We had to get serious about cooling the house. Last summer was do-able, but definitely not pleasant.
Warning: This post looks long, but it's mostly a bunch of pictures.
Here's the situation: City power comes and goes. When it's on, we can run some air conditioning wall units that we had installed in our house. We don't know when city power's coming. For example, it was on one or two hours around lunch today, and last night it came on around midnight and stayed on until around 8am.
The rest of the day, we rely on the "generator man." He runs the generator for our neighborhood. He has a schedule (I'm guessing) of when he is allowed by the government to turn it on. Thankfully, this summer, he hasn't been letting long stretches of time to go before he turns it on.
We had an hour this morning with no power, and a couple of different 30-minutes or more periods this afternoon. The house heats up pretty quickly. It's off as I write this, and the heat is sweltering. With generator, we can run fans (we have three in our living room) and our swamp coolers.
Here's a quick example of a couple of hours on a particularly crazy day.
4:!5p City power off
5:00p Generator on
5:07p City power on
5:25p City power off
5:32p City power on
6:03p City power off
6:12p Generator on
6:22p Generator off
6:35p Generator on
7:30p City power on
9:30p City power off/Generator on...
It's not always this crazy, but on and on it goes.
These were our landlord's swamp coolers that Doug cleaned at the end of last season and stored for winter.
These are the new ones Doug's purchased for us this year!
Last year, we had to put hay in our swamp cooler. This new style comes with a thick cardboard-like material that doesn't have to be replaced.
Now to get it on the roof.
Enter Big Crane.
Funny enough, on the SAME day as the crane, you can see the man with the ladder who was ALSO there to install our internet. It was a bit crazy!
Some of the neighbors got involved. It was great excitement for the afternoon.
As it started off, everyone just stood there.
So Doug went up on the roof to handle things there.
The internet guy came to watch.
In the mean time, our neighbors misunderstood that both units were for us, and they got a dolly and were trying to move our second one down the street to another guy's house.
They also told the crane that he was finished at our house, so he started getting ready to move.
Alas, we stopped them.
The crane re-set its base, and we started all over again.
Internet guy "helping" again.
The internet guy finally got busy on his own stuff and ended up running a wire from WAY down there to the edge of our roof where he nailed it secure into the cement. See?
Then he took it from another nail along the ledge and ran it down across our street (hope it's high enough) to a small circus of wires.
At least it wasn't to the bigger circus of wires where our breaker box is attached.
Back to the swamp coolers.
They need water to work effectively.
This is our ONE tank...we really need another.
The water drips slowly into the swamp coolers, the motor spins and a fan blows air into an open duct on the roof (that big cement block) and down into our house vents, along with all the dust from the air.
But, remember, I said we needed water.
Three times this summer, our tank has gone dry. City water is being rationed this summer, and it's been off a lot.
That one tank you saw was for our showers, our dishes, our clothes, our toilets, and our swamp coolers! When the water ran out, the swamp coolers just started blowing hot air, so we just turned them off.
For the last two days, Doug and I couldn't shower, wash dishes or wash clothes. Last night (I'm writing this on August 1st) at 1:30am, the water came in. I was more than willing to stay up until 4am to get all of our clothes washed. It was worth it to get rid of all those piles!
Trying to stay cool is a full-time job around here.