How to Get Your Home Heat-Wave-Ready

Posted on 05/25/2011

Ah, summer. On one hand, there are the pool parties, barbecues, and long weekends. But on the other hand, there’s sweaty skin, sunburn and stifling heat. Use these tips to try to wipe away some of the negatives by getting your home heat-wave-ready.

Change Your Filters - Your filter is what keeps dust and allergens from clogging up your air conditioning unit. Help it run more efficiently and ward off a potential break down by changing your air filters before your AC starts working overtime. According to, keeping the filter clean can lower your air conditioner's energy consumption by up to 15 percent.

Give Your AC Unit Some Shade - If your AC unit spends a large part of the day in direct sunlight it could be working harder than it has to. Consider planting a tree nearby to offer the unit some relief from powerful rays. But don’t let vegetation get too close because that could cause damage.

Invest in Curtains or Shades - Your home won’t get quite as warm if you keep your curtains or shades closed during the day. Blocking that sunshine from entering your home will help keep it cooler.

Install an Attic Vent - Have you ever been in your attic during a heat wave? It feels kind of like a sweat lodge. Release some of that hot air by hiring a contractor to install an attic vent. It’s a relatively easy task that will keep hot air from hanging around.

Check Window Seals - Are your windows letting in hot air? If the seals are weak, old or damaged they could be. And all that hot hair rushing in will require your air conditioner to work even harder to keep your home cool.

Pull Out Your Fans - It’s time to pull your fans out of the attic or closet. They do a great job of ventilating a space which will make it feel cooler on a super hot day.

Switch to Fluorescents - Fluorescent bulbs create less heat than standard light bulbs. And anything you can do to generate less heat will make an impact on your energy bill during the hottest months.

Consider an AC Upgrade - If you use window air conditioning units and yours are extremely old you may want to consider an upgrade. Consumer Reports just released their Air Conditioner Buying Guide and many of the top rated AC units are around a couple hundred bucks. Plus they’ll run better and more efficiently even on the hottest days.

By Alison Storm

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