Staying Cool During a Heatwave: Tips for Your Home | Legacy Heating & Air | A Cook-Family Business
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Staying Cool During a Heatwave: Tips for Your Home

As summer temperatures start to soar, keeping your home cool during a Midwest heatwave can become a major challenge. Excessive heat isn’t just uncomfortable; it can also be dangerous, especially for vulnerable populations such as the elderly and young children. Here’s how to keep your living space cool and comfortable when the mercury rises…

Optimal Temperature Settings

During a heatwave, aim to keep your home at a comfortable yet energy-efficient temperature. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting your air conditioner to 78°F when you are at home. When you’re away, raise the temperature to 85°F to save energy. If 78°F feels too warm, try experimenting within a range that balances comfort and efficiency, typically between 72°F and 78°F.

Keeping Cool Air Inside

Ensuring your home is properly sealed and insulated is key to keeping cool air inside. Check for gaps around doors, windows, and vents, and use weatherstripping or caulk to seal them. Proper insulation in your attic and walls will also help maintain indoor temperatures by reducing the amount of cool air that escapes and hot air that enters.

Close blinds, shades, and curtains, especially on south and west-facing windows, to block out the sun’s heat. Blackout curtains can be particularly effective in keeping rooms cooler. Reflective window film is another option that can reduce heat gain without obstructing your view.

Fans can enhance the effectiveness of your air conditioner. Ceiling fans should rotate counterclockwise in the summer to push cool air down. Use portable fans to create cross-ventilation by placing them in windows during cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening, to draw in fresh air and push out hot air.

Maintaining Your AC

Keep your air conditioning unit running efficiently with regular maintenance. Replace or clean filters every one to two months during the cooling season to ensure good airflow. Dirty filters force your AC to work harder, which can lead to higher energy consumption and potential system failure.

Ensure that the area around your outdoor AC unit is free from debris, plants, and other obstructions. Good airflow around the unit is crucial for optimal performance. Trim any plants or bushes that are within two feet of the unit.

Additional Tips

Limit the use of heat-generating appliances such as ovens, stoves, and dryers during the hottest parts of the day. Instead, cook meals in the microwave or prepare no-cook dishes. Run your dishwasher and laundry during the evening or early morning hours when temperatures are cooler.

While this isn’t a home-cooling tip, staying hydrated and wearing light, breathable clothing can make you feel cooler and more comfortable even if your indoor temperature is higher than usual.

Designate one room in your home as a “cool zone.” Keep this area extra cool by using an additional fan or portable air conditioner, and retreat there during the hottest parts of the day.

When to Call the Pros

The last thing you want to happen is to have your AC breakdown in the middle of a heatwave this summer. Watch out for these warning signs…

  • Your AC is older than 15 years
  • Your AC is running constantly (while running frequently during a heatwave is normal, running all day/night is not)
  • Are you making frequent, expensive repairs?
  • Your AC is making loud noises or you notice odd odors
  • You have hot/cold spots in your home

Keep your trusted HVAC service on speed-dial. At Legacy, we offer 24-7 emergency service via call or text to 574.293.8444.

Stay Cool

Dealing with a heatwave requires a combination of smart thermostat settings, effective insulation, regular AC maintenance, and mindful use of heat-generating appliances. By following these tips, you can keep your home cooler, save on energy costs, and stay comfortable during the hottest days of the year. Stay cool, stay safe, and enjoy your summer!

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