Heat Waves: Preparing Your Home

Each summer, one or more areas of the country are affected by heat waves. In many regions, high temperatures are combined with high humidity, making the heat even more damaging. Try these preparation tips to help conserve energy, and keep things cool as you escape indoors during a heat wave:

  1. MAINTAIN AIR CONDITIONERS: Routine maintenance can keep your air conditioner running efficiently and at the ready when you need it. Have a professional clean the coils and fins, test the refrigerant level and inspect your equipment. Change your HVAC system filter regularly. It helps prevent dirt and dust from accumulating on the evaporator coil or restricting air flow. You can usually clean a window unit by removing the outer case, straightening bent fins with a fin comb, cleaning the coils with an A/C coil cleaner and cleaning the fan blades with a household cleaner and rag.
  2. USE ELECTRIC FANS: Ceiling and stand-alone fans help keep you cooler by speeding the evaporation of sweat on your skin. They don’t actually cool the air, but they’ll help you feel cooler.
  3. SEAL GAPS & CRACKS: Reduce the amount of cool air that escapes. Install weather stripping around doors and windows. Seal gaps around areas like trim and pipes with expanding foam or caulking.
  4. INSTALL SHADES OR BLINDS: Direct sunlight can make it feel warmer. Close the shades or blinds to block the sun.