How to Stay Cool During a Heatwave

setting sun on a wind farm

Written by KS

July 15, 2021

Thankfully the last heatwave Oklahoma witnessed was in 2011.  However I’m still going to cover how to stay cool during a heatwave.  These will be personal tips.  And tips to keep your house cool.  Because it can still get pretty hot here in the summer months.

Although, beginning the end of this past June, Canada and the Pacific Northwestern U.S. started experiencing a heatwave.  One that will continue at least until next week.  Additionally, it’s sparked wildfires and claimed many lives.  So, Daystar Handyman will keep them in our thoughts and prayers as we go over our advice.

Five Tips to Stay Cool During a Heatwave

Woman looking at books at library or bookstore

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.co

  • Stay in air conditioned buildings

If you don’t have A/C, you can decrease your chances of heat related sickness by hanging out in community or public establishments.  Like the mall or library.

  • Don’t try to depend on either a ceiling fan or a floor fan alone to keep you cool during a heatwave
  • Drink more water

Don’t rely on your sense of thirst.  Stay hydrated!

  • Have a neighbor check on you and vice versa
  • And don’t use a high heat source, like the oven, to cook, because it’ll only make your house hotter

Living in the south, most people have air conditioning in their homes.  However people further north of us, or people living on either coast, usually don’t have A/C.  But as summers are getting hotter, some are considering getting air conditioning.  So if you read this post, don’t have any A/C, and live somewhere that is going through a heatwave, get to a public building where there’s central air to keep cool.  At least until it’s evening.

These next several tips are indicated for keeping your house cool.

Tips to Keep Your House Cool During a Heatwave:

LED lightbulb

  • Change out your lightbulbs to energy efficient LEDs if you haven’t done so already

LEDs are more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs, simply because they emit almost no heat.  Nearly all of the energy they produce goes into making light.  Whereas with incandescent bulbs, the majority of the energy is expended in heat.  Which in turn makes your house hotter.

  • Get a home energy audit

You can set this up with your electricity service provider.  But since we’re in the middle of summer, you may have to wait a month or two.  However it’s definitely worth it, because you can save up to 30% or more on your energy bill.

An energy audit also helps you know how much energy your home uses, where you’re losing energy, and which areas should be fixed first.

new home air filter

  • Change your A/C air filter regularly

Don’t wait until it’s clogged to change it, because then your HVAC unit will have to work harder to keep you cool.

  • Don’t use your stove or oven

Instead use your microwave, make sandwiches, or salads.  Or cook during the cooler part of the day, like the morning.  And just reheat when you’re ready to eat.

  • Mount ceiling fans

Ceiling fans and floor fans don’t actually cool rooms, unlike air conditioning.   Rather, they keep people cool and comfortable.  And after setting up ceiling fans, be sure to have the blades going counter clockwise, so the cool air reaches you.

LUX brand programmable thermostat to stay cool during a heatwave

There are differences in each kind of thermostat.  But if you still have a manual thermostat, and you leave throughout the day, you are probably wasting energy.

  • Close doors to rooms not in use

This is so air flows where it’s most needed.

  • Also, seal any gaps around all of the doors, inside and out, and windows, so air can’t get out
  • Install awnings or leafy shade on exterior or patio windows where the sun hits

Turbine vent on a roof to cool the attic in order to stay cool during a heatwave

You could have turbine, eave, or ridge vents placed on your house, all to achieve the same thing:  cooling your home.  They could also be electric powered, either by solar or the current in your home.  Or powered naturally, ie, wind.

  • Close blinds or drapes

And think about getting black-out curtains, especially on south-facing windows.  There are a lot more styles to choose from than when they were first being sold.  And they definitely keep the heat from the sun out.

  • Replace old windows and exterior doors

If you live in an older home, or your doors are showing a lot of wear, or windows are single pane only, examine the possibility of replacing with more energy efficient options.  And when replacing either windows or doors, they don’t all have to be done at the same time.  You can tackle one window at a time, because progress is progress.

  • Add more insulation

If you get a home energy audit, you’ll know whether your home actually could benefit from added insulation.  But in most cases, unless you have a brand new home or fairly new home, getting extra insulation is a great idea.

Insulation prevents heat from getting to the rest of your house, thereby keeping your house cool during a heatwave.  Or just a hot summer.  But it also holds in the warm air that’s already in your house in the winter.  Which keeps you warm when you want to be.

And my final tip is to check out the CDC’s website for more information on how to stay cool during a heatwave.  Even though, living in Oklahoma, we aren’t currently going through one, these are all great ideas.  Because, who doesn’t want to stay cool in the summer?

Furthermore, if you live in our service area and need help with any of these suggestions, please don’t hesitate to call.

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