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As Pittsburgh braces for a heat wave, here are some ways to keep yourself and your home cool

Getting ready for the impending heat wave
Getting ready for the impending heat wave 02:49

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - We are just days away from a heat wave hitting our area and now is the time to get your home prepared. 

There are things you can do to keep your air conditioner from failing and even give it some help. 

In this case, a relatively cheap ounce of prevention can prevent spending a bundle on a pound of a cure. 

The alter-ego of the sun warming your flowers today - it's blistering brother - is on the way this weekend and your home is a sitting absorber. 

"There's a heat gain," explained Rocco Florio, owner of AirPro Heating and Cooling. "You can't do anything about the walls, that's your heat gain, but your windows, close your shades." 

Floiro said that a lot of people have blinds on their windows and just closing them will save you money when the heat is hitting hard and just being able to keep every degree of heat out that you can will save your air conditioning. 

"It takes one hour to drop the temperature one degree when we have these heat indexes," he said. 

Another way to keep your air conditioning running efficiently is to check the filter, or as Florio puts it, "it's always the filters." 

He explained that a dirty filter causes most air conditioner failures. That causes the furnace to work harder to pull air through. 

"It'll shut down, it can freeze up, so you get freezing outside by the condenser freezing inside by the coil," he explained. "Now your unit has to be turned off and you have changed the filter - let it sit for a while." 

Florio also said that low refrigerant levels can cause your air conditioning to work harder and can also lead to it freezing up and failing. 

A couple more tips - if the nighttime temperature is lower than your air conditioner's setting, open up the windows and let Mother Nature help with the cooling. You can also keep incandescent bulbs off, cook outside not inside, drink cold drinks, and dress in lightweight clothing to keep your own body temperature down. 

As far as air conditioners go, the biggest thing is to get a fresh filter, that can really make that much of a difference. 

Getting those isn't difficult - they range in price with many starting under $10 and they are sold in multipacks. 

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