The Final Jeopardy answer IS: This fan is wrongly known by another fan’s name

Watching Jeopardy recently for the first time in many years and trying to come up with the answers (or is that questions?), I started feeling pretty good about myself. That is, until I realized that bell going off the split second the board was revealed wasn’t synced to the answer’s appearance, but to a contestant signaling they ALREADY KNEW the answer.

So, maybe I will never be accepted as a Jeopardy contestant until hell freezes over or Alex Trebec starts introducing categories like “Handyman” and “Toilet Bowl.” But, I can at least pretend to be Alex for a single episode of “Dr Steve’s Tips.” So, here goes:

The category is “Air Circulation.” And the answer is “This fan, commonly found on the ceiling of hallways, is best known WRONGLY by another fan’s name.”

Five seconds pass. Buzzzzz. “I’m sorry,” I say in a sad voice, “the answer is Whole House Fan.” I then sing a few bars from a song that includes the lyric “whole house fan,” while contestants sigh in recognition they should have known that.

Those few of you out there who actually got this answer (question?) may not know that everybody BUT you mistakenly calls this an “attic fan,” another real and useful thing, but not the same thing at all.

An attic fan is designed to keep your ATTIC cool, and only indirectly makes your house cooler. A whole house fan DIRECTLY makes your house cooler. More specifically:

  • An Attic Fan is NOT mounted on hallway ceilings — it’s installed in a roof or side wall of an attic (a gable). It’s there to suck hot air out of an attic, so that a warm ceiling of your top floor doesn’t keep the inside of your home from cooling off.
  • A Whole House Fan IS the one mounted on hallway ceilings. It sucks cooler air from the outside through open windows and doors, displacing the hotter air inside your home, which is then blown out, into and through the attic, passing through gable or roof vents in your attic.

But, you don’t really need to know any of that. If you’re new to any of this, here’s the biggest improvement you can make:

  • If you don’t already have a whole house fan on your top floor hallway ceiling, have Fix St Louis install one.
  • Whenever your house is too warm, and the outside air is about the temperature you’d want your house to be, especially on summer nights when outside temperatures dip below 72 degrees, open 1 or more windows or doors with screens, turn the whole house fan on, and turn-OFF your air conditioner.
  • Your home will be more comfortable, you will save on electricity, and the outside air will make your home smell fresher (that is, unless you live in Sauget, Illinois).

OK, just one more Jeopardy question/answer. The answer IS: “This company with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau provides one stop shopping for professional home repairs.” Maybe that one was too easy. OK, Alex, back to you. But, we’ll see you next time on Dr Steve’s Tips!

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis
314-434-4100

You don’t need Paris to end climate change in your home

When you think about it, isn’t it amazing that Americans now EXPECT the inside of their homes to always be the SAME TEMPERATURE? Every single day of the year? No matter what’s going on outside? As they might say at the Yakov Smirnoff dinner theater in Branson, “What a country!”

And, just like the final act of every show in Branson we, too, at Fix St Louis salute America’s exceptionalism and progress, so make no apologies for our nation’s unending quest to make our homes more comfortable. We pay no heed to those handwringing, cardigan-wearing naysayers who tell us we must scale-back our lifestyles – those people who THINK of themselves as ‘sophisticated’ yet, would you believe, have never even HEARD of the Baldknobbers or the Dixie Stampede?

Here are just a few of the ways Fix St Louis can help you, with little to no sacrifice, put an end to climate change on the inside of your home:

  • Weatherstrip around your front door to keep cold air out.
  • Place ceiling fans throughout your home, even on ceilings that have no wiring.
  • Add insulation to your attic.
  • Install a whole house fan on your hallway ceiling to cool your home in the pre- and post-air conditioning seasons.
  • Add an attic fan to keep your attic from getting excessively hot, which can trap hot air in your home.
  • Fill-in all the gaps around your house using caulk, mortar, lumber, and siding.

Let’s show the rest of the world how to live as we seek life, liberty, and the pursuit of comfort, which I’ve got to believe is a necessary subset of “happiness,” am I right? Let them have their Paris. We’ll always have Branson.

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis
314-434-4100

Can you install a ceiling fan or light to an empty ceiling?

There’s a handful of home improvements we do that totally amaze our customers — things they assumed were impossible. One is installing a ceiling fan or light fixture on a totally empty ceiling — no existing light, no electrical box, maybe not even a switch for it on their wall. Have you been wondering how to install a ceiling fan or light to an empty ceiling in your house? Then you have come to the right place.

So, how do we do it? You see, we have on staff a technician named Samantha, who is married to a hapless advertising executive named Darrin Stephens, and when she twitches her nose… Oh, not young enough to remember the TV series ‘Bewitched’? Sorry, my bad.

Well, the truth is that we install these ceiling fixtures by going fishing. But, this time I’m not kidding. We run new wires through your ceiling and walls by ‘fishing’ for them. What this means is that we find or make a hole to shove a wire behind your walls, then try to reach this wire from another place, as far away as possible, and pull the wire through.

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How Much Insulation Do I Need?

All you need to know about insulation, pink panthers & winged monkeys

A lot of homeowners go through life with a nagging suspicion they might need more of that pink, fluffy stuff known as ‘insulation’ in their attic. That their heating bills are higher than they ought to be because warm air is escaping from their living areas into the cold attic above. That when they enter Home Depot or Lowes they are supposed to know something about something called an “R” value, before they run away, shrieking and even more confused. That this all somehow relates to a silly Pink Panther animated character, an inept French police detective named Inspector Jacques Clouseau, and an old movie starring Peter Sellers, but they can’t figure out how.

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3 Fans That Will Lower Your Air Conditioning Bills

I don’t know about you, but I pity the poor people who live in places like Hawaii, who will never know that wonderful feeling of walking in from the outside on a hot, humid St. Louis summer day into an air conditioned room. No, you will never hear me, your House Doctor, preaching about the damage air conditioning does to the planet, how through some bizarre twist of fate its excessive use might lead to pneumonia, or how it costs too much money. So, tell me. If not comfort, what exactly is money for?

But while I may be one of air conditioning’s biggest fans, I am also one of its least faithful fans, as I am also a fan of 3 different types of fans — fans that let people use their air conditioners less often. These are wonder-fans, almost magic fans, because they are fans that will lower your air conditioning bills. If that isn’t magic, I don’t know what is.

In my travels speaking with customers and prospective customers, I find a great deal of confusion on what these fans are called, what are their best uses, and whether or not they can be used at the same time an air conditioner is running. So, let’s clear the air by going through each of the 3 totally different types of fans, one at a time.

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