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  #81  
Old 12.06.2014, 15:36
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Re: Airconditioning advice

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I don't know about minergie houses (if you scan a couple pages of the booklet I can give you a rough translation) but here is the approved Swiss-hausfrau way of keeping a normal house cool in summer. It works pretty well but it does assume someone will be at home most of the day.

Sleep with windows open if you think it advisable. (Local opinion is split over whether this is hygienic and healthful, or a good way to catch pneumonia, Föhnkrankheit and other unspecified ills.)
If not, get up early in the morning and immediately open all the windows and blinds. Make a large pot of peppermint tea and leave it on the counter to cool. Do any physically strenuous housework at this time of day.

Throughout the morning, as the sun hits each window, immediately close the blinds. If there is a good stiff breeze blowing, you can leave the blinds almost-closed, with cracks showing between them, to continue to let some fresh air in. Otherwise, close 'em tight.

Around lunchtime, or as soon as the air outside has become much hotter than the air inside, close the windows as well as blinds. (If you're going out for part of the day, close blinds and windows pre-emptively, better to err on the side of closing too many than too few.)

Drink the peppermint tea mid-afternoon, at room temperature. I drop a few ice cubes in mine but my Swiss friends think I'm a bit strange - if you want a cold drink, they say, drink cold tap water.

Open everything again in the evening when the air has cooled down (windows) or when direct sunlight is no longer hitting that side of the house (blinds). Leave everything open until bedtime or possibly overnight, see above. Repeat until September.

Shame on you , you forgot the lemon / lime in the tea
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  #82  
Old 12.06.2014, 15:54
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Re: Airconditioning advice

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We have recently been asking many of these same questions. We are told by realtors, Swiss born residents and many others that air conditioning in private residences is not allowed. That being said, it is clear you can buy the portable kind. Makes me wonder why we don't see more whole house/attic fans and/or swamp coolers. Also, with the number of homes with solar panels on the roofs, it seems electricity usage wouldn't be as much of an issue.

We are renting a Minergie house and cannot figure out how the system works to maximize cooling (the manual is in German and our neighbors who have the same system haven't been able to provide much insight). We have tried fan on, fan off, windows and shades closed, windows open/shades closed. Let's face it, it is hot here right now. We have been told that the summers have been getting hotter. We currently own 3 fans and are considering a room cooling/ac unit but not sure how it will work or the cost in utilities. I will watch for your reports of power usage.

Holly
About "We are told by realtors, Swiss born residents and many others that air conditioning in private residences is not allowed." I do not know of any bans; I assume they mean that if you apply to install ac it will not be allowed. Like most countries there are loopholes about using temporary/portable devices.
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  #83  
Old 12.06.2014, 16:11
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Re: Airconditioning advice

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We have recently been asking many of these same questions. We are told by realtors, Swiss born residents and many others that air conditioning in private residences is not allowed. That being said, it is clear you can buy the portable kind. Makes me wonder why we don't see more whole house/attic fans and/or swamp coolers. Also, with the number of homes with solar panels on the roofs, it seems electricity usage wouldn't be as much of an issue.

We are renting a Minergie house and cannot figure out how the system works to maximize cooling (the manual is in German and our neighbors who have the same system haven't been able to provide much insight). We have tried fan on, fan off, windows and shades closed, windows open/shades closed. Let's face it, it is hot here right now. We have been told that the summers have been getting hotter. We currently own 3 fans and are considering a room cooling/ac unit but not sure how it will work or the cost in utilities. I will watch for your reports of power usage.

Holly
Holly we have a minergie house. This is the way you do it.

You buy a summer cassette for your ventilation unit. This effectively removes the heat exchanger meaning the air coming in is not being heated to the temp of the air going out.

You turn off the ventilation during the day. You then follow Mathnut's advice* for a usual house - blinds down, windows shut.

When the outside ambient temp (measure it from where your ventilation outside air in vent is) goes below the temp in the house, you turn your ventilation unit on full. Leave it running during the cool evening and nighttime hours. Your house will fill with cool air from outside without needing to open windows and suffer the noise pollution.

When you wake, switch off ventilation and repeat the 24 hour circuit.

Last night the ambient air temperature got down to 15 degrees here just before dawn and our house was being ventilated with pollen filtered 15 degree air. The pollen filtering pluses of a whole house ventilation system are massive if you live in a family like ours where everyone else except me suffers badly from hayfever.

You can get a summer cassette from your ventilator manufacturer. You can almost certainly get your ventilation running instructions in English from the manufacturer as well.

*mint tea optional but I am with Mathnut and put ice cubes, and even (on days I am feeling daring) a slice or two of lemon in.
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  #84  
Old 12.06.2014, 16:27
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Re: Airconditioning advice

Isn't 15C unpleasantly cold??? People here on EF go mad if their offices and work place go down to below 18 in winter
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  #85  
Old 12.06.2014, 16:28
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Re: Airconditioning advice

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About "We are told by realtors, Swiss born residents and many others that air conditioning in private residences is not allowed." I do not know of any bans; I assume they mean that if you apply to install ac it will not be allowed. Like most countries there are loopholes about using temporary/portable devices.
I have searched for the mythical ban on air conditioners, but no one can point me to a law that forbids it. The closest I found was this, which relates to the amount of noise that a commercial enterprise can make with their air conditioning equipment:

http://www.admin.ch/opc/fr/classifie...372/index.html

Last edited by Village Idiot; 12.06.2014 at 20:22.
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  #86  
Old 12.06.2014, 16:33
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Re: Airconditioning advice

All this talk of mint tea has inspired me to make a virgin mojito.
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  #87  
Old 12.06.2014, 16:37
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Re: Airconditioning advice

All this talk of virgin mojitos has inspired me to grab a bottle of rum.
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Old 12.06.2014, 16:38
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Re: Airconditioning advice

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Isn't 15C unpleasantly cold??? People here on EF go mad if their offices and work place go down to below 18 in winter
If the outside air is 15'C and it is passed inside - I don't think the temperature inside goes right down to 15'C.

