We do not have an HVAC system. This was a decision we made early on based on the type of house we were building and the amount of electricity we were going to be producing. If we had built a typical one story earthship this would not have been a huge problem. However, we didn’t. We instead built a gigantic loft for our second story. This did nothing to help retain a steady temperature. Normally it isn’t a huge deal, except when it is either below 20 F or above 90 F outside. We are currently melting. We have four fans blowing, and when it’s breezy outside we have two windows and both doors open. It isn’t helping.
Chris has spent the last few weeks researching ideas on how to cool the house without relying on the solar panels and wind turbine to run it. He has decided that the liquid desiccant system would be the best option for us. I’m not an expert on these things and will probably mess up the description of how it works, but basically it takes moisture from the air, then the desiccant is removed from the home where it is heated to release the water, then it’s cooled and moved back into the house to repeat the process. As of right now it looks like we will need to power a few small pumps and fans, and the entire system should cost possibly a couple thousand dollars at most. The most expensive part of the process will probably be the part outside where the desiccant is cooled before it comes back into the house. We would like to use the water cistern that we currently use for water collection and try having a well drilled again. We aren’t convinced that they even tried to drill a well when we had them come out four years ago. Neither of us were able to be home the day that they drilled and since then we have dug out part of the area that was supposed to have been drilled and have seen no indication that the area was even disturbed. The whole situation back then was really sketchy. We have a wet weather creek bed that runs through the middle of the property and this is originally where we wanted to have it drilled but they insisted on drilling by the driveway. Regardless, this probably wont happen for another few years since it could cost up to $12,000 to have one well put in. It would be nice to have constant access to water and not have to worry that the cistern was running low. Right now this is working for us even if it does mean we have to spend three hours filling the cistern if it hasn’t sufficiently rained in over a week.
In the meantime Chris still needs to do some testing to make sure the cooling system will work the way we think it should. Hopefully it does and we can set up even a smaller system to cool the house while we save for the well. Until then we will be puddles of goo in this awful heat. It is currently 4 am and the temperature upstairs is 90. This doesn’t bode well for the rest of the day.
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