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How to Maintain Indoor Comfort During Heat Waves

How to Maintain Indoor Comfort During Heat Waves

When those extreme days of summer come, it pays to be prepared. Instead of spending the day soaking in your own sweat, you can avoid the discomfort with the right strategy. Fortunately, we’re going to share with you our best tips for keeping your home cool during the next summertime heat wave.

Keep the Direct Sunlight Out

If you’ve ever sat near a sunny window, then you know just how hot the sun can be. In fact, the sun can heat up the various rooms in your home by 10 degrees Fahrenheit or more. To avoid having to overrun your air conditioning system to combat this excess heat, it only makes sense to keep it out in the first place. Traditional methods that work well are to use curtains or blinds. However, if you still want to be able to see out of your window, you may want to spend a little more and buy UV window film. This is a specialized film that you can place on your windows to block out the sunlight.

Use Exhaust Fans

Whenever steam is created, it increases the humidity level inside your home. As the humidity level gets higher, it becomes harder for your body to sweat. This means that your body struggles to adequately cool down, and you feel much hotter. Keeping steam out of your home should be a top priority. One of the best ways to do this is by running your exhaust fans. Whenever you take a shower, make sure your bathroom exhaust fan is running to vent that steam directly to the outdoors. The same holds true for your stove’s range hood.

Run Ceiling Fans

If you haven’t already installed ceiling fans in your home, it’s high time you considered doing so. These fans can go a long way in helping to supplement your HVAC system throughout the year. More specifically, in the hot summer months, your ceiling fan will create a much-needed breeze. This breeze creates a wind chill effect on your body, where sweat is wicked away quickly. This cools down your body and makes you feel like the room is colder than it actually is. Just make sure that your ceiling fans are spinning in a counterclockwise direction to receive the best comfort results.

Cook Outside

Cooking is one of those activities that can introduce uncomfortable heat into your home. Just running the stovetop for a few minutes can make your kitchen feel unbearable. Do yourself a favor and skip cooking indoors. Rather, take it to the outdoors. By using an outdoor grill or pizza oven, you can leave all that heat outside. If you don’t have a lot of outdoor space, consider using the microwave or preparing cold meals for your family during the heat wave.

Avoid Using Your Dryer

Your clothes dryer can create a lot of unnecessary heat that gets trapped inside your home. It’s best to avoid using it. Instead, opt for hang-drying your clothes outdoor. Not only can you avoid creating heat, but you can reduce your energy bills in the process by using your clothes dryer less.

Keep Your Outdoor Unit Clear

The outside condenser unit plays a big role in your air conditioning system’s ability to adequately cool your home. If the unit has its vents obstructed by debris, like leaves, it can restrict airflow. When your unit can’t get the proper airflow it needs, it will struggle to cool your home efficiently. Before any major heat wave, be sure to take a moment to inspect your outdoor AC unit. Remove any debris stuck up against its housing and straighten out any bent fins.

Invest in Quality Insulation

Your home’s insulation is a barrier between the inside and outside of your home. The more resistant that barrier is to the outdoor heat, the more effective it’s going to be at keeping your air-conditioned air inside your home. If you haven’t checked your insulation lately, give it a glance. If it doesn’t meet or exceed the recommended R-value for your area of the country, then consider replacing it with insulation that does.

Unplug Unused Appliances

It’s very common in this day and age to have multiple appliances plugged into the outlets throughout your home. Unfortunately, all of your appliances can create heat, even when they’re just in stand-by mode. To help reduce this unnecessary heat and energy usage, simply unplug appliances that aren’t in use.

Have a Fresh HVAC Filter

Your air conditioning system will have an air filter that’s responsible for removing unwanted airborne debris from your home. This can include things like dust, pollen, and even pet dander. As your filter works, it will trap these particles in its fibers. As your filter approaches the end of its lifespan, its fibers will be so thick with debris that your cooling system will have to work overtime to pass air through it.

You can avoid having this problem by simply replacing your old air filter with a new one. You should always have new filters on hand for this reason. Before any major heat wave hits, check the state of your existing HVAC filter to see if it needs to be replaced. This way, you can be assured that your cooling system’s energy is fully going into producing cold air for your home.

Seal All Air Leaks

Your home can develop air leaks around its exterior walls. These show up most commonly around doors, windows, light switches, and outlets. Run your hand around these areas and see if you feel a difference in temperature. If you do, you likely have an air leak that needs to be sealed off. You can use weatherstripping or caulking to handle air leaks around windows and doors. When it comes to electrical outlets and light switches, there are foam inserts that can be installed to block out unwanted outside air.

Ensure Your Attic Is Well-Ventilated

As the temperatures heat up outdoors, so does your roof. The heat will penetrate through your shingles and into your attic. If your attic is closed off, heat levels can reach well over 150 degrees Fahrenheit. While insulation is resistant to heat, that only holds true up to a certain temperature.

Most residential insulation won’t withstand these high temperatures and will allow heat to penetrate into the rooms of your home, heating up its overall temperature. You can help to prevent this unwanted heat penetration by properly ventilating your attic. This can be done by opening attic vents and/or turning on ventilation fans. By getting air movement through your attic, it will help to lower its overall temperature so your insulation can remain effective.

Top-Notch AC Service

Crystal Blue Plumbing, Heating, & Air provides top-notch cooling services for the entire Sacramento, CA region. Our helpful technicians can also assist with all of your heating, ductless mini-split, plumbing, indoor air quality, commercial, and ducting needs. Give us a call today to schedule your next consultation with one of our experienced technicians.