Help your room fans do their best work by sealing out hot air
Whether they circulate cool outside air from a cross breeze in your home or create a wind chill to make a hot, humid room more comfortable, room fans are a staple of summer. They’re effective by themselves or, in tandem with an air conditioner, can reduce the temperature in an overheated house by several degrees.
But it’s not fair to expect that a window fan or any other fan for home use is going to cool off your home this summer by itself. Homeowners should take steps during spring cleaning to help their fans work at optimum level. One of these moves is a house-wide check of caulking and weather stripping around windows and doors to keep hot air out of the home just as it keeps cold air out during the winter.
Renew insulating materials
During cold months, caulking can become brittle, and may crack, peel away and allow leaks around openings. The solution is to walk around the exterior of your home to check windows and apply new caulk where it’s needed, smoothing the new bead with your finger or a caulking tool to keep the material tight against the window frame.
Weather stripping, attached with adhesive to the rim around windows and doors, is another insulating material that takes a pounding in winter. With the elements beating down on the stripping, the adhesive can loosen and pull away from the surface. To get a good look at the state of your weather stripping, open all the windows and doors in your home and replace any weather stripping that looks worn out.
Seal the air conditioner
When you’re using window air conditioners, it’s easy to lose cool air to the outside if the unit isn’t properly sealed around its perimeter. Conversely, more hot air from outdoors will seep in and undo the good your air conditioner and fans are doing to keep your rooms cool and comfortable.
Stuffing strips of foam rubber into crevices will work to some degree, but for a tighter seal, use a flexible caulk along the edges of the appliance. It can be peeled off easily at the end of the hot weather season. You’ll notice that the room retains the cooled air and stays comfortable longer when you turn off the unit.
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