An unsafe and fatal heatwave overwhelmed much of the country last week. Warnings and heat advisories were taking place from the East Coast to the Midwest since temperatures rose to the triple digits, and so far the rise in heat caused six deaths. Major events had to be canceled such as the NYC Triathlon and OZY Fest, and an electrical outage caused over 40 blocks in Manhattan to lose power.
The high temperatures brought the possibility of power outages occurring throughout the country. Without power, air conditioning and fan use can be compromised.
While the heatwave is beginning to draw to a close for this year, it will surely be back in full force in years to come. To be proactive about power outages or if the power does go out during a heatwave, keep these tips in mind to stay cool.
Don’t waste more power than you need to use on devices or lighting that tend to stay on in an empty room. Even appliances or electrical devices that are off can waste power if they are plugged in. Help the kids learn that everyone can help make a difference in energy conservation by remembering to turn the TV and other electronics off when they’re done.
Create Space for Air Flow
Be sure nothing is in the way of fans or air vents so that the air can circulate throughout your entire home. Fans tend to suck curtains or other items if they are too close, which can make the cooling much less effective.
Ensure Equipment Works
If your air conditioning unit isn’t blowing cold air, troubleshoot your AC unit. Sometimes, a simple fix can ensure your family doesn’t roast during the hottest days of the year.
Keep the Temperature Even
While at home, avoid adjusting the AC often. Try and maintain a comfortable and constant temperature (78 degrees is recommended). If you or your family members get too hot, consider taking a cool shower or bath.
Don’t Let the Heat In
Since approximately 40% of heat gets in through open windows, try to keep curtains, blinds, and shades closed as much as possible (especially the side of the house that the sun is shining on). Even if sunlight isn’t directly hitting the screen, the hot air can seep in and heat the house fast.
Fans Can Be Your Best Friend
Ceiling fans or fans that sit on the floor can help if your house doesn’t have air conditioning. Even if you have AC, fans can help you distribute the cold air easily throughout the house.
Wait to Cook and Do Dishes
Some appliances create a lot of excess heat when they run, such as the dishwasher and the oven. Running these appliances when it’s cooler in the evening can save you a lot of grief because it can keep from overheating the house.
In short, since temperatures have been rising, electricity use for the average household also tends to go up during the hotter months. If everyone can help to conserve energy and incorporate these tips for saving energy when temperatures rise, the less likely power outages are to happen.