June 16, 2021

How to Survive a Hot Summer on a Hot Planet—without Heating it Further.

Here’s how to Keep Cool, this Summer.

If you use an AC unit in a dry climate, here’s 5 benefits of switching to a Swamp Cooler.

If you care about climate change. If you care about staying cool on a hot summer’s day. If you care about saving money on your electricity bills. If you care about breathing cool, refreshing air…

It’s a vicious cycle: those of us who bike, the hotter it gets each year, the smokier it gets from fires from not enough rain from climate change…and…it’s getting too hot to bike.

Those of us who drive, idle more, spewing pollution at the rate of 3 packs of cigarettes per minute, so that we can scroll on our phones while waiting for x with the AC on.

But we can reverse this cycle. While this article is full of tips for those like me who live in dry climates, there’s some useful tips for all.

She asked me: You good? managing the heat?

Waylon: yes, swamp cooler! Feel great

get a portable one at [your local hardware store]

otherwise it’s brutal.

lt’s eco and affordable and easy to maintain.

My main tip: portable swamp cooler. A whole house swamp cooler is far better, but many don’t have that option. I have two, one for each floor, and we move ’em around constantly. I’m working upstairs–it’s hot to the point I’d be dripping sweat through my clothes, but the swamp cooler is waving all over me, keeping me cool.

Click below for the full thread, with comments.

What is your best tip for living in a Colorado Summer and why is it a Swamp Cooler?

Here’s another crowdsource, via my FB page. Enjoy! May we be cool—and of benefit!


Corwin: You can make a decent one for 20-30 bucks.

maybe because it uses water

Live in a house designed for the climate you’re in.

I just got help with my swamp cooler to get it back up and running. I was told the swamp cooler costs about 30 cents a day to run while A/C is about $5/day.
There’s more to it than that, but the simple math on electrical usage is quite stunning.

Have a back up pump for your swamp cooler on hand just in case. They only cost $30 and the hour you’ll save hunting one down at Lowe’s or Home Depot on a very not day will make a massive heat difference.

River lake creek repeat

Go to Glacier

Keeping those sports ice pack thingers in the freezer and putting them between my pillowcase and pillow at bedtime. Keeping a mostly full nalgene in the freezer so there’s icy cold water on hand if I’m out of the house for awhile, embracing my inner Edwardian and carrying a foldable fan. When I waited tables in the sun all day I would sometimes keep the next day’s undergarments in a paper bag in my freezer overnight – it’s SUPER bracing but ohhhh it does drop that core temperature fast.

Open up ALL windows at night, close them first thing in the morning before the heat enters your home.
Wear a wet scarf around your neck, keep re-wetting it whenever dry.
This is about balanacing yin (downward, cool, wet) with intense yang (rising, hot, dry). Be a steward of the yin. If anyone journeys with me to Chaco Canyon this is learned in spades.

Waylon Lewis
Megan Francine Dougherty this! Love this.
Megan that’s how we roll over here at our house too

Get a whole house fan and run it when the temperature drops in the evening with the windows open. Cools entire house sucking in air. Very effective, you feel the rushing air everywhere. Mornings are cool until 10ish. Until 5 or 6 go to your office, sit in the shade or get a fan. It’s not that bad.

Rise early, close up apt. or house, go out for a walk, come back, turn on a very loud ac unit. , very old in Senior housing, just like me. I turn it off, fan on. Blinds closed.

Leda Powers
Lisa K Moore All the air conditioners were new when installed in 2016 during the renovation. You should have seen what some people had before. They were old, mounted in the windows, blocking the light!! A huge improvement!

Good to know, Thanks Leda!

If you own your home, get a whole house fan. With MS, I can’t function above about 73 degrees. But I hate air conditioning for the environmental damage it causes and the cost. So I crack all the windows early in the morning when it’s still cool and run the fan for about 45 minutes. The air inside gets replaced with fresh morning air. Then I close up everything and don’t need the air conditioner until around 2:00 or 3:00. In the evening when things have cooled down, I run the fan again. It saves a lot of money and keeps the house fresh and cool.

