Tips to help keep your home cool in the heat

Posted at 5:44 PM, Jul 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-22 17:54:21-04

Hampton Roads - With temperatures soaring across Hampton Roads, air conditioning companies are working around the clock to keep units running and families safe from the heat.

"I have three dogs at home and that's a concern when its hot out," said Lauren Smith. "When you go inside and have he cold air hit you it just makes you feel better because it is very hot out there."

While technicians work to fix air conditioning units, there are ways to keep your home cool so homeowners don't have to keep cranking up the air.

"One of the first things you should do is close all the blinds," explained Tim Birkholz with One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning. "I know people like a lot of nature light, but you want to keep that heat from getting in."

Ceiling fans also help with air circulation, as well as cleaning the air filter for the air conditioner.

Here are some additional tips to keep your home cool from Dominion Power.

  • Raise your thermostat a few degrees if possible, (76-78 degrees is the ideal) taking into account your comfort level and any medical conditions that exists for household members. If you are away from home for more than eight hours, raise the thermostat setting and you can save for each degree of setback. You can learn more about your thermostat settings by visiting the U.S. Department of Energy website.
  • Check and clean air filters—it allows the system to run more efficiently. The #1 cause of AC breakdown is dirty air filters.
  • Postpone activities that require hot water and large energy use – such as washing dishes or clothes – to early morning or late evening.  This will keep from adding more heat and humidity to the home.
  • Use cold water to wash dishes and clothes. This will save on water heating costs and keep temps in your home lower.
  • Unplug equipment or appliances when not in use. Electric chargers, televisions and audio/video equipment use electricity and produce heat even when they are not in use. Running an older refrigerator can use up to three times the energy of a modern one.