Temperatures that are hot and muggy for at least two days are heat waves.
- You should be aware of how to avoid heat exhaustion and heatstroke to be prepared for a heat wave.
- In advance of intense heat, ensure your air conditioner is clean and functioning correctly.
- Cover windows that receive sunshine drink lots of water, and consume cold foods to stay cool without air conditioning.
An extended period of extremely high temperatures typically accompanied by excessive humidity is known as a heat wave.
Heat waves can be hazardous. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 650 Americans die yearly from treatable heat-related disorders (CDC).
As a heat wave approaches, you can take several steps to prevent heat-related illnesses like heatstroke. Here are some cool-down measures you can take at home to stay hydrated and prepare for a heat wave.
According to the CDC, air conditioning is the best defense against heat-related illnesses.
If your home is air-conditioned, you can make the most of it by ensuring the unit functions correctly before the weather warms up. You can hire an HVAC repair Jefferson professional to repair it annually or do it yourself. Make sure to turn off the device before checking it.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Replace the filter if it is dirty. According to the US Department of Energy (DOE), clean filters can reduce AC power consumption by up to 15%.
- This plastic or metal pipe, often located next to the indoor unit, collects the condensed water and drains it outside. Check for jams. Run a stiff cable down the drain to check for blockages that might be preventing the air conditioner from dehydrating.
- Vacuum register to remove dust. If you have central air conditioning, these are plastic or metal louvers that cover the walls, ceiling, or floor air ducts.
2. Stay cool without air conditioning
If you don’t have air conditioning, you can keep your home cool by doing the following:
- Turn on ceiling fans and portable fans indoors. You have to turn it off when you leave the room or when no one else is in the room to feel the airflow.
- Make sure the ceiling fan turns counterclockwise when looking at it so that cooler air moves downwards, not upwards.
- However, if the temperature is above 90 degrees, the National Weather Service warns against letting the fan blow air directly at you, as you can quickly become dehydrated.
- The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) advises against using electric fans when the outside temperature is above 95 degrees because although moving air makes you feel more relaxed, it does not lower your body temperature, which can lead to heat illness.
3. Cover windows that get sun.
It would be beneficial to close your window treatments and blinds to prevent the sun from heating your home throughout the day. According to the DOE, double-paned windows convert 76% of the sunlight penetrating them into heat. Up to 20 degrees of heat reduction can achieve by using shades.
According to the DOE, insulated cellular shades are the best window treatments for keeping your home cool. The reason is that their air pockets help to insulate against solar heat.
The DHS also suggests using a reflector, like cardboard covered in aluminum foil, to protect your windows so that heat is reflected away from your house.
4. Keep water stocked in the fridge.
During a heat wave, it’s critical to drink enough water. The fluids you lose through sweating, which is your body’s method of keeping you cool as the sweat evaporative on your skin, can be replaced by drinking water.
Hydrating and cooling you off are two benefits of drinking cooled water. Compared to drinking water at room temperature, exercising while drinking cold water significantly lowered body temperature, according to a brief study of 45 physically active males.
It’s especially crucial to drink enough water if you’re going to be active during a heat wave to assist in replenishing the fluids you’ll lose via perspiration. Everyone should start drinking water before they feel thirsty as well.
Mark Conroy, M.D., an emergency physician at the Ohio State University Werner Medical Center, thinks that once you get to that stage, you’ve probably already lost too much body fluid.
Alcohol can cause you to get dehydrated since it is a diuretic and causes your body to lose fluids quickly through urination. Alcohol also reduces your body’s ability to release heat. During a heat wave, alcohol should consume in moderation.
5. Plan to eat incredible foods.
Conroy suggests that you consume lots of fruits and vegetables during a hot wave. You can stay hydrated by eating things like cucumbers, lettuce, and watermelon because they are mostly made of water.
The American Red Cross advises spreading your meals throughout the day. Avoid eating meat and other high-protein foods because they may make your body produce extra heat.
To avoid creating extra heat in your home, switching out the oven for an outside barbecue or the microwave would be beneficial.
If you must use the oven, turn on the vent fan to exhaust the hot air outside. Instead of continually opening the oven door to check on what you’re cooking, turn on the oven light and look through the glass. As a result, the oven won’t significantly warm your home.
6. Be careful of the safety measures during heat waves.
Stay inside your air-conditioned home during a heat wave is the safest option.
Older people over 65 and children under four are more vulnerable to heat-related diseases.
However, if you must go outside, consider these additional precautions to stay safe and comfortable as the temperature rises:
- Wear loose-fitting, light-colored, cotton or moisture-wicking clothing to stay calm.
- If you intend to exercise outside, avoid strenuous activity between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. when temperatures are at their highest. Instead, work out first thing in the morning or an hour before bed.
- Take a cold shower or bath. You can also put cold packs on your head and armpits to lower your temperature.
- Never leave kids or dogs in a parked car, even with cracked windows. The temperature might reach a dangerous level in a short amount of time.
When experiencing heat exhaustion symptoms, you should seek out shade, use owens heating and air conditioning, and drink cold water to reduce your body temperature quickly. Additionally, dial 911 immediately if you begin to have heat stroke