A Nifty Tip for Keeping Your House Cool When the Grid Goes Down

thermometerWhen most preppers imagine all the ways that a collapse of the power grid could hurt civilization, they usually think of our food distribution networks, water systems, financial networks, and the internet. But one thing that usually isn’t at the top of that list of concerns, is the heating and cooling of our homes.

That’s probably because we know that human beings have lived in extremely hot and cold climates for generations, and many of us just assume that if the grid goes down, we’ll find a way to deal with the temperature outside. This is no small matter however, especially when it comes to air conditioning. If it weren’t for the invention of AC, there would be tens of millions of people who never would have bothered moving to the Southern US or the Southwest. A city like Phoenix would never have 1.5 million people without affordable AC units in every home. If the grid went down now, a large swath of the American population would be living in a climate that they have no idea how to deal with.

And unlike heating, there really aren’t any comparable non-electric alternatives to cooling your home. If you lived in the northern climbs of the US, then you probably aren’t far from sources of firewood, but non-electric cooling methods never work as well as an AC unit. Swamp coolers work really well and use very little electricity, but that’s about as good as it gets. Plus, they only work well in low humidity environments.

While unpowered cooling methods simply can’t compete with AC units, there are still some methods of cooling your home that can take the edge off the heat. One of the newest methods involves a device called the Eco-Cooler, and it is incredibly simple.

The Eco-Cooler is nothing more than a board filled with half cut soda bottles. It works by compressing and cooling outside air before it enters your home. It’s just like when you exhale with an open mouth the air is warm, but when you purse your lips and blow, the air that comes out is cool.

eco-cooler youtube

The board is placed over a window; preferably one that is facing the wind. The air goes into the bottles, gets compressed and cooled as it’s pushed into the neck, and then cool air enters your home. The only concern that isn’t addressed in the building instructions, is the possibility of bugs entering your home through the holes. I’d wager that a mesh of some kind could be easily added over the holes, which might actually help compress the air even more.

As stated previously, it’s no match for the air conditioning unit that you probably have in your home right now, but in an emergency the Eco-Cooler can reduce the temperature inside your home by about 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Not bad for a non-electric device that’s made out of trash.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published June 20th, 2016
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  • Kula Farmer

    I wonder if something like this could be used to cool a root cellar if you live in a warmer climate?

  • unreconstructed

    Old houses were designed to aid cooling. They had tall ceilings — two to four feet taller than more modern houses — so that the heat would rise well above one’s head. Also, they usually had a hall that ran from one end of the house to the other with a door at both ends to aid the movement of breeze through the house.

  • Jackson

    If you live in a house with more than one floor, a very effective way of keeping the daytime temp down during hot weather is to keep the window shades closed all day long to keep the sunlight out. When night time arrives, open all of the upstairs windows and leave them open (with upstairs doors open also), to allow the cool night air to enter and drop into the entire house during the night. In the early morning just before or during sunrise, close the windows to seal in the cool air and keep out the arriving hot daytime air. … It works quite well.

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