So hot you’re sticking to your couch? Tips on cooling your home

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SEATTLE — Bob Fleetwood didn’t find what he was looking for at Stoneway Hardware in Wallingford. He wanted a fan to cool off his new apartment, but there was only one small desk fan left on the shelf.

photo“I’m probably going to go to a couple more places, see if they have them,” he said Monday. “And if they don’t, I may come back tomorrow and buy one here.”

Manager Jerry Smith said a lot of people have been coming by, asking about ways to stay cool. He says swamp coolers are an alternative to air conditioning units.

“It’s just taking advantage of the fact that when water evaporates, it cools things down,” he explained. “Same as when you sweat and there’s a breeze, it cools you down.”

Smith doesn’t sell swamp coolers at his store, because he said they’re not needed most of the year. But there are videos online that show you how to make one.

“Homemade swamp coolers are popular, or a mist system in front of the fan,” said Smith. “But you got to be real careful, you’re not dripping water into the fan motor for obvious reasons.”

He doesn’t suggest wasting the time building something that could end up being a fire hazard.

“One of the easiest things you can do is stretch a wet towel across your fan. Just put it halfway across. That’s a real basic swamp cooler.”

He says that should work for the few days that we have to deal with this heat.

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  • Steven Linden

    Do not EVER put a towel or anything else across a fan, not even halfway. Best way to cool a house with a fan is to put a fan in the sunny side of a house window, or upstairs window, and point it OUT the window. Open a window on the cooler side of the house and pull the cool air through the house or rooms you want cooled. Putting a fan facing into a room will mostly just blow hot air around. I have done this for years with our two story house and a breeze box. As the evening temps start to drop the house will cool. You aren't just cooling the air in the house, but also the walls and furnishings which are holding heat.

  • kelly tucker

    The best alternative to ac is use block ice in front of fan in bowl that is big enough to hold the water once its melted. The room will atleast 20 degrees cooler

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