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How to Quickly Cool Your Home During a Heatwave

November 22, 2023 | Blog

Summers have been hot in Austin the past few years, so we’re probably looking at another heat wave this year. When it’s that hot out, even your air conditioner may struggle to keep up with the heat in your home.

If it gets uncomfortable inside, you can help your air conditioner out with these tips to cool your home down quickly.


Keep the Thermostat Up

This may seem counterintuitive, but turning your air conditioner’s thermostat all the way down won’t help your air conditioner cool any better. In fact, it may make the situation worse and put undue stress on your system. At best, your air conditioner can only reduce the indoor temperature about 20 degrees or so lower than outside, so keep the thermostat higher.

Use Fans to Help

Fans can’t cool the air, but they can reduce the burden on your air conditioner by circulating the conditioned air better. Ceiling, standing, and table fans also help keep you cooler, as they dry your sweat and help your body release heat.

Another option is to add bowls of ice water in front of your fans. This will circulate cool air to bring down the temperature inside. You may need to use multiple bowls in front of fans to cool a larger space.

Keep the Blinds and Shades Closed

We didn’t always have the luxury of air conditioners to cool our homes. People used to rely on closing the blinds and shades to block out the sun, limiting the heat inside. Make sure you close the blinds on the side of your home that’s get the most sunlight.

Make Your Space Smaller

There’s no sense cooling rooms that are unused, especially when it’s sweltering out. Close the air vents to unoccupied bathrooms, bedrooms, or other spaces during a heat wave. This not only prevents you wasting energy to cool these spaces, but it can help the main part of the house stay cool.

Cook Outside

The oven is one of the worst appliances to use during a heat wave. Even at a lower temperature, your oven will produce a lot of heat, so try to cook outside. You could also order takeout or make meals that don’t require heating, such as sandwiches or salads.

Cool Your Sheets in the Freezer

If you struggle to sleep when it’s hot, try putting your sheets in the freezer to cool them down before you go to bed. Put them on the bed right before you’re about to settle in for the night to cool your body down and keep heat from building up on your bed. This is great for pillowcases as well.


Let a Breeze In

Leave your bedroom windows cracked for a few hours before you go to bed to make the bedroom less stuffy and cool it down. If your bedroom doesn’t get great ventilation, put some fans in the room to circulate the air.

Take a Cool Shower

Hot showers will only make you warmer and increase the humidity in your home. Before bed, take a cool or lukewarm shower to cool down without creating a lot of steam. If you prefer hot showers, wait until it’s cooler in the morning or late in the evening.

Don’t Turn on a Lot of Lights

Like all appliances, light bulbs give off extra heat. If you have your whole home lit up, you’re creating a lot of heat in your home. Try to leave the lights off until it’s necessary, and only use one or two lights when the sun goes down.

Try Hanging a Wet Sheet

Hanging a wet sheet in front of your window or fan has a similar effect as using ice water. Your fan can circulate cooler air – without increasing the humidity too much – and cools the space down. If your bedroom’s hot, consider using a sheet to sleep better through the night.

Don’t Use Your Washer or Dishwasher

Washing machines and dishwashers are two appliances you should avoid using if it’s already hot. Both of them produce a lot of heat and humidity, which will make your house even more uncomfortable. If you have to use them, wait until the sun goes down.

Get a Tune Up Before the Season Begins

Hot summers take a toll on your air conditioner. It’s best to get a tune up before the season starts to ensure your air conditioner is up to the task. If you wait, you could end up with an emergency repair or breakdown that makes things even more miserable.

If your air conditioner is older and losing efficiency, you may want to upgrade to a newer and more efficient model in the off season. This is a good option if your air conditioner is reaching the end of its lifespan as well.

Is it time for a tune up or a new air conditioner? Contact us at Service Wizard to see what we can do for you!

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