We own a house. It's a kind of large, built-in-the-50s, added-on-to-in-the-80s, sprawly ranch-style house, but with 2 bedrooms, with vaulted ceilings, on the second floor. (Our kids' rooms.) In the summertime, they get hot, because of a.) vaulted ceilings - I've blown in insulation where I could, but there's still only 4 inches between them and the roof; b.) open stairway to downstairs - keeping the doors to the rooms closed helps a little, but kids don't really "get" that; and c.) crappy ductwork - the furnace is new, but the ducts are old, and it's a long, bendy run from the basement to the kids' rooms. I'm toying with some options for trying to improve the comfort level in our house - you are not my HVAC specialist (and I'm not opposed to talking to one), but am trying to see if my logic is sound. Special melting snowflake details inside. [more inside]
I live in a 130-year-old house modernized with air conditioning that works reasonably well keeping the house a decent temperature through the summer. However, my kid's room gets warmer than any other room in the house. [more inside]
What are your go-to measures of comfort for the overheated summer dog in your life? [more inside]
With the summer about to come on strong, we're considering installing a whole house fan in our newly bought house (Los Angeles area). Before we take the plunge, I'd love to hear from anybody who has one, preferably in a climate like ours -- the good, the bad, and the ugly. Worth it or not? [more inside]
Experienced urbanites: What is the best method to use a fan to cool an apartment that only has windows on one side of the building? [more inside]
What am I not understanding about my HVAC system? [more inside]
Looking for a cool (as in chilly), inexpensive, gel-like patch to replace Lidocaine patches for a child with nerve pain. [more inside]
We have this furnace. In the summer it would be nice if we could run only the fan (We don't have central air), but according to the manual, Fan Only Mode requires the R and G thermostat contacts be wired. As you can see, only the RC/RH and W contacts are wired. Would simply swapping the orange wire from RC/RH to RH/G create the circuit needed for sweet, sweet fan action, or will it be necessary to run a new wire from G to the control board in the furnace, therefore requiring professional help? [more inside]
My apartment is on the top floor of a single family home. My landlord has advised that we open the skylights, one in the bathroom and one in the stairwell, to help keep the house cool. We have a window AC unit going in one of the rooms (a bedroom next to the bathroom with the skylight). It seems like opening skylights would let the cooler air out, like any window. What is the right move here to keep the apartment cool? [more inside]
I moved to the Pacific Northwest; absolutely none of the apartments I've toured feature air conditioning. How do I use the amenities I do have to improve comfort and quality of life? [more inside]
We stay in a cabin for a week each July. The cabin has no air conditioning. This is not usually a big deal, but last year we had 3-4 beastly days in a row and I was crabby and had trouble sleeping. I'd like some tips on dealing with the heat and humidity. [more inside]
I live in an open, large, loft-like apartment that gets face-meltingly hot in the New England summer. Easily near 100F in the afternoon. AC is impractical for such a big space. I've tried box fans, but I haven't found one that moves enough air to make a difference and even those were as loud as airplanes. An even faster fan sounds like a bad idea, but a much bigger and slower fan might just do the trick. Something like these, but preferably something that doesn't need to be permanently installed? Where does one find an enormous fan?
Who has had a powerful fan for longer than three years without it breaking or doing something irritating? What's the make and model? [more inside]
Conventional wisdom teaches us not to re-heat food. (Many do anyway, but that's another story). Many prepared meals are cooked (i.e. heated up) and then chilled and put into packets ready to be reheated (by oven or microwave). These ready meals often also say "do not reheat" on them. Some of them go into more detail with a curiosity-inducing sentence: "This ready meal has been cooled using a specialised process and should not be re-heated after home heating". My question is... what is this specialised process - why is it OK for them to cook and cool food ready to be re-heated, but not me! Is it just a sterile environment, or something more fascinating?
So we have started giving our baby some formula feeds (after advice from medical professionals. We are well aware of the benefits of breast feeding, and still do it as much as possible). [more inside]
Something I've noticed with the two electric floor fans I've had in the past few years is that, over the course of many months, the air flow becomes dramatically weaker. Why is this, and can it be remedied? [more inside]
I have a 2008 24" iMac that I've used BootCamp to get Windows 7 running. Issue: the fans never come on. [more inside]
The organization I run rents a large, old theater for once-a-week film screenings. Problem: the air conditioning is broken, and the theater doesn't have the capital to fix it before the summer ends. But we have screenings scheduled weekly through the end of August. Are there any good ways to keep a large space cool without a working AC system? (How did people keep cool in indoor spaces historically, pre-AC?) [more inside]
Does purchasing an external fan for a laptop work or are they just marketing? Mine can run a little warm when I am pushing it with games so I am considering a cooling pad.
I'm buying a portable air conditioner for our second-floor apartment. All our windows have openings at the bottom that are of the 2 panel slider variety, and no window unit will fit. Since I've never bought such a thing and I'm not very handy, I could use a few tips, especially concerning the feasibility of moving it from room to room every day. [more inside]
I was wondering if having a dead cooling fan in my Dell Vostro 1500 laptop would make the screen go wonky ? I purchased a new cooling fan, but I have no idea how to install it.
