woman adjusting thermostat

5 Tips for Getting Your AC Through a Heatwave

Here in Texas, we’re no stranger to brutal summers and blistering temperatures. In fact, our state consistently ranks among the five hottest states in the U.S.! When you live in a climate like this, it’s essential to know how to help your air conditioning system through a heatwave in the most efficient, comfortable, and healthy way possible.


1. Stay on top of annual maintenance.

Keeping your air conditioner well-maintained is the most effective way to prevent it from breaking down and losing efficiency and performance capability. Throughout their lifespans, air conditioners suffer normal wear and tear, and their motors, belts, and other components can loosen and become so dirty that it affects their efficiency.

Maintenance helps reverse this wear and tear so that your air conditioner can function effectively and at a lower risk of failing when put up against intense summers. During a heatwave, your air conditioner will work against high temperatures over a long period. If its parts aren’t prepared to take on that challenge, your system could overheat and shut down or fail altogether.

2. Close your window coverings.

Though it may seem like an insignificant detail, closing curtains, shutters, and blinds to block out direct sunlight can make your home a lot cooler and reduce the strain on your AC. Research from the Department of Energy shows that if you own standard, double-pane windows, approximately 76 percent of the sunlight that shines through them will become heat inside your home.

3. Use all of your electric fans.

When a heatwave comes, it’s all fans on deck! Even though fans don’t remove heat from the air the way your air conditioner does, they’ll make your body feel cooler as they blow on you. If you feel cooler and more comfortable, you won’t have to rely on your air conditioner as much, and you can turn up the thermostat a few degrees. Make sure to double-check that your ceiling fans are rotating counterclockwise so that they can cool rooms effectively.

4. Postpone using appliances and electronics that generate a lot of heat until later in the evening.

If possible, put off using your stove and oven, and instead opt for foods that can be microwaved or eaten cold or at room temperature. If you use your dishwasher, turn off the heated dry cycle, as this will only make your kitchen more hot and humid. Remember: humid air takes longer to cool than dry air, so adding humidity to your home’s air will only make your AC work harder.

5. Focus on ways to keep your body cooler.

The more comfortable your body feels, the more of a break you can give your air conditioner. Here are a few ways to keep cool:

  • Drink cold beverages; just make sure to avoid those with alcohol or lots of caffeine.

  • Place cold, damp cloths on your wrists, neck, and other pulse points.

  • Soak your feet in cold water.

  • Wear loose, breathable clothes.

At Tom's Mechanical, Inc., we are available 24/7 for emergency AC services. If your air conditioner stops working, please don’t hesitate to call us at (972) 388-3669.