Nothing disrupts your everyday schedule like a heat wave. Days of hot temperatures force you to change exercise regimens, alter family menus, and cancel outdoor activities with friends. Scorching heat also poses health hazards ranging in severity from fatigue, dizziness, and headaches to seizures, heat stroke, and even death. In recent years, heat waves have presented as much cause for concern for fatalities as weather events like tornados, and floods. The following tips can help ensure that you and your loved ones stay safe during extended periods of heat in Hendersonville, North Carolina.
Many of the negative health outcomes associated with hot weather are linked to dehydration, which occurs any time your body loses more fluid than it takes in. Older adults and infants are especially susceptible. Even for younger people, however, it’s never a good idea to rely on thirst to tell you how much water you need. During hot and humid weather, active people need to be especially concerned about replenishing fluids lost through perspiration. The Mayo Clinic recommends that you start hydrating as early as the day before strenuous exercise.
Dehydration makes it hard for the body to absorb the nutrients it needs too. If sweet snacks seem irresistible on a hot day, chances are your body’s energy stores are running low. Experts advise avoiding sodas or juices that have high sugar content and which don’t do much to replenish electrolytes. There is no substitute for water. Just be sure to monitor how much you drink. Drinking too much water can also lead to serious problems and can even be fatal.
Keep Cool Indoors
During prolonged periods of heat, it’s best to stay indoors as much as possible and limit vigorous activities. Use these quick tips and strategies to help keep you cool:
- Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight clothing made from breathable materials like cotton.
- Keep several damp washcloths in the refrigerator for when you need extra cooling.
- Take a tepid bath or shower rather than a cold one that will trigger your body to generate more heat.
- Large meals cause the body to heat up too, so opt for small meals instead, and eat more often.
- Fruits and vegetables have high water content. Feel free to snack generously on your favorite fruits and vegetables throughout the day.
Keep the Heat Out
Taking steps to prevent heat from building up in your home helps safeguard your family during the warm-weather season. From installing energy-efficient windows to adding attic insulation, there are numerous home improvement projects that can help stop heat gain in your home. These simple changes in behavior can help too:
- Keep drapes, shades, and blinds closed during the day.
- Stay in the coolest room in your home and turn off the lights in unoccupied spaces.
- Don’t operate appliances like ovens and dishwashers in the heat of the day.
- Avoid using the dryer altogether by hanging clothes on a line outside.
- Use exhaust fans to ventilate any heat generated by cooking and bathing outdoors.
Maintain Your Air Conditioner
The air conditioner in your home isn’t just a source of cooling comfort when the weather turns hot and humid. When it comes to your health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cites air conditioning as the most effective way to protect yourself against heat-related illnesses. To make sure that your AC works when you need it, schedule regular maintenance from your trusted HVAC professional. Seasonal tune-ups not only make cooling systems perform better but help lower operating costs as well.
Cooling Solutions from Gentry Heating, Inc.
Serving the communities of western North Carolina since 1963, the experts at Gentry Heating, Inc. have the experience it takes to keep homes in the region comfortable in any weather. For more information about how Gentry Heating can improve your comfort and well-being, explore our air conditioning services or call us today at 828-581-4045.
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