Many people underestimate heat waves at their own peril. Did you know that scientists believe a heat wave could wipe out 75 percent of the world’s population?
The reality is that extreme heat has been taking lives for many years. In fact, one that occurred in Europe in 2003 killed an estimated 70,000 people.
Due to climate change and increasing global temperatures, the risk this type of extreme heat is higher than ever. Does your family know how to stay safe during extreme heat?
Read on for some preparation tips for the next heat event and earn how to keep your family cool, both inside and outside of your home.
1) Service Your Air Conditioner
This is perhaps the most important step to preparing for extreme heat. High temperatures place undue stress on air conditioning systems. In excessive heat conditions, A/C units are forced to run continuously to maintain the desired temperature.
If your A/C is serviced by a professional, it can withstand the burden placed on it by extreme heat. Before each summer, it is recommended to bring in an A/C professional for a thorough inspection.
Preventive maintenance on your A/C unit includes replacing filters and checking refrigerants. Also, during this process, electrical connections are inspected as well as ducts and airflow. These steps ensure that your A/C unit is ready for optimal performance during the summer months.
2) Take Additional Precautions for Your Home
Besides servicing the A/C unit, there are a number of other steps to take. The first is to ensure that your home is properly sealed.
The last thing you want during extreme heat is for cold air to escape. Before the summer arrives, inspect windows and doors throughout the house for a draft. Sealing all cracks will save money on your heating and cooling bills as well.
Preparation also includes purchasing blinds and curtains to keep the heat outside. If your family is at risk of blackouts, investing in a backup generator is also a wise decision.
3) Avoid Excessive Physical Activity During a Heat Wave
This seems like common sense, but many take extreme temperatures for granted. If work or athletics is forcing you outside, there are a number of precautions to take.
The most obvious is to drink plenty of fluid. It is important for supervisors and coaches to emphasize water intake when temperatures reach critical levels. Also, workers and athletes need frequent breaks and should not work alone.
4) Check on the Elderly and Vulnerable Family Members
The most likely victims of heat waves are the elderly and handicapped individuals. These vulnerable people often depend on others for assistance
This is difficult during extreme temperatures when everyone is staying indoors. Unfortunately, some elderly individuals cannot identify the symptoms of dehydration.
In addition, many take medications that have negative side effects in terms of hydration. The bottom line is to offer assistance to the elderly and handicapped when extreme heat conditions hit.
Wrapping It Up
Make no mistake that heat can kill. Preparing for extreme heat conditions saves lives.
Now is the right time to service your air conditioner and prepare the home to keep hot air outside. If you need your A/C unit serviced in preparation for the next heat wave, please contact us to schedule an appointment.