I would like some sort of cooler to store a pint of microgreens from Union Square Market this Saturday, for ≈2 hours. [more inside]
Is there a way to keep 8 bays of ink cartridges cool without air conditioning? [more inside]
Is there a sensor device or thermostat setup that can inexpensively switch on a fan based on the difference between two temperature points (one inside, one outside)? [more inside]
I bought a new (to us) house; the 2-zoned A/C worked very well for a week of very hot weather. Starting this weekend, it was having trouble cooling. The evaporator is not iced; the thermostat seems okay. What to look for? [more inside]
How do I choose a good portable air conditioner? Your help is welcome, details inside. [more inside]
Just replaced a 50-year-old tar/gravel roof with white shingles. This is in Florida. But now the house is hothothot, heat keeps rising, air-conditioner runs constantly but can't keep up! It's just after noon and 84 degrees in here! The roof is low-hip, the attic is a crawl space insulated to about R-30, there's a turbine on the roof and three passive vents. Still hot! Depressing after writing such a big check. Capable roofer says previous thick layer of tar/gravel probably insulated a lot. But now what's my next step? 1. Would a white latex coating be more cost-effective than a solar-powered vent? 2. Any other suggestions? Whew, and thanks!
Can you recommend a great fan or portable air cooler for travel? [more inside]
Do healthy, happy couples ever have periods where one or the other feels the ennui of "I love you, but I'm not in love with you?" If so, how do they resolve it? How do they decide if it's worth resolving?
I have air conditioning vents in the floor at the side of the room. The vents can be angled in different directions. If I put a large dresser against the wall, above a vent, with clearance of a few inches, will it be substantially detrimental to heating/cooling?
The fan in the power supply on my PC has been briefly cutting out, about once every 30 seconds. This makes the sound kind of annoying. Do I need to replace the entire power supply or can I just replace the fan? [more inside]
Apparently as the air system in our office building has degraded, the heat in our offices during the spring and fall when the AC shuts off has become unbearable as air that is hotter than outside is blown around. Bad for people, but worse for our server room. It has gotten to the breaking point and we need to do something. I'm looking for a way to cool off our servers in the transition periods between winter and A/C being turned on. [more inside]
Why does a processor seemingly run slower as it ages over years? [more inside]
What is the best way to cool a computer cheaply and easily? [more inside]
I'm overheating because my MacBook Pro's wrist areas get very hot. What's the best way to fix this? [more inside]
HVAC experts! I want a cool, dry basement home theater / jam room! [more inside]
Upstairs, Downstairs, A/C issues: how can I help the new A/C in my old house keep me cool? [more inside]
Even though I have central air, my large and sunny room is too hot for my heat-sensitive self. What strategies can I employ in order to keep it more tolerable in this hot, humid Jersey summer? [more inside]
I have a question about liquid cooling my PC, which I guess is not a mechanical question about the process as much as it is a physics question about the nature of heat transfer. I think. [more inside]
Does anyone have any good ceiling fan recommendations? [more inside]
Asking for a friend: What is the best cooling station for a Macbook (13", not Pro)? [more inside]
Bush league air conditioner -- a block of ice and a box fan. Where does the ice go for maximum efficiency? [more inside]
How can I keep my apartment cool? And what are my landlord's responsibilities in maintaining my air conditioner? [more inside]
My air conditioner has stopped...conditioning. I live in a condo on the north side of Chicago in an old conversion building. The furnace in my mechanical closet hooks to a AC unit on the roof, and for the last few days, it's been running full blast and can barely keep my unit below 80 degrees. I checked on the roof unit, and the fan is blowing cool air out. At this point, I'm pretty sure I need to call in a HVAC guy, but even the best reviewed places on Yelp are combinations of THANK YOU FOR SAVING MY LIFE and OMG SO OVERCHARGED. So, mefi, what do you recommend? If anyone here has any expertise in the field, I'd love to know whether you think this is something simple like a coolant recharge, or I'm looking at a new AC unit. My best guess is that the AC is about 5 years old, give or take.
My part of the house is never comfortable! Help us with our tri-level home heating/cooling issues. [more inside]
What are some ways, other than air conditioning, to cool a large room (~6,000 square feet)? [more inside]
We just moved into a new apartment, and our cat promptly decided to hide behind the fridge (~20 year old Inglis System 2000, freezer on top). When we pulled it out from the wall to get her out, we decided to give the back a vacuum. I'm not sure when or how the condenser coils popped out like this but now they won't lie flush with the back again. I'm assuming this is why our freezer is no longer freezing and our food has thawed (as we just moved in, we had nothing in the fridge). Any ideas? Thanks in advance?
Help me understand which home A/C unit to purchase! Our 27 year-old a/c unit failed in out house, blowing out it's 3rd motor in as many years. We've decided it's time to finally get a new one. We've gotten several bids from local companies are simply quite confused. [more inside]
Firstly, I apologize for asking about computer cooling, as I'm sure there are tons of questions about it, but my problem is with the specifics. The fans in my gaming computer have been running much more lately, probably due to the warmer weather making my room quite hot. (My current fans are adequate, the computer's never been above 128f, they're just loud and high-pitched) I salvaged 2 fans from older Dell desktops, but I'm pretty clueless about the many types of connectors involved. It looks like I'll be buying a fan controller, but first I need to know what connectors it needs to have. In addition, I want to make sure that the added fans won't be too much for my power supply In short, can you please give me advice on the best way to cool my computer, preferably with the fans I already have? [more inside]
Trying to figure out if I'm cool with my computer's cooling. What does this Cacti graph mean? [more inside]
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