When you combine the humidity with the heat in St. Louis, the summers can feel unbearable without a cool home. Blasting the air conditioner all summer also takes a toll on energy bills. Fortunately, there are several creative ways you can avoid running your HVAC system or window unit as much during the hotter months.
Rediscover the Wonders of Fans
Ceiling fans are excellent for helping circulate cool air. If you have a window unit and decide to run the air conditioner just for a short time, a ceiling fan can circulate the air around the room, and you can use a box fan to blow cool air toward a bedroom in the evening. If it is still too humid, try using a dehumidifier in the room where you spend the most time. Window fans are great on nights when the humidity is not too high and the temperature is in the 60s or 70s.
Optimize Your Home for Staying Cool
The sun brings in plenty of extra heat during the day. While it is great and beneficial to your health to get some sun exposure, it reduces your energy consumption to keep your home as cool as possible by reducing the amount of sunlight that comes in. If you have blinds, you can turn them upward to make the room darker. Room-darkening curtains or blackout curtains add even more protection.
Be sure to seal any air leaks around doors or windows. Also, make sure that windows and doors are closed tightly when the humidity and the temperature are both high. If you can keep the room cooler with fans and without running the air conditioning, it is important to keep the cool air in and prevent extra heat from undoing all your hard work. In addition to blocking out sunlight, you can avoid using the oven or heat-generating appliances during the day.
Use "Stay Cool" Hacks
Although not every solution will make your home's temperature lower, there are ways you can make yourself feel cooler. These are some ways you can avoid the temptation of turning on the air conditioning and feel a little cooler:
- Take a cool shower or bath.
- If you have an inflatable or in-ground pool, spend some time in it.
- Put a damp washcloth in cold water for a few minutes, and then put it on the back of your neck or wrists.
- Use bamboo sheets designed to stay cooler, and avoid flannel or materials that hold heat.
- If you have a basement that is cool and dry, try sleeping down there at night if you are able.
- Close the doors to any unused rooms in the house.
- Wear breathable linen clothing or cool clothing around the house.
- If you work out at home, do it in the evening or early in the morning when it is cooler.
- Whenever you feel hot, drink a large glass of cool water.
- Try to do cleaning, dishes and other chores in the evening after the sun goes down and the home is cooler.
Be sure to also keep your air conditioner in good, working order for when you need to use it. Having it inspected at least once each year before the cooling season is a great idea. If you have a central HVAC system, it is even better to have an inspection at the start of the cooling season and another at the start of the heating season. Make sure you change or clean your system filters as needed.
Whenever you can turn off the air conditioner for a while and cool down without consuming too much energy, your wallet will thank you. If your air conditioner or HVAC system needs maintenance, an inspection or repairs, the licensed and NATE-Certified technicians of Martin-Jetco Heating and Air Conditioning are here to help. Please call us for answers to any questions at (636) 205-1631.