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Pro-Tips with Lenny: How to Keep Your Cool in Extreme Heat

  • Home Maintenance,
  • Pro Tips

As we enter the peak of the summer season, many of us find it challenging to maintain a cool and comfortable home environment. In the United States, the hottest days of the year typically fall between July 15-31. However, as temperatures soar to extreme heights, over 100°F in some places, it's important to remember that our home's air conditioning (AC) system has its limitations.


Your AC unit is designed to decrease the outside temperature by a maximum of 20°F. Therefore, if the outdoor temperature reaches 100°F, a well-functioning AC system will cool your home down to around 80°F. It's not unusual, given the limitations of the system, to see your indoor temperature rise slightly on exceptionally hot days, even if your AC is working at full capacity.


So, how can you keep your home comfortable during periods of extreme heat? Here are ten essential tips for maintaining a cool home:


  1. Adjust Your Thermostat: Use a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature during different times of the day, maintaining a balance between comfort and energy efficiency.

  2. Use Blinds and Curtains Wisely: Keep your blinds closed during the day and consider investing in heat-blocking curtains or window films to block out the sun's rays effectively.

  3. Ensure Regular AC Servicing: Annual professional cleaning of the condenser and coil of your AC unit promotes good performance and energy efficiency.

  4. Monitor Your Air Filter: Regularly check and change your air filter to ensure your AC unit is working at optimal efficiency.

  5. Maximize Air Circulation: Make sure your ceiling fans are set to run in a counter-clock direction in summer to pull cool air up. Don’t close off vents in your home; your AC system needs to dispense air evenly.

  6. Limit Use of Heat-Producing Appliances: Avoid using appliances like dishwashers, dryers, and stoves until the cooler hours of the day. This is a great opportunity to take your cooking skills outside and use a grill (just bring some water with you to stay hydrated). 

  7. Properly Insulate Your Home: Quality insulation keeps the cool air in and the hot air out, making your home more energy-efficient.

  8. Seal Doors and Windows: Use weatherstripping to seal cracks and gaps, preventing cold air from escaping and hot air from entering.

  9. Use a Dehumidifier: A dehumidifier can remove excess moisture from your home, making it feel cooler during humid summer days.

  10. Invest in Outdoor Shading: If possible, plant shade trees near windows or install awnings to create natural shade and reduce the heat entering your home.

Understanding and implementing these strategies can help make your home more comfortable, no matter how high temperatures climb outside. By managing the cooling of our homes efficiently, we're not just creating a more comfortable living space, but also contributing to more sustainable energy consumption.