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Small Cabin Forum / Off-Grid Living / Cooling Off HOT cabin
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# Posted: 1 Jun 2021 14:29

In need of advice!
I've got a one room cabin 24x24 in east Texas. Vaulted ceiling, no attic. Wood burning stove for heat, wall unit a/c to cool. Warms well when it's cold and cools off nice when its warm. BUT, when it's Texas HOT and not in use it's close to impossible to get cool. I'm thinking I need a vent with fan to get the hot air out. There is no ventilation anywhere as of now. Would a ceiling/attic vent with fan get the hot air out and allow to cool? How about a floor vent along with it? Wouldn't that pull in more hot air from outside. Ignorant to all this. Please help!

# Posted: 1 Jun 2021 14:55

Well? You Texicans love things big! Thermometers come to my mind! I was wondering about those roof turbines? Might get some wind movement? But, hot air is hot air. You are correct there. Get there early and open up before the heat builds too much. Enjoy the time there though.

# Posted: 1 Jun 2021 15:13 - Edited by: gcrank1

Can you do any kind of cooler air intake from beneath the cabin? Maybe make a pit with a run of stovepipe down into to and a screen cap to keep vermin out.
With a roof vent, even an air powered turbine, and a low down intake you may be able to cool it some; but you are right, without something cooler than air ambient temp that is as 'cool' as it can get.
I know from crawling under structures through the years that they were always comfortably cooler in mid-summer than the rooms were.
Fwiw, I disconnected the wood stove and have set up the exiting stove pipe as a summer vent. The drafting of the hot peak air is working nicely, though I do have a small fan on hand if I need to power-vent later. I hooked in a 10" to 6" ductwork fitting (bell shaped affair) to be a 'lead-in' to the stovepipe and to attach the fan maybe.
We have been using the shady side of the cabin thus far as the inlet but mid-summer will be the big test.

# Posted: 1 Jun 2021 15:28

I think even if you had two gable vents up high it would allow the hottest air to get out and let the overall temperature equalize to ambient outside.

The low and high would probably be ideal but if critters are a problem, two high would be better than none. You could also try a single powered vent but if the rest of the building is tight you might struggle to bring in fresh air fast enough without a window open or something.

Irrigation Guy
# Posted: 1 Jun 2021 21:13

Granted My cabin isn’t in TX but it does get into the 90s where my cabin is. I have a window near the ridge at both gable ends. I leave them open all summer. It allows the breeze to blow through and clear the hot air.

# Posted: 2 Jun 2021 12:45 - Edited by: Steve961

The best way to cool a cabin is to not let it get hot in the first place. The greatest contribution to heat for most buildings is solar gain through the roof, windows, and walls. My cabin roof overhangs enough in the summer to prevent any sunlight from entering the cabin, and the roof space itself is extremely ventilated with the insulation being below the attic space. Whenever I open up my cabin for summer visits it's usually cooler inside than out.

For locations such as yours you could build a separate roof structure to shade the entire cabin. The pic below shows a good example of it. I know it's extreme, but it would shade all surfaces of a cabin and provide for a lot of shaded outdoor space.

# Posted: 4 Jun 2021 23:43

I agree with Steve 961.
I built a cabin in Texas hill country. If there is a way to add a ceiling of some type and lay fiberglass blanket batts or rockwool that would take care of most of your heat load.

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