How to Stay Cool During a Philadelphia Heatwave

 

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The only thing that stands a remote chance of making an area resident miss a Philadelphia winter is a Philadelphia heatwave.

No one wants to be hot, sticky, and miserable. Follow our suggestions, and you’ll get through any heatwave with your cool firmly intact.

Resist the Urge to Super Cool Your Home

The natural reaction to a heatwave is to crank the AC to a temperature suitable for ice skating. However, that’s a counterproductive move. You could put so much stress on your AC unit that it suffers a mechanical failure. You wouldn’t want to risk being without air conditioning during a heatwave while you wait for a repair technician. So, keep the temperature moderate.

Give Your AC a Break

Another inclination to avoid is to leave the AC running when no one is home. Homeowners like to return to a cool, welcoming interior space. But would you leave your car running with its air conditioner on for eight hours while you’re at work so that you wouldn’t step into a hot car at the end of the day? No, of course you wouldn’t.

But what you might do is use a remote starter to get the car and its AC running a few minutes before you get in. You can use the same approach for your home AC. If you upgrade to a programmable thermostat, you can schedule the AC to turn on 30 minutes before your arrival. You’d save money, you’d extend the life of your air conditioner, and you wouldn’t have to walk into a hot, muggy home.

Keep People Cool, Not Spaces

For most houses, different rooms are warmer than others at various times of the day as those particular rooms receive more sunlight. You can close those extra rooms in your house that you’re not using to prevent their heat from warming the rest of the house.

However, ignore the advice to close the vents. It seems logical to close the vents in the rooms that you’re not using, but doing so can harm your AC unit.

When you close a vent, the air conditioner continues to produce the same amount of cool air. The cool air that’s blocked by a closed vent creates back pressure in the ductwork. This added pressure can cause small ruptures in the seams of the ducts, which will allow the cool air to escape. That means that by trying to help your air conditioner by closing vents, you forced it to work even harder. Now it has to produce more cool air to compensate for the air that’s disappearing through the holes in the ductwork.

Create a Movie Theater Experience

When you think of a movie theater, you imagine a cool, dark place. Try to recreate that experience at home to stay comfortable during a heatwave.

Theaters don’t have windows, which is one reason a theater is easy to keep cool. So you need to cover as many windows as you can with drapery that’s thick enough to block the sunlight. Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of covering windows. The more heat you block, the less heat your air conditioner has to remove.

Go Easy on the Cooking

A heatwave is a perfect excuse for not slaving all day over a hot stove. A conventional oven can produce enough heat to warm an entire kitchen. That’s bad news for your overworked air conditioner.

Skip the oven and cook exclusively on the stovetop or in a microwave. If you choose to use the stovetop, you should lean toward quick meals such as stir fry recipes. Try to avoid soups and other items that require long cooking times over a flame. Not only do the cooking techniques for those recipes require lots of heat, but they also release a lot of humidity.

Heatwaves are no fun, but following our tips can make them tolerable. If you’re wondering if your AC unit is prepared and capable of helping you stay cool during a Philadelphia heatwave, schedule an appointment with one of our well-trained technicians. Contact HVAC Phillly today.

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