By Philip Schmidt, Hometalk
Most people in most climates can tolerate hot days in the summertime (if allowed to complain ad nauseam), but it’s at night when the heat really gets to us. You lie there sweaty and sleepless, wishing you could master levitation just so you wouldn’t have to touch your sheets. And forget about cuddling up with your spouse. The last thing you need is contact with another 99-degree blob who’s just as grouchy as you are. It’s at times like this when you commit to making cooling the bedroom a top priority. Well, here are your basic options, from the most to the least expensive.
Obviously. A/C works everywhere, and it works fast. The only problems are it’s expensive to buy and even more expensive to operate, because it uses loads of electricity. However, an energy-efficient “room” A/C unit does a great job of cooling a small space like a bedroom without costing too much. In dry climates, a portable evaporative cooler (a.k.a. swamp cooler) works well and uses significantly less electricity that conventional A/C. For a large bedroom suite, a mini split A/C might be a good option. Also called “ductless” A/C, mini splits have a compact outdoor compressor unit linked to an indoor delivery unit. And unlike central A/C systems, they don’t need a furnace and duct network, so they’re perfect for additions and expanded living spaces. Many also work as heaters in winter.
Fans work pretty well if you use them properly. In all but the hottest, most humid climates, a whole house fan (“attic fan”) cools your bedroom and the rest of the house at night by pulling outdoor in through windows and exhausting hot air out through the attic. Run it for a while at night and again in the morning before closing up the windows for the day. You can use window fans the same way by setting one in a window blowing into the bedroom and setting another blowing out of a window in a nearby room to promote cross ventilation. Ceiling fans work if they’re blowing on you (they don’t cool the room). The airflow pulls heat from your skin and helps your body cool itself. Finally, some people like to run their furnace’s blower fan (without the heat, of course) just to circulate the home’s air, which can balance the temperature and eliminate hot spots.