Pollen, Humidity, Heat, Oh My! Keeping Cool in Tallahassee
It’s that time of year again in Tallahassee. Hot, balmy days are punctuated with occasional cool and breezy
nights. The weather can’t seem to make up its mind, so how are you supposed to decide whether or not to fling open a window, or flip on the A/C?
For the early mornings and evenings, when temperatures are still cool and the humidity isn’t oppressive, take advantage of the fresh air. Open a few windows and turn on a fan in the room you’re in. The Department of Energy likes to remind homeowners that fans cool people, not rooms, and advises you to turn them off when you leave the room to save energy.
March and April breezes may bring you some relief, but as the day heats up they can also bring you high humidity and pollen levels. Pollen can trigger seasonal allergies, and excess humidity inhibits your body’s ability to cool itself through perspiration. Your home comfort system helps keep your home fresh and dry by reducing the allergens and the amount of moisture in the air. So to keep it from working harder than it has to, and leaving you with a higher energy bill, leave the windows closed when it’s on.
Stay cool, dry and sniffle-free by leaving your windows closed and keeping the drapes or shades on your east-, south- and west-facing windows closed during the day. Curtains or draperies should be light-colored and reflective on the side facing the window to reflect the heat back outside. Energy-efficient window coverings will let natural light in while keeping the sun from heating your home.
Using your home’s fans appropriately can also keep you in total comfort. When it’s humid outside, don’t switch your unit’s fan to the “on” position. When the fan is continuously running, the moisture that your system just worked to take out of the air will be blown back into your home. The exhaust fans in your home can also keep the humidity down. Run your bathroom fan when taking a shower and use the range hood when cooking on your stovetop. Turning on your ceiling fan can also help reduce the temperature in the room by up to 4 degrees.
Can’t stand the heat (or feel like you’re wading through a swamp every time you take a trip to the fridge)? Energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) help you reduce cooling costs while minimizing energy loss. They capture conditioned air that has been exhausted from your home and use it to pre-treat the supply air, lightening the load on your HVAC system and helping it control the humidity. Dehumidifiers can also help your unit cool the air by removing the moisture from it before it comes into your house.
For more on ERVs and dehumidifiers, or to get more tips on how to stay cool this summer, call us at 850.580.4029 or visit our products page.