Keeping cool indoors?

It’s starting to turn from spring to summer and my indoor training rides are getting on the steamy side. I live in the MidWest US where both humidity and temperature are factors in the summer. My trainer setup is in a basement bedroom ~12’ x 8’ and contains an egress window. I open the window if the temp is cool enough outside. I am blasted by a Dyson Pure Cool fan plus a large floor fan during my workouts. I drink about twice as much water during workouts inside versus out.

Overall I’m naturally warm all the time and sweat easily. My body heat generated during workouts quickly heats the room up to the point where the fans aren’t enough to keep me cool. Being in the basement doesn’t help as it’s naturally more humid. I end up sweating a ridiculous amount and it’s starting to adversely affect my workouts. I am riding more outdoors now but there are some workouts in TR that are just best done on the trainer, or I just don’t have the extra time for outside.

I’m looking for any tips\suggestions\hacks to counteract hot indoor training sessions. Oh, and bonus for managing lingering room odors!

Things I’m trying and seem to work:

  • That Lasko fan everyone seems to like, get two.
  • I’m starting to keep a few wet hand towels in the freezer and grabbing them before tough intervals. Not ideal getting on and off the bike but I think keeping cooler and hitting numbers is more important than taking a quick break.
  • Run a quality dehumidifier, that helps with the lingering odors and keeps your house healthier.
1 Like

As above:

  • I run up to 3 fans in the hottest conditions.
  • Drink bottles with cold fluids (sometimes kept in a cooler with ice packs rather than bottle cages to keep them extra cold).
  • Air mesh base layer jersey, soaked with cool water at regular intervals for direct cooling initially, and improved evaporation cooling via the many fans.
  • Air from outside window anytime outside is cooler than inside.

For odors:

  • I attach car air vent air fresheners to the fans.
  • I also use spray air freshener a couple of times a week.
  • Make sure to not leave any wet sweat on surfaces if possible.
2 Likes

Besides a better fan (like a high velocity and/or blower fan) sometimes when things are heat soaked enough in small room no amount of fan/air speed will help with cooling. That’s when you introduce more fresh air to circulate the hot air out of the room. Position fans so they can pull in fresh/cooler air from another room (or window) and another to help exhaust warm air out of the room.

If that still isn’t enough then maybe look into a room AC unit to help out. Those can be had for a couple of hundred or so depending on what deals you can find. It might just be enough for those summer months.

3 Likes

Texas resident here. If there’s anything we know about it’s hot weather.

I have four fans going usually–one ceiling fan, a vornado on my trainer desk that blows right into my face, a lasko floor fan that hits my legs and torso, and a floor fan that I have setup at an angle opposite the vornado. I guess you could say I’m getting hit left, right, and center at all times.

The ceiling and floor fans are on all the time. I have a remote for the lasko floor fan and the vornado is close enough for me to adjust speed as needed.

I also blast the a/c in the house down to around 68 (it never gets that cool in our trainer room but sure does make the rest of the house cold).

We made one change late last year which was to have all of the attic ducting replaced. Partially because it was 50 years old and needed it, but also so we could get the flow adjusted so we now get more cool air into the trainer room. The jury is still out on how much of a difference it will make when it’s 100 outside but so far so good.

My last option is to get a window a/c unit. I haven’t pulled that trigger just yet but some friends did and so far they’re happy with it.

I’ve attempted hard VO2Max workouts when temps are not optimal and it is really, really tough. I gave up on one particular session because it was torture. That was before the duct replacement and I didn’t pre-cool the house enough in that case before starting the workout.

2 Likes

If you can vent a portable a/c unit out the window, I would get one. I live in Florida, so three fans, plus the ceiling fan wasn’t enough! Just bought the A/C unit, and it has made a huge difference in my training for a similarly sized room.

2 Likes

I cannot emphasize enough the issue people are dancing around here: HUMIDITY CONTROL. That’s what they mean when they suggest an A/C unit. The three keys to productive TR sessions (only one of which is adequately addressed on TR podcasts) are TEMPERATURE (63-65 Fahrenheit), AIR MOVEMENT (two Laskos and big Tornado in my face), and HUMIDITY (LOW). Humidity, for the uninformed, is not described using “relative humidity” which is a sorry, not-helpful metric. Humidity is best described by DEW POINT. But an A/C unit lowers dew point in a room if you prep the room for the workout–NOT by just turning it on at the start. I have a temperature/dew point sensor in my pain cave, and use a Mitsubishi mini-split (high-volume a/c unit) with remote control. Three fans. Get the room down below 65 degrees to start, giving the mini-split a chance to lower the dew point. Then I go. I don’t ever drip sweat–ever. I sweat a bit, but I cannot recall a drop of sweat coming off me during a session (I’m not a heavy sweater anyway) as I wear a sweat band and I do sweat a bit into my shorts and shirt and socks. But no dripping or puddling or anything like that. My nose runs more than I sweat. Standard warning applies: N = 1.

PS: I have a fourth requirement for anyone who cares: AIR FILTRATION. I get pollen issues in the spring–tree pollen. Thus, I run (always) a high-volume HEPA air filter to remove all the particulates from the air prior to a session. I like my pain cave air clean, cool, dry, and fast.

4 Likes

Thanks for reminding me that I haven’t gotten around to turning on/running my dehumidifier in my basement. I usually run it in the laundry room with the door open to the family room where my pain “corner” sits. I do this because a dehumidifier will eventually exhaust heat so don’t leave it in the family room (and it helps shield some of the noise it generates too when hanging out downstairs to watch tv or hang out). I’ve been noticing lately I’m sweating more than previous because it’s starting to get hot/humid more consistently (midwest region). That and in the summer months to keep it from feeling muggy downstairs and prevent molding since my home’s foundation crawl space entrance is down there too.

I didn’t mention it before because someone else already did.

1 Like