ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Heat Up/Cool Down St. Louis founder Gentry Trotter took to Twitter Wednesday morning, saying you might as well give a senior a gun if you donate a room fan in this type of heat.

“Here’s the problem – fans, it’s like giving a gun to a senior citizen — it’s deadly. You can not give a person a fan; all a fan does is give out a false sense of the temperature,” Trotter says. “And all the houses that the media, and all the public officials have found dead have been people in a house with the fan working, but no air conditioner.”

Using a fan as a supplement to an air conditioner is fine, Trotter says, but “there is no substitute for an AC.”

If your electric bill is keeping you from turning the air conditioning on, Cool Down St. Louis and Ameren want to help.

The power company on Wednesday donated thousands to Cool Down St. Louis, which helps those in the area who either need a window air conditioning unit or need help paying their utility bills.

While accepting a $20,000 donation from Ameren Missouri, the energy assistance charity purchased two pallets of air conditioners at a south St. Louis Home Depot.

Ameren calls this heat wave “severe weather.” To stay cool and keep your bill low, Ameren recommends setting the thermostat at 78 and keeping it there, turn ceiling fans on, making sure they are turning counter-clockwise, closing window shades, changing your air filter every three months, and keeping all vents in all rooms open.

Trotter says the Cool Down organization is trying to get the seniors to do two things: Don’t go out to a cooling center – stay at home, turn the air on and keep it on — and get with Cool Down STL when you need help with your utility bill.

He emphasizes that Cool Down St. Louis will help senior citizens (62 or older) and the disabled pay high electric bills.

“AC is the gift of life,” Trotter says.

Want to help? Visit for more details on assistance, or to make a donation.

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