We're heading right into a 10-day heatwave, according to multiple weather outlets. Daily high temperatures will be over 90 degrees throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, so it's time to get prepared!
The Weather Channel is currently forecasting a streak of hot weather from June 26 until July 5 for most of the mid-Atlantic region. The official definition of a heatwave is at least three days of daily high temperatures over 90 degrees, so we've got that and then some.
Basically, if you were thinking of getting a new window unit or haven't quite gotten around to turning on your attic fan, do it today! For those of us with central AC, this isn't the time to get cocky. Check your air filters and replace them if they're dirty. Give your air vents a good dusting and don't run your unit too cold, as tempting as that might be.
General tips are pretty much common sense:
- Keep your shades drawn to block out the sunlight.
- Avoid cooking indoors and get your grill going instead.
- Stay hydrated and get some fun freezer pops for a quick cooling treat.
- Stay busy and think up fun activities to cool down.
- Use fans to blow hot air out and cool air in – directional fans are pretty easy to find for under $50 and do a great job of creating cool zones.
How Low Should You Go?
As crazy as it sounds, the folks at Consumer Reports recommend setting your central AC at 78 degrees when you're home, then lowering it a degree at a time until you can come to a comfortable level. At our house, that's about 72 or 73. The worst thing you can do is to run your air conditioning unit 24/7 through a long heatwave. Summer is the busiest season for repairs and you can often have to wait days, if not weeks, for a service call.
Don't go too far in the opposite direction though – set your thermostat at 80-82 degrees when you're not home, and give the unit a chance to rest. Make sure your attic fan is running to vent hot air up through the vents. When the temperatures dip down at night, use fans to move the cool air in and circulate it throughout the house.
Get Out of the Heat
If you've got kids, this is the perfect time for trips to the pool, movies, and malls. Even a stop at the library can be a good way to cool off and keep tempers in check. Don't forget the fun of running through a sprinkler! Though it's infinitely faster to go grocery shopping alone, take them along to the store, and let your errands be an activity for everyone.
Check your town's website or Facebook page for pop-up cooling stations. They can also be a good place to go if your home gets too hot. Keep an eye on elderly neighbors, especially if they don't have air conditioning. We're all in this together!
**All of the photos in this article are courtesy of Pexels.
Do you have a favorite way to beat the heat? Got an air conditioner horror story or cautionary tale? Let us know in the comments!