It’s late July and the dog days of summer are officially here.
The weather forecast for the Eastern Shore for the next several days predicts temperatures to be into the 90s will heat indices above 100.
During the hot summer months, it is important to take certain steps to prevent heat related illness, injury or death.
If you work outside, be sure to drink plenty of water, take frequent breaks in the shade and, if possible, avoid strenuous activity between 11 and 3 PM.
Consider eating lighter meals and opt for a cold meal.
Be sure your air conditioning system is serviced so you don’t have issues when you need it most.
Make a cold compress, an ice fan or consider taking a cold shower.
A&N Electric Cooperative has several recommendations for ways to stay cooler and beat high electric bills, including using blinds and shades to eliminate as much sunlight from entering your home during the day. That sunlight warms the interior of the home and makes your cooling system work harder to reach your desired temperature.
If you have to cook, grilling meals outside is optimal. This eliminates the need to use your oven or cooktop. Those appliances work against your cooling system and make it work harder. Microwaves are also a good alternative because they don’t produce the residual heat an oven or stovetop does.
Ceiling fans, working in conjunction with your cooling system can allow you to set your thermostat a little higher. This will put less stress on the cooling system and allow you to receive the same comfort level. Fans should be turned off if the room is empty.
If no one is at home, raise the temperature on your thermostat a few degrees while you are out. Then set it to your desired temperature when you return home. This will help reduce your energy use. The cooperative’s free SmartHub app is a powerful tool that allows co-op members the ability to track their energy use so they can keep track of how much electricity they’re using and make informed decisions on where and how they can cut back.
Unplug any electronic devices you aren’t using. Electronics, like TVs and computers, generate heat when left on. Power them down and unplug to prevent this from happening and save money on your electric bill.
Be sure to check on neighbors, especially those who are elderly or disabled and live alone.