Surviving summer heat with evaporative cooling

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by hot diggity, Jun 18, 2015.

  1. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    I've been using this cooling method for several hot Eastern NC summers now, and I thought others might find it useful. I work outside, usually seven days a week, so stuff like limiting sun exposure and staying hydrated are essential to survival. Staying comfortable hadn't been a priority when I was younger, and I suffered in the summer. It got worse when I got to where I had to wear glasses.

    Remembering a tip I'd learned from local construction workers when I was in Okinawa, I recognized the value of a damp towel around the neck for evaporative cooling. I had used the technique for several years after returning from overseas, but could only find the right size towel at Japanese specialty stores around here. These were usually white, flowery, and expensive. Not exactly like the ones I could buy by the bail at the DIY stores in Okinawa.

    DW found me a brown Chilly Pad at some housewares store, and its' been the best piece of summer survival gear I've ever owned. It required a little break-in, but like a comfortable pair of jeans or some good boots, after it was broken in it got even better. Constantly rinsed and wrung out in ice water (or whatever water I can find) it never gets smelly in use. If I leave it in the truck, and it stays wet, it might develop an odor, but I found the fix for that too. Just a couple caps of mouthwash in a wash basin of water, and you can wring all the bad smells out of the Chilly Pad.

    Nothing new about this idea for cooling. Swamp coolers, canvas water bags hanging outside old locomotives, and the Japanese o-shibori all use the same principle. Just add water. No power required, re-useable until it's just worn to tatters, stores well in winter once dry, light weight, and
    unless somebody figures out a way to tax evaporation, you get free cooling after you have your hands on one.

  2. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    The same principal can be applied to Houses.... Run a Sprinkler Hose along the Roof Peak, and turn it on, just enough, so that a few drips go into the Gutters, while keeping the Roof wet.... Heat of Adsorption will keep the Roof COOL, and remove much of the Heat from the House.... Note: Works best in Low Humidity Atmospheres.....

    NOT Approved, in Kommiefornia....
    chelloveck, Tully Mars and Ganado like this.
  3. KAS

    KAS Monkey+++

    they sell these bandana looking things in LA for wearing around your neck and and ankles and it has some little white balls in it like the ones in soil or in a diaper{ i think} you can find them in alot of safety supply places or granger and definalty walmart!!!!
  4. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    My Swamp Cooler is running, was on Low Fan, just kicked it up when I noticed the outside temp was 103, most days it's been in the lower 90's, 76 degrees inside now. Outdoor RH is 11%, indoor RH is 53%.
    Tully Mars and BTPost like this.
  5. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Yes, they call those things neck buddies. (I've had a few, and they do help. Though they always seem a little too short for me. The substance inside is available at garden supply shops called vermiculite (iirc) it is used to hold water near plants for less watering.
    It only needs about a table spoon per 24" with a cloth tube about 1"-1&1/2 diameter. When dry, you can feel the crystals.
    Witch Doctor 01, Hanzo and KAS like this.
  6. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey

    Another evaporation trick is to hang a damp sheet in an open window, especially on the east side of your house when the heat is at it's peak.
    KAS and Ganado like this.
  7. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    Personal misters are also a good idea. Back in my misspent youth I played with the Medieval Reenactors, and lemme tell ya, fighting in full armor is hot work. It wasn't authentic, but having a little spray bottle in your belt pouch and being able to give yourself a few refreshing spritzes thru the faceplate of your helmet really worked wonders. Water only captures a little heat as it warms up, but it takes a lot of heat with it when it evaporates. That's why even a little spritz of water can be so refreshing.
    KAS likes this.
  8. KAS

    KAS Monkey+++

    if you ever do that again get yourself an ice vest ...
    I belive viking makes them for divers ....and i think mascotts also wear them
    Tully Mars likes this.
  9. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    I put in a fogger system for my back porch (South), runs with an electric high pressure piston pump, like a pressure sprayer, except it's electric, I use it only on softened water I have the pressure set at 500 psi, the pump is in the garage, the nozzles are about 100' away, I bought at one of those farm catalog places (Farmtek), they were for cattle barns. They no longer sell them:(
    Tully Mars and kellory like this.
  10. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Wouldn't be hard to build from over the counter parts. I could do that (if needed) from parts I have now!;)
  11. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    It was a kinda nice setup, the pump came on a small pallet, with water filter already plumbed in quick disconnect 3/8" line (i.e. just push the plastic line into the fitting) and the sprayers are on a 10' stainless steel tube with 4 sprayers each. (I need to hook it back up since I winterized it...)
  12. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    I did move the porta cool from the garage to the back porch (where I spend most of my time) yesterday.
  13. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    You could go smaller scale with garden sprayers, an air compressor.
  14. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    You can use any cloth. A shemagh, an Indian gamcha (although big enough to use as a bath towel), high tech versions, or even an old t-shirt.

    You can use vermiculite in alcohol stoves too.

    @Bear and I were just talking about misters about two weeks ago, when it was stifling hot and humid.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 20, 2015
  15. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    I bought these to go around the canopies for our wedding reception. Afterwards I put a couple up on our deck. In the corner I have a 24" barrel fan blowing across the deck. Works REALLY well. Orbit 30060 Arizona Outdoor Misting System Basic 3/8-Inch Cooling Set: Patio, Lawn & Garden
  16. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    Thanks for the link, but that is really only a misting system, I've had that but when I installed the fogging system, it was like night and day. Fogging vaporizes the water, it never reaches the ground unless the humidity is like 90%, of course it costs more because you are running a 1HP high pressure pump.
    Tully Mars likes this.
  17. vonslob

    vonslob Monkey++

    Our evap cooler works well up to about 98 degrees after that it is marginal. At my folks I installed a window refrig unit, my mom has MS so she does not tolerate heat well. That refrig unit turns their bedroom into an icehouse.
  18. Pax Mentis

    Pax Mentis Philosopher King |RIP 11-4-2017

    I have misters running around the edge of our deck with fans at each corner. Easy, inexpensive and keeps it cool in our unusually hot summer.
    Ganado and Tully Mars like this.
  19. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    A box fan, old cooler, some rubber hose (1/4") some 1/$' copper coil, an aquarium pump 2 frozen gallon jugs , a power source and assorted hardware will cool you down in a jiffy......attach the copper tubing to the intake side of the fan housing with some zip ties, clamp a piece of rubber hose to each end, drill a hole in the lower end of the cooler, place one end of the hose inside and attach to the submergible aquarium pump out flow and seal around the hose with silicon caulk or waterproof glue... drill a hole in the top of the opposite end an place the other piece of hose in the hole and glue/caulk . place both jugs of frozen water in the cooler ...add water around them and turn on the pump and fan... enjoy the cool breeze of your home made A/C...:D
    chelloveck, BTPost, kellory and 2 others like this.
  20. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    I personally have a central air, ground exchange A/
    C, however I think central air is for convenience, you could get by just fine with window air conditioners if you were to use them actively to control the temperature of that room, i.e. turn them down/off when you leave that room.
    vonslob and oldawg like this.
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