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  1. #1

    Painful kitchen cooling dilemma

    I have a cooling dilemma that I was wondering if anyone here could offer some insights or suggestions for. My kitchen is a ruthless hotbox in the summer months due to its west-facing exposure and having plenty of glass (picture large floor-to-ceiling windows on the West wall and two Velux skylights on a 45 degrees slanted ceiling). Naturally, during sunny days in the winter it serves as a passive solar heat collector. So I am considering the following approach to deal with the heat load during summer time and capturing all generated solar heat during winter. I should also probably mention that I have pretty wide open floor layout, the existing cabinets are gutted, and I’ll have unrestricted access to the walls.
    1. Currently in my 130-140 sq. ft kitchen there is no return line. Obviously code, architects and installers were more concerned
    with cooking fumes than the unbearable summer heat. I remember reading somewhere that with every foot in height the temperature rises approximately 0.5 to 0.75 degrees, so in my case delta T between the floor and highest ceiling point can potentially reach up 10 degrees or even higher. Obviously there are several relatively simple and straight forward approaches to resolve those issues and I am listing the simple ones first:


    a. Replace all glass on the wall with more efficient material; (very expensive and barely effective)
    b. Replace Skylight regular glass with nanogel filled glass (new technology used by NASA to provide heat shield on spaceships); (very expensive and extremely effective)
    c. Install blinds / shutters, either manual or solar controlled o existing skylights (I am not really sure about potential benefit).
    d. Replacing hot halogen bulbs with much cooler LEDs should provide slight measurable relief.

    2. Beyond the low-hanging fruit, let’s consider some more involved solutions:

    a. Installation of inline 150-200 CFM exhaust fan (Soler or Fanteech) between the sloped ceiling rafters with exit @ the outside wall rather than roof (I do not want to deal with creating an opening in wooden shingle roof) with 2 purposes in mind.
    i. Provide adequate cooking fumes exhaust outside throughout entire year.
    ii. Provide some relief during hot summer by pulling hot air from under the ceiling and throwing it outside. I do painfully realize that this may have questionable benefits as outside hot air (granted a little bit cooler than the one collected from under the ceiling) will enter the house but assuming that A/C will be on at that time this air should mix with much cooler one so overall effect of installing inline fan maybe not at all w/o merits. This is just my gut and I can’t offer anything more of substance at this time.

    b. Bring the return line to the basement to main return line and install intake grill as high as possible, however I also read somewhere that I need serious calculations in order just to extend that return as balance of return lines vs. supply will change. So, the question is do I have to bring another supply line to the kitchen (I can’t see how it will hurt) or should I close somewhere on the same floor return register? What would be the most sensible approach to address this issue?
    c. I have currently 2 dedicated Carrier / Bryant 20 year old AC/heating systems, 1 per floor, with cooling capacity of 3 tons each. I am not planning to replace them with anything else right now as I am tinkering with idea of advanced and efficient geothermal installation.
    d. Instead of messing around with the return line, how about installing an 11000 BTU dedicated mini split ductless A/C? This seems the least desirable approach but is definitely the most efficient one. I dislike this solution because maintenance is high and electricity costs are only on the rise.

    TIA to everybody who can shed some light for me

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Central, FL
    Posts
    29
    A mini spit in the kitchen might help and could be used only when the heat load in the kitchen were high. It could be left off the rest of the time. A exhaust fan can be used but the air removed from the conditioned space will be replaced by outside which will add to the load on the house. We replaced all our kitchen lights with LEDs and they do put out less heat but you may have bigger problems than lighting loads.
    You might also talk to your HVAC contractor about adding another supply air drop into the kitchen area.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    4,265
    The minsplit is the way to go IMHO since the cooling load is so much different than the rest of the living space.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Athens, Ohio
    Posts
    1,799
    A mini-split it a good choice. Many of them are very efficient, even approaching the efficiency of geothermal systems. It will give you independent control of the kitchen temperature. Why do you say maintenance is high? All you need to do is periodically clean the filters.
    I like Mitsubishi. I put one in my building two years ago and have been thrilled with it. Our customers like them, too.

  5. #5
    Mini-split will definetely address my cooling issue but it won't help me to harvest passive solar heat in a winter time

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Athens, Ohio
    Posts
    1,799
    Re. blinds or shutters - I suggest awnings. Blinds will not keep the sunlight from reaching the glass which is where the passive solar effect comes from. An awning shades the window but does not block the indirect natural light. We used to have glass sliding door on the east side of our house which contributed to overheating the room in the summer and the light was fading our table and flooring. We installed an adjustable awning which we would set to shade the glass. The room temperature was lowered immediately but we could still enjoy natural light in the room.

  7. #7
    Thanks for the suggestion but they are already in place. I installed retractable awnings outside 10 years ago.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    3,824

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    545
    Quote Originally Posted by ProperVenting View Post
    Mini-split will definetely address my cooling issue but it won't help me to harvest passive solar heat in a winter time
    How so?

    Your already getting passive solar heat in the winter, how would that change ?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by LKJoel View Post
    How so?

    Your already getting passive solar heat in the winter, how would that change ?
    I am getting it in a winter in a kitchen area only, that is the reason I want to bring return to the kitchen (doesn't have it currently) and run fan only to distribute it pver the whole 1-st floor

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by LKJoel View Post
    How so?

    Your already getting passive solar heat in the winter, how would that change ?
    I am getting it in a winter in a kitchen area only, that is the reason I want to bring return to the kitchen (doesn't have it currently) and run fan only to distribute it pver the whole 1-st floor

  12. #12
    Been there, done that. Not 3M but something else, also 10 years ago

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    545
    Quote Originally Posted by ProperVenting View Post
    I am getting it in a winter in a kitchen area only, that is the reason I want to bring return to the kitchen (doesn't have it currently) and run fan only to distribute it pver the whole 1-st floor
    Sounds like a lot of work, for what may turn out to be a fairly minimal gain

    I like the mini split idea

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