Tips to Help You Beat the Heat

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Hot weather is expected to continue through this week. Use the following tips to help conserve electricity and personal energy during hot and humid days.

Cool Alternatives to Beat the Heat

Most public places are air-conditioned and can offer a fun way to beat the heat while you conserve electricity. Why not try out some of these ideas during the afternoon and early evening hours.

  • See a movie during the afternoon or early evening
  • Visit your public library and read a book while you’re there
  • Browse the stores in your local mall or shops
  • Eat out and get some cool food in a cool environment
  • Invite friends to your air-conditioned home and ask them to turn up their thermostat before they leave their home

What to do Before You Leave Home for the Day

Before you leave your home for the day, follow these quick steps to conserve valuable electricity during extreme heat.

  • Set thermostat at 78°F or higher during the day
  • Close registers in unused rooms and close curtains, drapes and blinds
  • Temporarily turn off or set your electric water heater to 120°F
  • Unplug water beds, pool filters, hot tubs and other nonessential appliances

Quick Tips for Reducing Electric Use in Your Home during Extreme Heat

Use these tips to help conserve needed electricity during afternoon and early evening hours.

  • Use stove, oven, or dishwasher in early morning or late evening
  • Avoid using kitchen appliances from noon to 8 p.m. by preparing cool foods and hand mixing
  • Turn off unneeded lights, especially halogen or other high-wattage lights
  • Open refrigerator or freezer as little as possible
  • Don’t water lawns if you have a well pump
  • Use hedge trimmers or other electric tools during late evening or early morning hours
  • Avoid vacuuming or using other household appliances from afternoon to early evening
  • Use washer after 8 p.m. — hang clothes outside to dry
  • Unplug a second refrigerator if it can be emptied

Personal Safety During Extreme Heat *

  • Check on family, friends and neighbors — especially those who live alone
  • Slow down. Avoid strenuous activity
  • Avoid too much sunshine
  • Postpone outdoor games and activities
  • Stay in a cool part of your home — typically a basement or lower level
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing
  • Protect face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat
  • Take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors
  • Drink plenty of water regularly and often
  • Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine
  • Eat small meals and eat more often

* From Talking about Disaster: Guide for Standard Messages, National Disaster Education Coalition, Washington D.C., 1999

Know the Signs of Heat Exhaustion or Heat Stroke *

Heat Exhaustion:  Cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea or vomiting; dizziness; and exhaustion. Body temperature may be normal, or is likely to be rising.

Heat Stroke: Hot, red skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; and rapid, shallow breathing. Body temperature can be very high — sometimes as high as 105° F. If the person was sweating from heavy work or exercise, skin may be wet; otherwise, it will feel dry.

* From Talking about Disaster: Guide for Standard Messages, National Disaster Education Coalition, Washington D.C., 1999

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