The Anonymous Widower

Coping With Solar Gain

I’ve now found out why it is that my health has got worse since I moved into my new house. The picture shows my south-facing windows.

My South-Facing Windows

The house is probably highly insulated, has under-floor central heating and I suspect that the floor slab between the two floors is fairly immense and thus takes not only a long time to heat up, but a long time to cool down. At times, when I’ve been away for a couple of days in the cold, it seems that it’s almost taken another few days to get the house warm.

But when it gets hot, it gets very hot, as the light coming through the windows warms the house by the same principle used in somewhere like the Palm House at Kew Gardens. I have measured a temperature of 30 degrees.

To make matters worse, I also have a roof light.

My Substantial Roof Light

Not only does the house get hot, but also the air inside gets very dry. This means that my throat, ears, eyes and skin are all very dry. This article on Dry Skin and Winter Itch led me in the direction I have gone. Firstly, I installed this simple meter on the wall.

Combined Barometer, Thermometer and Hygrometer

So that I could measure everything properly.

I also purchased a humidifier from John Lewis to try to get the humidity between 50 and 55%.

Bionaire BU7000 Humidifier

I then turned the heating down as low as it would go and still maintain a temperature of about 22-23 degrees and used the humidifier to adjust the humidity to a comfortable level.

Then I did the difficult bit and decided to have a lukewarm bath every other day to moisturise my skin. My ears and eyes have definitely got better, but my throat has only marginally improved. That could be because of the cold outside, as it’s very dry there.

I’m now trying to see if I can cut the solar gain in the room, by some simple passive method like the right blinds. This article has been a help.

So what am I going to do first.

If you read the article, it indicates that one of the best systems is to use a blind or curtain, with a pelmet and a vent. I’ve tried a simple John Lewis blind to see that it looks like.

a Test Blind

Four of these cut to fit two to each window might be a good start.Note that the opening top windows can be used as the vent. And of course the blinds can be adjusted up and down for light control and visual security. For the pelmet, I might seriously consider a U-shaped one, that also acted as a shade for an LED ropelight to downlight the windows internally at night.

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February 5, 2012 - Posted by | World | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. [...] women’s football on Tuesday, I got talking to an air-conditioning engineer.  I said about my solar gain problems and how I’d improved the atmosphere by installing [...]

    Pingback by Air-Conditioning « The Anonymous Widower | August 2, 2012 | Reply


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