Photo © Darren Hester for openphoto.net
A Simple Cooling System
Heat naturally diffuses from areas of higher concentration to areas of lower concentration. And cold being the absence of energy, a block of ice literally draws heat out of the air.
As was mentioned in P. Pince’s recent article, our air conditioning system is on holiday at this inopportune time. While looking at cooling units online, I saw several that were merely refrigeration systems which fanned air over ice or cold water. These systems are meant for use in places with dry climates, and as we live in the desert which is just such a place, we thought we’d give it a try.
Instead of purchasing a new unit or repairing our old one, we decided to simply use containers of ice placed in front of fans in rooms where we’re working or hanging out. When the ice has melted and the water is near room temperature, we remove it and bring in a new one if still needed. We make the ice at night when it requires less electricity for the refrigerator to keep cold.
We also consider thawing frozen vegetables in our rooms prior to cooking, though I wouldn’t do this with meat or anything that might lead to food poisoning.
If your automatic ice maker is already cranking out heaps of ice faster than you can consume, take some out and let them melt. You could do the same with the ice from defrosting your freezer.
And with entropy in mind (a concept of energy flow), I believe it would be advantageous to bring home ice, ice cream, and cold items (cooled on someone else’s dollar) during the day rather than at night. The saving may be very small indeed, but we’d make poor misers if we dismissed an economization on account of smallness, wouldn’t we?