If the upcoming summer is like the last few, we have some heat waves to look forward to. When the temperatures climb into the triple digits, it can be difficult for your air conditioner to keep your home cool enough to be comfortable.

Fortunately, there are ways you can reduce the temperature quickly during a heat wave to give your air conditioner a break and keep yourself more comfortable.

Set the Thermostat Higher

While you may want to turn your air conditioner up to get more cooling, that could lead your air conditioner to overwork without actually cooling your home down. Avoid dropping the thermostat to its lowest. Instead, turn it up a little and turn the fan on to get more efficient cooling.

Close the Blinds and Curtains

A helpful trick for your home is to close all your blinds, curtains, or shades on the sunny side of the house to prevent sun and heat from entering. Before air conditioners were widely available, this is how people managed to survive extreme heat.

Turn on Ceiling Fans and Standing Fans

Both ceiling fans and standing fans can help you stay cool, though they don’t cool the room itself. Fans help your sweat evaporate to reduce your body temperature, which can make you more comfortable during the heat wave.

Use Ice Water

One trick you can use for fans is putting a bowl of ice and water in front of the fans to circulate cooler air. If you have a large space to cool, use multiple bowls of ice water in front of standing fans to drop the temperature quickly.

Another option is to fill a hot water bottle with cool water and put it in the freezer. This can help you stay cool while you’re sleeping or if you’re working from home.

Close Off Empty Rooms

Spare bedrooms, extra bathrooms, a finished basement, and other unoccupied spaces can take a lot of extra cooling energy and may increase the temperature in your home. Instead of wasting the energy to heat these spaces, close the vents and the doors to keep them separate from the rest of the house, forcing the cool air to stay in the occupied areas.

Don’t Use Your Oven

Most appliances give off a little heat, but nothing quite as much as your oven. If your home is already hot, don’t cook dinner with your stove or oven. Rely on your grill or get takeout to keep your home cool.

Put Your Sheets in the Freezer

Sleeping in the heat can feel impossible. Before you go to bed, put your sheets in the freezer to let them cool down. Put them back on right before you go to bed to help your body cool down and keep the bed from getting hot overnight.

Open a Window Before Bed

Crack your bedroom windows a few hours before you go to bed to let a breeze in. If it’s still hot or the room doesn’t get a lot of ventilation, add a few fans to circulate the air and keep a breeze going all night.

Hang a Wet Sheet

If your home is still too hot, hang a wet sheet in front of a window or fan. Like the ice water remedy, having a wet sheet will help your fan circulate more cool air and bring the room temperature down. This is a good choice for bedrooms, but it can work in any room of the house.

Try a Cool Shower

Hot showers will make you hotter and will add to the humidity in your house. Before bed, take a cool shower to avoid creating any steam and get your body temperature down. If it’s too much, at least use tepid water that won’t add a lot of steam.

Only Use a Few Lights

Light bulbs give off a little bit of heat, so when you have a lot on during a heat wave, it can have a big impact on the temperature. Only turn one or two lights on to keep the temperature down. You’ll also save on your electric bill.

Don’t Use Your Washer or Dishwasher

Both the washing machine and the dishwasher create heat and moisture, which is the last thing you want when your house is already hot and muggy. If you must use these appliances, it’s best to do it overnight when it’s a little cooler inside.

Have Your Air Conditioner Checked Before the Season

Heat waves can be hard on your air conditioner, especially if they’re year after year. Though air conditioners can last for a decade or more with proper care, it’s good to schedule a tune-up before the summer hits to make sure it’s ready for the season.

Is It Time to Upgrade?

If your air conditioner has been struggling to keep up with your home’s cooling needs, it might be a sign that it’s reaching the end of its lifespan. Wear and tear make air conditioners less efficient, especially as they age, and they can’t cool as well. If you want to upgrade, it’s best to do it before the summer hits.

Do you need an air conditioner tune-up or repair? Contact the pros at JW Plumbing, Heating and Air to see how we can help!

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