My house gets very hot on some days. I don't have a central AC system, and cannot install it because the house is a rental. I have to make do with various floor fans and portable AC units. There are several doors to the backyard with shady, cool spots. However because the layout is a bit complicated, I am having trouble about the optimal arrangement of my fans (and what additional fans to budget for).
I have some ideas about how I would like the air to move, but I need to have a way to see how it is actually moving so I can optimize my fan placement. What is a low cost way of measuring this?
- Searching online has turned up many guides about measuring airflow through ducts of a centralized AC system. If only I had that problem! :)
- Simply trying one fan setup and seeing what parts get cooler is not precise enough. There's not enough temperature differential across my house for me to feel it precisely, it would take too long and besides the temperature is not stable over time.
- I tried walking around with a strip of toilet paper, but it doesn't have enough precision for a good measurement.
- I could throw some kind of confetti in the air, which would solve my problem, but my wife would kill me when she sees the mess.
I have a room scenter that vaporizes an oil/water mixture. It looks like thick white smoke coming out of the machine, and goes about 1-3 ft before dissipating. In theory I could try to turn it on and carry it around, but it seems a bit of a hassle.Didn't work -- the smoke it makes is too faint and too turbulent.
- I could purchase some kind of anemometer. However my fans are cheap and it's not like I have high winds blowing through my house either way, so I don't know if I will have trouble finding a sensitive enough anemometer that is not very expensive.
- I could purchase a pressure meter, but I suspect that the pressure differential will be too small for a cheap one to work.
- I could purchase a smoke machine, which apparently start at $30. Then try putting it in different rooms. Among other things though, would this trigger the fire alarm or stain the walls in any way?
Surely this must be a common enough problem, that there is some standard method or technique to see where the air is going?