As we’ve learned in recent years, a heat wave can hit anywhere from the Pacific Northwest all the way down to the tip of Florida. Most people’s first instinct is to turn the air conditioner temperature down, but that’s not the most efficient or effective way to cool your home in a heat wave. It’s important to do other things to help keep your home comfortable when it gets too hot outside. Whether you upgrade your home with energy efficient windows or not, these tips can help you survive even some of the hottest temperatures.
Keep your windows closed. Open windows will simply allow more heat to come in and will make it harder for your air conditioner to keep things cooler. If you have double or triple paned windows, these better insulate the interior of your home, keeping the super hot air out. If temperatures at night cool off, you can open your windows to take the burden off your AC unit to cool your home.
Blinds and shades are essential. Blackout curtains are even better. Blocking the light coming into your home means you’ll be able to more efficiently cool it during a heat wave. The more coverage you have, the better. When you cover your windows, you block out all the heat and light that can make the interior of your home very uncomfortable during a heat wave.
Ceiling fans, stand up fans, and table fans help move cool air around. Fans are an effective way to cool your home. In a heat wave, fans are a great supplement to your air conditioning system. They can also provide backup cooling in the event your AC breaks and can’t be repaired immediately. Add a bowl of ice in front of your fans and you have another way to cool each room.
Keep Your Air Conditioner Temperature Higher
It sounds counter-intuitive, but if you keep the temperature higher, you’ll feel cooler. So instead of setting the temperature at 70 degrees, set it at 75 degrees. Your air conditioner won’t need to work quite as hard as it would at a lower temperature. It puts you at less risk of your unit breaking during a heat wave and needing to call Austin, Houston, or Buda residential air conditioning for an emergency.
Close Unused Rooms
If you have a guest room or living room that no one uses regularly, you can easily close the vents leading to those rooms and close the doors. This will help direct the air conditioning to the rooms that need it the most. It makes the house cooler and helps you not waste as much electricity by cooling unused spaces.
Clean Your Air Filters
Dirty air filters mean your air conditioner won’t cool as well. If you’re wondering why your units are struggling to keep up in a heat wave, check the filters. You’d be shocked to see how much dirt can build up in a short amount of time. Clean air filters not only help you stay cool, they improve air quality. In a heat wave, when you spend more time indoors, this helps keep you healthy and feeling great.
Don’t Cook With The Oven
Any appliance that heats up your home should not be used in a heat wave. It should go without saying, but ovens and dryers cause your home to get warmer on the inside. When you use these during a heat wave, it counteracts the air conditioning and makes it harder to cool. Make sandwiches, eat leftovers, cook outside, but during a heat wave, do whatever you can to reduce the heat inside.
Use Ice Packs
When all else fails, ice packs can be a lifesaver in a heat wave. Use them on your body, put them in front of fans, and drink lots of cold water. Ice can help directly cool your body if you air conditioner breaks or if it’s not cooling as well as you’d like. An ice pack placed on your neck, your belly, and even on your feet can provide the cooling your body needs. All of these tips can help you cool your home and survive in hot temperatures.