Summer heat and humidity can be a deadly combination. The late summer sun is generally intense and when it combines with high humidity in the atmosphere, you will feel even hotter. Pools, splash pads, and shade are popular ways to beat the heat while outside, but what can you do indoors?
How Does Humidity Affect Our Bodies?
Our body uses that natural process of sweating to cool down. When hot, the body produces sweat and as the moisture evaporates, we feel cooler. The problem on humid days is that with so much moisture in the atmosphere already, very little evaporation of the sweat we produce occurs. If the body’s natural cooling system cannot work properly, you may be at risk for heat-related illnesses. Factors such as age, drinking alcohol, using drugs, or being overweight can put you at greater risk for heat stroke during the warm weather months as well.
Even though our sweat doesn’t evaporate well on a humid day, our bodies will continue to sweat in an unsuccessful effort to cool the skin. Avoiding alcohol and drinking plenty of cool water can help prevent dehydration.
How to Avoid Heat-Related Illnesses
Running the air conditioning is obviously the best way to keep cool when heat and humidity have you down. The HVAC cooled air will be less humid, and shutting the windows will keep the humidity outside where it belongs. The HVAC system will circulate air through your home, which will also make it feel cooler as the air movement helps your body’s natural cooling process work best.
Some people may be tempted to turn off the air conditioner entirely and ride out the heat in order to avoid a whopping energy bill at the end of summer. This isn’t the solution and can lead to serious illnesses. Instead of risking heat related illness, you can turn the thermostat up a few degrees from what you consider to be your ideal temperature. The air that circulates will still be less humid than the outdoor air, and you will have continuous air circulation through your home. Fans inside the home can also help air circulate. This will keep both your budget and your body healthy.
If your air conditioner isn’t keeping up with the hotter temperatures or is making unusual noises, consider calling HVAC contractors to come clean and service the unit. Something as simple as removing plants from around the unit, cleaning the blades, or cleaning the condenser coils will help your unit run at its peak efficiency. If your unit has called it quits for good, consider installing a new unit even though it is late in the season. With a new unit installed this summer, you will be ready when temperatures heat up again in the spring.
If you are having HVAC problems, call Buckeye Heating & Cooling today at (614) 888-4328.