“How to build a homemade air conditioner / evaporative cooler. I made this cooling system to save money on my summer electric bill. I used some wood scraps, a pond pump, some evaporative cooler pad, and a box fan to make a working swamp cooler air conditioning unit. It can achieve indoor temperatures that are 20+ degrees lower than outside temps.”
No Need for AC in Earthbag Houses
Reader comment: “I love your designs! I do have a question:
We live in Tucson. Metropolitan area (but not TOO metropolitan) hot most days, hot most nights because the buildings and concrete absorb the heat and release it. It can get cold in the winter (though not much below freezing), but the main issue is the heat. What if we took one of these earthbag designs and just buried it?
“A windcatcher is a traditional Persian architectural element to create natural ventilation in buildings. Windcatchers come in various designs: uni-directional, bi-directional, and multi-directional. Windcatchers remain present in many countries and can be found in traditional Persian-influenced architecture throughout the Middle East, including in the small Arab states of the Persian Gulf, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
“The dogtrot, also known as a breezeway house, dog-run, or possum-trot, is a style of house that was common throughout the Southeastern United States during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Some theories place its origins in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Some scholars believe the style developed in the post-Revolution frontiers of Kentucky and Tennessee. Others note its presence as far east as the Piedmont of the Carolinas from an early period. Architects continue to build dogtrot houses using modern materials but maintaining the original design.
Nirvana Home Energy System
“Imagine if your hot water heater could generate enough electricity to power your entire house, while still heating your water. That’s the promise of Nirvana’s Home Energy System. Using clean natural gas that’s already running to your house, our combined heat and power (CHP) system generates electricity, hot water and heat (for radiator-based home heating).
Pergolas and Porch Trellises
Do you like large shaded porches with lots of plants? Vine covered trellises help cool the earth around your home, block glare and add extended living space. They even help protect your walls by blocking blowing rain and snow… and they’re inexpensive and easy to build if you use local wood or salvaged materials. The pergola shown here uses rafters, posts and beams. Consider adding a view of the garden and surrounding area. And you might want to consider planting some edibles. How about some hanging grapes? One thing is for sure, the older I get the more I appreciate shady outdoor living areas versus being cooped up inside.