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6 Great Tips for a Cool House in a Heat Wave

sun-iconA heatwave may sound cool in song titles, but it’s the exact opposite of cool when it strikes where you live. When the heat arrives, you’re going to rely on your air conditioning a great deal, and the last thing you want is to call for air conditioning repair in Burlington, VT to rescue it. We have a 24-hour emergency service, but during a heatwave we can get busy helping with AC disasters.

We want to help you ease the stress on your AC with some helpful tips to keep your house cooler when those tidal waves of heat roll in.

1. Set the thermostat to 78°F

Here’s an important piece of information about how your AC works: it can only lower the temperature a maximum of 20°F. So if it’s 98°F outside, you can’t go lower than 78°F. And we recommend you keep it a 78°F and no lower because this is a comfortable temperature that will also help slow down heat gain in the house. The colder you try to make the house, the faster it will heat up.

2. Close drapes, blinds, shutters

One of the ways heat gets in your house past all the insulation in the walls and attic is through open windows. Radiant heat from the sunshine pushes through easily. You can stop this by lowering blinds, closing drapes, closing shutters. Yes, it may seem a bit dark, but this is one of the best ways to prevent extra heat in the house.

3. Makes sure there is a clean filter in the HVAC system

A clogged air filter can mean major problems when the AC has to run for long periods. You’ll protect your AC from overheating and help with cool air circulation throughout the house. Even running the fan without the AC will help with cooling.

4. Use fans

Do you have ceiling fans? We hope you are putting them to good use! Now is also the time to pull out those desk fans or large standing fans for wherever you’re working in your house. Just remember that fans help you feel cooler but don’t lower the temperature in a room—so turn off fans in rooms that aren’t being used to reduce electrical use. (High electrical use during a heatwave can cause grid problems.)

5. Make your own evaporative cooler

Do you have a good supply of ice cubes in your refrigerator? If you aren’t using those for cool drinks, you can use them to make a jerry-rigged evaporative cooler. Place a bowl full of ice before a fan running, and air from the fan will lose heat as it passes over the ice. Presto! An evaporative cooler that costs almost nothing to run. (Better start freezing more ice.)

6. Shut off as many heat-generating appliances as you can

This starts with incandescent lights, which are a major heat source in a house. Shut down any other appliance you don’t need that generates heat. We recommend you avoid cooking with the stove or oven during this time. This is when a microwave is extremely handy. Or stick to cold food.

Red Rock Mechanical, LLC serves Northwest Vermont and Northeast New York. Call when you need emergency AC repair.

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