By Kellie Barker, Store Team Leader, Rommel’s Ace Hardware
Is this Maryland – or Florida? It’s hard to tell the difference in the heart of Summer. Excessive heat, as well as buckets of humidity, create misery for those unfortunate enough to have to work outside – or for the rest of us who choose to attend outdoor events like O’s games. With that in mind, here are a few hints to help you survive and even thrive as Summer blazes on.
Heat Wave Preparation
Install/maintain air conditioners. If you already have air conditioning, have a professional inspect your equipment and make repairs if necessary. High heat can cause appliances to fail, and the worst time to have an air conditioner break down is during a heat wave.
Buy an electric fan. Both ceiling and stand-alone fans help keep you cool by enhancing the evaporation of sweat on your skin. While these units don’t actually cool the air, they will help you feel cooler in your home.
Put up outdoor awnings or louvers. FEMA cites that these simple improvements to the home’s exterior provide more shade and can reduce the amount of heat that enters the home by as much as 80 percent.
Check your home’s insulation. If you have an air-conditioning unit, proper insulation will help keep the home cool during warm weather by reducing the amount of cool air that escapes. In addition to wall insulation, also check weather stripping on doors and windows. Also, use storm windows to help keep heat out.
Heat Wave Recovery
It’s important for people and their pets to tone down physical activity and not to over exert themselves during heat waves. The following tips will help you keep your cool:
Avoid strenuous activity. When you must do a lot of physical activity, save it for the coolest part of the day, usually between 4 and 7 a.m.
Stay indoors as much as possible. According to the American Red Cross, direct sunlight can make it feel as much as 15 degrees warmer. If you don’t have air conditioning, stay on the lowest floor of your home, out of the sunlight.
Wear appropriate clothing. It’s best to wear lightweight, light-colored clothing during warm weather. Light colors reflect away some of the heat.
Have a backup location. If your air conditioner fails or you do not have one, find a backup location such as a movie theater, mall or library with air conditioning and plan to go there during heat waves. Try to spend at least two hours a day in a cool place.
Drink plenty of fluids. The human body needs water to stay cool. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, keep hydrated by drinking lots of non-alcoholic liquids. Water is best for rehydration.
Your local Rommel’s Ace in Stevensville offers air conditioner units and fans, screen and glass repair, bottled water plus more helpful ideas to beat the heat. Visit us at 364 Thompson Creek Shopping Center or call 410-643-7702. Online Rommelsace.com.