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, June 27, 2012

What? No Air-Conditioning?

If you do not have air-conditioning or if you lost yours due to failure here are a few tips to stay cool in your home.

1. Pare down the amount of clothing you wear in your home. Cottons, linens or nylons do not hold the heat.

2. Take a short 5-10 minute COLD shower whenever you feel too hot. Right before you crawl into bed is a great time to cool down. Make sure to get your hair wet.

3. Keep hydrated. Your bodys own temperature regulator is most efficient when fully hydrated. Water and tea are the best choices

4. Use fans. If the outside temperature is less than the inside, use a fan to move the cooler air inside. Run the fan all night. Open cabinet doors, crack the garage door etc. Cool down everything possible. Blow the fan on a frozen water bottle or milk jug if needed for direct cooling.

5. Keep the shades closed on the West and South sides of your home. Any direct sunlight that gets in is heating the surface it hits.

6. Turn off the lights. Replace incandescent bulbs with the compact flouresenct ones that run cooler.

7. Turn off heat producing appliances. Run the dishwasher, washer, dryer etc at night when it it cooler. Grill out.

8. Hide the therometer. Dwelling on the "number" may keep you miserable.

9. On the real hot days go to the pool or take in a movie.

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 your home cool during this hot and steamy summer.

If it feels warm and muggy in your home and the Air conditioning system seems to remain on throughout the day it is time to take some action.

1. Have the air-conditioning unit serviced. You may have condenser coils that need cleaned (possibly cottonwood debris clogging the unit?). The system may need a charge of Freon 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).  The first step is to have a professional look over your cooling system and make recommendations.   If you need a recommendation please call our office.

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 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 with the cost savings over 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 not doing its job.  Replace all that are suspect. Weather-stripping is inexpensive compared to higher utility bills and it could save you every month.

4. Reduce the use of "heat-producers." Grill out more instead of turning on the hot stove or oven. Use the burner on the grill when you can.  Boiling water for pasta puts a lot of heat and moisture into the home, which the A/C unit is trying to eliminate. Use the microwave more. Run the dishwasher and dryer at night when the heat load is reduced and when you are relaxing in the family room, away from the heat source.

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.  Any direct sunlight that comes into those windows is producing heat on the surface it hits.

If any of these tasks sound daunting to you or if you have any other home maintenance or repair tasks consider calling Mr. Handyman at 402-502-5212.  We are the professional choice.