Are You Ready for Summer?
Though we generally enjoy nice weather in California, we do have heat waves throughout the summer. When temperatures spike to 100 degrees or higher, you have to be ready. Not only does it get extremely uncomfortable, but if you get too hot, you can risk dehydration or even heat stroke. Though these are most often associated with being caught outside during extreme heat, the same can happen in our homes if our HVAC system and other appliances aren't ready for the heatwave.
At Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Solar, we know how important it is to make sure your home is ready for a heatwave. Below we cover a few important ways you can be prepared to combat the next heatwave.
Remember, Fans Do Not Reduce Body Temperature
While fans will keep you more comfortable by circulating the air around you, they do not cool the air, nor are they effective at reducing your body temperature. You may think that because the fan is helping you feel more comfortable, you don't need to turn the AC on. However, relying solely on fans puts you more at risk for heatstroke or heat-related illness.
Instead, use your fans to maximize your cooling system's work. Turn on your AC, open your registers and vents and then use ceiling fans and room fans to circulate the cool air throughout your home. You also want to make sure your ceiling fans are circulating in the correct direction for the season. In the summer, they should spin counterclockwise.
Signs of heat-related illness can include:
- Muscle pains or spasms
- Heavy sweating
- Increased heart rate
- Nausea and vomiting
Signs of heatstroke include:
- Hot, red skin with no sweat
- Increased pulse
- Extremely high body temperature
- Dizziness or confusion
- Loss of consciousness
If you or someone you know shows signs of suffering from a heat-related illness or heat stroke, call 911 immediately. If left untreated, heat stroke and heat exhaustion can be fatal.
Make Sure Your Home Is Sealed and Insulated
When it's hot outside, your main priority is keeping things cool inside. This can be difficult if your home has cooling loss. Cooling loss occurs when your conditioned air escapes either from your air ducts or from your home. This reduces the overall efficiency of your HVAC system and costs you more money. It can also make your home incredibly uncomfortable when a heatwave comes through.
It's amazing how much heat will seep into your home, even through a small opening. You can help prevent cooling loss by ensuring that your ductwork is sealed correctly and that your home is well-insulated, including your attic and crawl spaces. Another way to help avoid cooling loss and keep your home comfortable is to ensure that all weather-stripping and insulation around your doors and windows are in good shape.
Finally, you should keep your windows covered with heavy blinds or curtains. Not only do darker rooms feel cooler, but your blinds and curtains do double duty, by reflecting the sun and insulating your windows from the heat. If your home is south-facing, you may even find installing window reflectors even more helpful in combating the summer heat.
Schedule Your Annual AC Maintenance NOW
The busiest time for the AC repair specialists at Valley is during a heatwave. It's not uncommon for cooling systems to break under the pressure of the increased heat. If your air conditioner isn't in good repair or hasn't been serviced recently, a breakdown during a heatwave is even more likely. The worst part of this is that when your system fails during a heat spike, you may have to wait llonger to get a repair appointment.
By scheduling your annual AC maintenance in the spring, before we start seeing high temperatures, you can get an appointment when it is convenient for you and your system will be ready to take on the summer heat. To schedule a maintenance visit with Valley, send us a message online: email@example.com
Earth Month 2022 at Valley
This month, Valley is excited to celebrate Earth Month. With a focus on energy efficiency, our blog "How to Make Your HVAC System More Eco-Friendly" dives into how your air conditioner impacts the ozone layer and what you can do to combat harmful greenhouse gases. A major way to do this is to reduce your reliance on your AC system and find proactive ways to maximize your cooling. We also discuss what to look for when maintaining your current cooling system and replacing your AC with a new, environmentally-friendly model.
While we think about all things energy, we answer the frequently asked question, "should I be worried about dead outlets?" Unless you're a licensed electrician (like us!), it can be hard to know what exactly is going on with an outlet that doesn't work. We explain why your outlets might not be working, whether you should be worried about them and when to call an electrician. Hint: if any part of your electrical system is acting up, it's always best to let our licensed electricians handle it. The risk of electrical shock or fire is too great to risk a DIY repair.
Want to know more about how you can improve your home's energy efficiency? Give Valley a call at 408-868-5500. We have loads of tips and tricks and we love helping our customers get the most out of their HVAC, electrical and solar systems.