An Atmospheric Physicists here?

XmisterIS

Purveyor of fine nonsense
I have a question for you.

Yesterday, I went to bed irritated. Hot, sweaty and irritated!

Why?

Well, when I came home at about 9.30pm, the house had courteously hung on to all the heat that it had collected during the day and as a consequence it was like a flippin' oven. 26 degrees. Bastard. :smile:

Anyway, I normally go to bed at 11pm, so for the next hour and a half I propped open every single door, including the external doors, and I opened all the windows to their full extent.

Now, outside it was 17 degrees, so I thought that a good hour and a half with all the doors and windows open would be more than sufficient to get the internal temperature of the wretched brick-built monstrosity down to the same temperature as the outside air.

The result?

After fully one and a half hours of airing, the confounded dwelling still had an internal temperature of 22 degrees! Fully five degrees warmer than the outside temperature!

Cue me lying on the top of the bed, in the nude, trying to sleep, occasionally shouting insults at the house. :smile::laugh:!

So, for all you atmospheric physicists on the forum, why does a house hold onto heat for so long? Even with all doors and windows open?
 

buggi

Bird Saviour
Location
Solihull
 

threebikesmcginty

Corn Fed Hick...
Location
...on the slake
Because it hates you! :smile:

Probably because it's got little or poor insulation. If it was well insulated it should stay warm in winter and cool in summer.

I'm not an atmospheric physicist so please ignore everything I've said if it turns out to be utter tosh.
 

longers

Veteran
Storage of heat within the structure of the building itself? The actual bricks and mortar rather than the air inside the house. Maybe.
 
OP
XmisterIS

XmisterIS

Purveyor of fine nonsense
buggi said:
It has a "one star" customer rating ... count 'em ... one, tw.... .... errrr, no, that's it!

One star .... one star.

:smile:

wafflycat said:
Your house acts as a storage radiator. It absorbs the heat of the day and releases it slowly during the night. Put lots of buildings together, as in an urban area and you get the urban heat island effect.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_heat_island
Thank you. I hate it.

I am thinking about fitting an air con unit in my loft though - I reckon that will create a giant convection current through the house in hot weather if I leave the loft door open.
 

threebikesmcginty

Corn Fed Hick...
Location
...on the slake
When we had out house rewired we got the electrician to install a proper ceiling fan in the bedroom. It wasn't the cheapest but it is very quiet and it cools down the room really well even on the hottest of days/nights.
 

buddha

Veteran
Get cavity wall insulation (if your walls have cavities;)). And keep the curtains shut in the day if you're out.

edit: as well as keeping you cool in the summer, a ceiling fan can keep you warmer in the winter - by pushing hot (risen) air back down at you - for less money than turning the heating up.
 

accountantpete

Brexiteer
threebikesmcginty said:
When we had out house rewired we got the electrician to install a proper ceiling fan in the bedroom. It wasn't the cheapest but it is very quiet and it cools down the room really well even on the hottest of days/nights.
You mean you had to lay off the punkawallah?
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
Your house contains 150 to 200 tons of brick, mortar, concrete, plaster, wood and internal fittings. The only way to cool all this mass down is to blow cool air through it, preferably in an upwards direction so a ceiling extractor or even just an open attic hatch might help. Definitely reduce solar gain by keeping blinds or curtains shut by day. Don't forget also that at this time of the year the sun is heating your house through almost 3/4 of a circle from dawn to dusk.

If you're too hot at night a fan is good because it allows the body's natural mechanism to work. Don't go and buy one of those ridiculous "Edwardian" style ceiling fans though, they're for pose value not effect. Buy a decent free-standing fan and use it wherever you need it. I've survived nights in crap hotels with no AC in northern Nigeria when the room temp was 32 and the window closed to keep out mossies by using a fan at the end of the bed.

Edit: it was fine until the power went off during one night. I had to take my torch and wander down into the silent lobby and wake the porter to go out and start the gen.
 

Night Train

Maker of Things
This is where external insulation works.

It keeps the outside of the house sheilded and cool during the summer so the mass of brickwork can cool the air inside.

During winter the heating will heat the brickwork and that heat will keep the inside warm but the insulation stops it radiating out.

It has crossed my mind to do it to my house. It is the only brick one in a row of rendered semis so I might as well use insulation to get the same visual effect with the bonus of a more comfortable house.
 

al78

Guru
Location
Horsham
XmisterIS said:
I have a question for you.

Yesterday, I went to bed irritated. Hot, sweaty and irritated!

Why?

Well, when I came home at about 9.30pm, the house had courteously hung on to all the heat that it had collected during the day and as a consequence it was like a flippin' oven. 26 degrees. Bastard. :biggrin:

Anyway, I normally go to bed at 11pm, so for the next hour and a half I propped open every single door, including the external doors, and I opened all the windows to their full extent.

Now, outside it was 17 degrees, so I thought that a good hour and a half with all the doors and windows open would be more than sufficient to get the internal temperature of the wretched brick-built monstrosity down to the same temperature as the outside air.

The result?

After fully one and a half hours of airing, the confounded dwelling still had an internal temperature of 22 degrees! Fully five degrees warmer than the outside temperature!

Cue me lying on the top of the bed, in the nude, trying to sleep, occasionally shouting insults at the house. :angry::angry:

So, for all you atmospheric physicists on the forum, why does a house hold onto heat for so long? Even with all doors and windows open?
Because UK buildings in general are crap when it comes to things like optimizing the indoor climate whilst minimizing energy use.

It's possibly because there was very little wind. To cool the house quickly you need to get some airflow through it. If there is no wind then you are relying on convection/diffusion through the open windows plus radiative loss, which is a very slow process.

Also, make sure that you keep the internal doors open as well so that there is a free passage for air to flow through from one side of the building to the other.

To help cool you down in bed, try lying down with a damp towel over you.
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
Our house is fairly new - well 15 years old, so over a long hot spell, it get's quite warm..... solution................(not eco).............

We have a portable a/c unit that cools the top floor, downstairs is fine, upstairs wasn't....

We've had it a number of years, and it helps loads. Turn on a few hours before you go to bed, switch off as you go to bed...nice cool bedrooms......

Had to be done............
 

snapper_37

Barbara Woodhouse's Love Child
Location
Wolves
Globalti said:
Buy a decent free-standing fan and use it wherever you need it.
+1. I got one for about £30 from Focus DIY last year - lots of different modes, including a timer and it's remote controlled. Been great during these humid nights plus you can just move it around from room to room.:sad:
 
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