Extreme heat in JoCo here for ‘foreseeable future’ — Here are tips to save your home’s AC

Evergy officials recommend you keep your thermostat set at 78 during the day and keep all windows shut and curtains drawn to block light from entering your home and warming up your house. Photo credit Nikki Lansford.

If the first half of June is any indication, Johnson County and the rest of the Kansas City region could be in for one HOT summer.

How hot is it? Temperatures this week have hovered in the mid- to upper 90s during the day and stayed in the 80s at night.

  • Heat indexes have broken 100 already, numbers we normally don’t see until July or August.
  • Another heat advisory in the Kansas City metro was issued for Thursday, and there is likely to be a prolonged heat wave over the next week, according to the National Weather Service’s Kansas City field office

How hot could it get? The NWS is forecasting highs in the upper 90s through next week with the hottest days likely to be Monday and Tuesday with forecasted highs of 98 both days.

  • “The heat looks like it is hear to stay for the foreseeable future,” the NWS notes.
  • Tips on how to stay safe during extreme heat can be found on Johnson County’s website, including tips for watching out for kids, pets and elderly family members and neighbors.

Problems for your HVAC? This type of extreme heat can take a toll on your home’s AC system. To avoid disaster (or at least the sweaty inconvenience of having your HVAC poop out on you), here are some tips to stave off the summer swelter inside your home.

What temperature should I keep my thermostat at?

  • Evergy spokesperson Andrew Baker said that 78 degrees is the most common recommendation to set your air conditioner at for optimal energy efficiency throughout the day.
  • “If you find that [78 degrees] is working well for you and your family, you may be even be able to try a bit warmer temperature,” he said.

What should I NOT do with my thermostat?

  • Baker said his biggest recommendation is to avoid drastically raising and lowering the temperature in your home.
  • By doing so, he said, you can overwork your unit because it has to work hard to go up and down quickly.
  • “You’ll want to keep your system within that couple of degrees range to ensure that it doesn’t have to overwork,” he said.

Is opening the windows helpful during these extremely hot days?

  • You absolutely do not want to open your windows during this type of weather, Baker said.
  • Instead, he said, you want to make sure your windows are closed, as well as any blind or curtains drawn, in order to keep heat out of your home.

What else can I do to limit my energy bill during this time of year?

  • Baker recommended that if you have grates or vents in your floor, you want to make sure that furniture and rugs are not blocking them, so the air can blow through and properly cool your house.
  • If you have a dishwasher, make sure its fully loaded before you run it. Also, turn off the dry setting and open the door to let dishes air dry.
  • You can use cold water to wash your clothes, as it can save up to 50 cents a load.
  • Also, for all appliances, unplug them when not in use, including your cellphone once it’s done charging.