The Professional Choice

A companion overview to the popular "Ask Mr. Handyman" radio program airing on Christian Talk Radio, KCRO 660AM Saturdays @ 9:30AM.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hot & Muggy Weather Tips

With this terrible muggy weather we have had numerous customers ask Mr. Handyman what can be done to make their homes more comfortable. Here are some tips to keep cool during this season.

If it feels warm and muggy in your home and the A/C seems to remain on throughout the day it is time to take some action.

1. Have the A/C unit serviced. You may have condenser coils that need cleaned. The system may need a charge or the evaporator coil may need checked. The service man can look for other reasons the A/C unit is getting a workout this summer (duct work that can be directed to pull more warm air from the upstairs to be cooled).

2. Check the attic. You may not have enough insulation in the attic to keep the cool air in the home. The standards for the amount of insulation have changed in the last decade. If your home is 10 years or older you may not have the recommended amount of insulation for this area in your attic. A value of R39 is recommended which is about 19 inches of the blown-in type. Adding insulation will pay for itself in a few years so it is a great long-term investment. Also the attic may not be vented properly trapping the hot air and allowing that hot air seep down into the living space. My mother-in-law saves over $60/month because we added insulation in her attic.

3. Doors and windows may be leaking that cool air and allowing the warm muggy air into the home. Inspect and evaluate all windows and doors for signs the weather-stripping is doing its job. Replace any that is suspect. Weather-stripping is inexpensive compared to higher utility bills and it could save you $$$ each month.

4. Reduce the use of "heat-producers." Grill out more instead of turning on the hot stove or oven. Boiling water for pasta puts a lot of heat and moisture into the home. Use the microwave more. Run the dishwasher and dryer at night when the heat load is reduced.

5. Block the hot sun from coming in. Keep blinds and shades pulled on the South and west sides of the home during the day.