric bill. Would you rather have money or comfort?