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Potential For More Heat Waves Possible

Area Programs Provide Aid

Posted: July 13, 2013 at 5 a.m.

Charles Smith with Heating & Air Solutions hooks up to test the coolant line pressure on a condenser unit Thursday at a home in Springdale. Proper refrigerant pressure is essential for a central air system to work properly. Smith has several easy tips to prolong the life of an air conditioner until including keeping grass and shrubs at least three feet away from the outside unit and when mowing, to always mow away from the unit to keep the mower from blowing clippings into the unit.

The odds are good temperatures will be higher than average this summer in Northwest Arkansas, a National Weather Service representative said.

At A Glance

Block The Heat

• Plant a deciduous shade tree near the home to control the amount of heat that reaches your house.

• Repair and weatherstrip air leaks in the home; about 10 to 25 percent of energy used to cool homes escapes via leaks.

• Increase attic insulation if the joists are showing. Recommended level is R-38, or 10-16 inches of blown insulation.

Thermostat

• Install a programmable thermostat; set it higher when away.

• When home, set thermostat to 78 degrees.

• Install ceiling fans to circulate cool air throughout the house.

• Maintain consistent temperatures.

Windows, Vents

• Replace air filters monthly to improve air flow.

• Shade windows with light-colored shades to reflect heat.

• Close draperies and shades on south-facing windows to block sunlight and heat during the day.

• Install awnings on windows that get excessive sun in the late afternoon.

• Move furnishings away from floor or return air vents.

Appliances

• Hang laundry outside to dry. Use the dryer’s fluff cycle to soften any stiffness.

• Use a microwave instead of a conventional oven.

• Avoid using heat-producing appliances such as ovens or dryers during the hottest parts of the day.

Source: swepco.com

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