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How Hot Is Too Hot? Keeping Cool Amidst Rising Temperatures

Each summer, you prepare for the heat by purchasing a pool pass, buying cool clothing, or bringing your fans out of storage. But this summer seems even hotter than last summer. Despite your preparation for the summer temperatures, you feel uncomfortable in the heat, and you even notice it affecting your health.
Temperatures have certainly risen in recent years. According to NASA, 16 of the 17 warmest years in the past 136 years occurred after 2001. Can this rising heat pose a danger for you and your family? And what can you do to prepare for these hot temperatures?

Check the Temperature

You already know you should limit or avoid outdoor activities in hot weather. But how hot is too hot?
In order to know whether a given temperature poses a threat, check the weather report. Temperatures above 90 degrees can negatively impact health. They are especially dangerous for the elderly and those with chronic health problems. Temperatures above 105 degrees are particularly dangerous for everyone.
Along with checking the temperature in the weather report, make sure you check the humidity level as well. High humidity means the air will seem hotter than it actually is. For example, a temperature of 85 degrees F with 80% humidity feels like 97 degrees F. The weather report should include what the temperature actually feels like, and this is the temperature you should pay attention to.

Understand the Negative Impact of Heat

There are three main kinds of heat-related illnesses: heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. Heat cramps occur in the arms, calves, and abdomen after exercising. They happen when you lose water and salt during exercise. Drinking water and sports drinks is the easiest way to address the problem.
Heat exhaustion happens after exposure to extreme heat, particularly heat with humidity. Symptoms include exhaustion, dizziness, nausea and sweating. You can decrease heat-related symptoms by getting out of the heat, preferably into a cool air conditioned area. You could also drink water and place cool cloths on your forehead.
Heatstroke is the most dangerous heat-related illness. Someone with heat stroke might have a rapid pulse and red skin and may lose consciousness. If you notice dangerous symptoms in yourself or someone else, you should call 911.
Prevent Heat-Related Illnesses
The best thing you can do to prevent heat-related illness is to stay out of the sun when temperatures rise. A cool, air conditioned home can keep you comfortable during a heat wave.
To have an air conditioned home, you need a functioning air conditioner. The last thing you want is to have your air conditioner break down on a hot day. Plus, inefficient air conditioners could increase your utility bills.
To ensure your air conditioner functions properly, have a professional maintain it before summer begins. He or she can inspect the air conditioner for any problems that may prevent it from running efficiently. Common problems include low refrigerant, a frozen coil, a broken fan or faulty wiring.
Make sure to also change your air conditioner's filter about every two months. This improves your air conditioner's efficiency while helping you maintain good air quality in your home.
If you haven't had your air conditioner checked yet this summer, it's not too late to do so. If your air conditioner is old and inefficient, an air conditioning technician can help you choose a more effective system. An upgraded system can more effectively cool your home and can save you money on energy bills.
Follow these tips to avoid heat-related health problems and stay cool this summer. If you need air conditioner maintenance, repair or installation, call Matthew Roberts Incorporated.