Surfaces and objects within the house are all at a higher temperature.

Similarly, if you open the windows in the winter, even without heating in a room, the temperature does not drop to the outside temperature.
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  #89  
Old 12.06.2014, 16:47
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Re: Airconditioning advice

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If the outside air is 15'C and it is passed inside - I don't think the temperature inside goes right down to 15'C.

Surfaces and objects within the house are all at a higher temperature.

Similarly, if you open the windows in the winter, even without heating in a room, the temperature does not drop to the outside temperature.
This. If you were passing 15 degree air in for a longer period it would, but, despite all the insulation, the fabric of the building itself stores heat so you will (alas in my case as in the winter we do sleep with our bedroom at 16 degrees) not get the temperature reducing that much given the limited volumetric flow of the ventilator and the short time during which the temperature (in this weather) dips. This morning, the digital thermometer in our bedroom read 19.2 degrees. Very pleasant considering at 7 am it was already above 21 degrees outside.

The main benefit to us is no noise disturbance (it never bothered me to sleep with windows open but OH hates it and youngest son hates it simply because in his mind all windows should always be shut ..) and pollen filtering.

You have to be careful to remember to turn the ventilation off mind you
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Old 12.06.2014, 16:56
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Re: Airconditioning advice

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Isn't 15C unpleasantly cold??? People here on EF go mad if their offices and work place go down to below 18 in winter
15C is my preferred room temperature, even in winter*. But then, I am 'une femme d'un certain âge'.

But 25 years of marital bliss have taught me the value of compromise. I let my husband turn the heat all the way up to 18 whenever the Zürichsee freezes over.

I clearly have failed the 'Swiss temperature tolerance' integration test.



(I just installed a new furnace - mandated by the canton, despite my old one working perfectly well. I had to fight with the installer to stop him from programming the system to turn on automatically whenever the outside temps dipped under 24. Who heats a house in summer? Apparently, according to the heating guy, every other household in Switzerland. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? )




*I can still hear my mother's voice "If you're cold, put on a sweater!"
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  #91  
Old 12.06.2014, 17:03
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Re: Airconditioning advice

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All this talk of virgin mojitos has inspired me to grab a bottle of rum.

Too hot for me to have rum. Mint and lime though.....mmmmmm
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Old 12.06.2014, 18:20
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Re: Airconditioning advice

Thank you to everyone for the advice and humor along the way. I will certainly give them a try!

Holly
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Old 08.08.2015, 14:21
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Re: Airconditioning advice

Summertime and the living should be easy. Sure but not at temps higher than FL! The compressor of our 10yr old DeLonghi all in one unit left us, when it all started this summer. Does anybody have longer term experience with a split unit and can therefore recommend a specific model/brand? If so, can the system be easily removed for winter storage and reconnected for the next season without loss of liquid?
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Old 08.08.2015, 14:33
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Re: Airconditioning advice

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Summertime and the living should be easy. Sure but not at temps higher than FL! The compressor of our 10yr old DeLonghi all in one unit left us, when it all started this summer. Does anybody have longer term experience with a split unit and can therefore recommend a specific model/brand? If so, can the system be easily removed for winter storage and reconnected for the next season without loss of liquid?

Fust often have good offers on split units.
The systems are designed so when you disconnect the pipe between the two units then it automatically seals without losing any liquid.
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Old 08.08.2015, 15:06
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Re: Airconditioning advice

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Summertime and the living should be easy. Sure but not at temps higher than FL! The compressor of our 10yr old DeLonghi all in one unit left us, when it all started this summer. Does anybody have longer term experience with a split unit and can therefore recommend a specific model/brand? If so, can the system be easily removed for winter storage and reconnected for the next season without loss of liquid?
A 10 year old unit will be very inefficient v the latest models. I installed 4 Airwell units last year & very satisfied with performance.
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Old 08.08.2015, 20:35
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Re: Airconditioning advice

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Fust often have good offers on split units.
The systems are designed so when you disconnect the pipe between the two units then it automatically seals without losing any liquid.
All depends how long it takes you to unscrew the connection where it seals, if you are really slow on ham fisted you will loose a lot of the gas.
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Old 08.08.2015, 20:55
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Re: Airconditioning advice

thx. No problem having worked with hydraulic couplings but a little gas may still escape and trust the manual will tell me all about remedies etc.
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Old 16.08.2015, 16:11
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Re: Airconditioning advice

I think you'll find that putting fixed air conditioning into a private residence is pretty much a no no in Switzerland, there may be some exceptions, try ceiling fans, efficient and reasonably effective.
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Old 17.08.2015, 11:52
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Re: Airconditioning advice

Ms. Donnapurdy
Surely fans are the answer and we got'm all over and under, with the house humming like a beehive but comes a time, when the greetings from Africa demand more aggressive action and that be a 'portable' split unit, even if only necessary for some 4 weeks.
Like rolling the windows down or blowing air in the car at 25°C or using aircon. I definitely prefer the latter.
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