Waylon Lewis
Fionna I need to find someone to install a WHF!

Waylon Lewis Probably any HVAC type person… or a construction type friend.

Fiona, is there a reason you chose house fan over swamp cooler? Thanks.

Waylon Lewis
Sanchez I love whole house swamp coolers. I wonder if SCs kinda serve same function as WHF, plus cooling water.

Sanchez Yes. I had a small house and used a portable swamp cooler for awhile. It was on wheels so you could easily reposition. But the maintenance was a lot, to keep mold from growing, and I had to put a tablet in the water to fight mold. Sometimes it got too humid in the room defeating the purpose. I suppose the combination of a whole house fan and a swamp cooler could work over AC if you don’t mind the maintenance. But a whole house fan can replace all the air in the house with fresh cool air, rather than pull in hot air and try to cool it off with moisture. I find the WHF is generally more effective.

Fionna this is the advantage of putting the swamp cooler on the roof. Very hot. Very dry. It sends moist air down but doesn’t have to sit in it. No mold.

Tom I’m not advocating against a swamp cooler, particularly. I’m quite sure a rooftop one still has filters of some kind though. I just found the roomsize ones okay but in the end less effective for me. And I prefer the morning fresh air. WHFs aren’t well known. Some people haven’t heard of them. I have a modern one that isn’t as noisy as old ones. I suppose that’s their downside…they are a bit noisy.

Best tip is to get yourself above 8,000′, at least. ?
John smart

I used to have a cabin, made by Paul Shippee with a stone and brick floor built right into the ground that really never got too hot (or cold). That burned last Sept. Now I’m in one of the prefab units near the main parking, call Stupa View, and realizing that a small fan and air movement is very effective in such a dry environment (at SMC).
I am wondering about these small swamp coolers though. Any reviews?

Waylon Lewis
Greg I have two, and we had two at our office, too! They’re amazing. Just have one window slightly open behind it somewhere, doesn’t have to be close, and point it at the room.

Waylon Lewis
I just visited your cabin!

Waylon Lewis You mean the remains?

Waylon Lewis
Greg Yes, PMd you.

Go hiking ? up at 12,000 and breath in the cool air and sunshine

Waylon Lewis
Melissa Alexander yes! Hopefully the air will be clean, too ❤ so many wildfires, these days.

Colorado Steve
Open windows, fans, umbrellas, gazebo, margaritas, hammock, more margaritas.
Waylon Lewis
Colorado Steve open windows > at night <

the evaporative cooling principle – and swamp coolers – work best in areas of low humidity

Robyn McCord O’Brien
Grow up in Houston, total swamp, then move to Colorado. Conditioning is everything!! ?

Breeze air swamp cooler on my roof keeps the indoor temp 20-25 degrees cooler than outside

Sleep outside, drink lots of water and be glad it’s not humid.

Talc down under it prevents chafing

Solar and refrigerated air. Easy Peasy and the solar directly powers the unit. Journeyman electrician husband for the win

Waylon Lewis
Ashley Nice! Don’t love AC, tho, many drawbacks.

Anybody here made this cooler?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxSLbpAwibg
Homemade Air Conditioner DIY – The “5 Gallon Bucket” Air Cooler! DIY- can be solar powered!

A whole house fan along with really good insulation does wonders…except for those with bad allergies and when there’s smoke in the air.

Waylon Lewis
Heather that exception is making Colorado rough in the summers ?

I lived on the west end of the creek for 14 years and, wearing a big t-shirt, I’d go lay in the creek for a little. Then I’d wear the t-shirt until it dried out. Coool for the rest of the day.

Waylon Lewis
Jenny doing this now! I go to creek/farmers ditch with dog/s many times a day to get feet/dog tummy wet.

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