The National Weather Service just announced an excessive heat warning for the Phoenix Metro area that will extend out through the weekend. With temperatures ranging from 110-116 degrees, here are a few tips that will help keep your home cool.
1. Keep the shades closed during the day. Some energy studies have shown keeping the shades closed can reduce heat inside your home by over 30 percent!
2. Try and minimize how often outside doors are opened.
3. Use the microwave or toaster oven instead of the stovetop or oven. As long as you are not exposed to the heat outside for long, consider using an outdoor grill. Anytime the stovetop or oven inside the house is used, it makes the AC unit work harder to cool the home.
4. Set the thermostat to a comfortable level, and leave it there. Some homeowners believe that by turning the AC off when you not at home can save energy costs, but it actually makes things worse. During the hot Phoenix summers, our AC experts recommend setting the thermostat to around 79 degrees, or a bit higher if you can tolerate it. If you have a programmable thermostat, temperatures during the night could be set to a recommended 75-77 degrees.
5. Use ceiling fans or other fans to circulate air in the house as much as possible.
6. It may sound insignificant, but the heat generated by incandescent light bulbs can make a difference when it gets this hot. Consider LED light bulbs – they generate virtually no heat, and are much more energy efficient in general.
7. Replace all A/C filters often to ensure maximum airflow. The dirtier the filters get, the hard the AC unit has to work to get the home cool.
Important Reminders From The Weather Service:
- Never leave kids or pets unattended in cars.
- Drink more water than usual.
- When outdoors, wear light colored clothing and keep your head and body cooler with a hat.
- Take frequent rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments.
- Recognize the signs and symptoms of heat illness.
- Early symptoms include things such as headache, thirst, and muscle cramps. Serious and severe symptoms include nausea, sweating that has stopped, and unconsciousness.