December 20, 2016

Las Vegas may be the entertainment capital of the world, but the heat that this desert city endures during the summer weather is excessive and unbearable at times. Having an air conditioner here is a must unless you want to get baked in the Las Vegas heatwave.

Related: Is Air Conditioning a Luxury or a Necessity for Las Vegans?

This year, for example, nearby Death Valley hit 126 degrees, breaking the previous record of 125 degrees set back in 1961. The temperatures stayed high, averaging at over 105 degrees for various days in the summer period. Mind you, these are outdoor temperatures. Indoor temperatures and temperatures inside closed vehicles can be over 30 degrees higher than the outside. This means that when outdoor temperatures in Las Vegas are 110 degrees, temperatures inside a closed car are at 140 degrees.

What High Temperature Means for Safety

These excessively high temperatures result in heat-related deaths. In 2015, more than 40 people died from heat-related causes in and around Las Vegas. Mostly, the elderly and people with medical conditions are the ones likely to be adversely affected. It is therefore important to check on them and ensure that they stay in places with good air conditioning.

Related: It’s Hot, and My AC Is Not Working!

What to Do If Your Air Goes Out in the Summer

If your air conditioner fails in the Las Vegas summer heat, there are various things you can do to keep your family and any other person close to you safe.

Have a contingency plan

Even if you have a quick emergency repair company, you cannot be sure how long it will take to rectify your air conditioner’s problem. Therefore, it is wise to always have a contingency plan on what to do in such a case. Some people choose to:

  • Vacate the house and rent a hotel room
  • Ask neighbors if they can host in the meantime
  • Visit a close relative and spend time over

Any of these options will hold you over until your system gets repaired. It’s especially important to make these provisions for elderly individuals or those with health conditions as the indoor temperatures may not be safe for them.

Close your windows

Keep your windows closed during the day when it’s extremely hot outside. Also, draw the blinds and curtains to keep away the sun. Black-out curtains might help keep light and heat out when you’re trying to keep the house cool. In the evening when the sun goes down, you can open them again.

Use fans, cold water, and ice packs

These are short-term measures, but they will help to keep the temperatures regulated as your air conditioner gets repaired. If you are using oscillating or box fans, place them near an external door and make them face an external wall. If you are using a ceiling fan, make sure it’s blowing down in an anti-clockwise motion to create a ‘wind chill effect’ in the room. Also, drinking and cooling your body with cold water and ice packs will help hydrate you and keep your temperatures regulated.

Stay in the basement

Basements are naturally cooler (10-15 degrees cooler) than the main level of your house. If you’re like the many Vegas residents without a basement, the same principle goes for the downstairs of a two-story or split-level house. Heat rises, so the upstairs is likely to be warmer, and chilling downstairs is the best option.

Related: 2 Other Reasons Why You Might Have a Hot Upstairs and Cold Downstairs

Averting the Dangers of No Air Conditioning in the Summer

The most important thing to remember is to be aware of the dangers of no air conditioning if you have an elderly loved one or close friend/relative suffering from a medical condition living on their own and unable to fend for themselves if something happens. There are a number of ways to keep them safe:

Using smart thermostats

Be sure to check on your loved one periodically to ensure that they are comfortable and safe during the summer. There are smart thermostats that you can install in their homes to alert you or their caregivers when temperatures rise or fall below the set level.

Getting them out of the house

Officials also advise residents without air conditioning to escape their houses and head to public areas such as libraries, senior centers, indoor shopping centers, malls, and public pools in order to avoid the dangers of excessive summer heat.

Investing in regular HVAC maintenance

Lastly, the best way to avert the dangers of having no air condition in your home is by having your systems regularly inspected and serviced. Many units fail because of neglect and lack of maintenance services. Have a local Las Vegas HVAC professional check your system once or twice a year, and you’ll be taking the proactive steps to ensure it won’t fail you when summer temperatures reach an all-time high.

Related: Why We Love Air Conditioner Maintenance (and You Should, Too!)

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