How Air Conditioning Can Help Keep You Safe During a Heat Wave
Air conditioning in Sudbury, Ontario, is more important than ever!
What was once considered a luxury is now necessary for most homes in Ontario.
Temperatures in Ontario are unpredictable.
One day, you’re enjoying a beautiful cool breeze. The next, you’re escaping indoors to avoid a heat wave!
Summer temperatures can reach 30 degrees C, and humidity levels are no better - making it feel even hotter!
The Farmers’ Almanac actually released its forecast for summer 2023 recently. Apparently, we can expect this summer to be even warmer and dryer than typical years.
What does this mean for you?
Are there ways to lessen the danger and protect your health as the summer heat approaches?
Keep reading to find out!
The Dangers of Heat For Your Health
We’ve all heard the classic lines "wear sunscreen" or "throw a hat on" a thousand times.
With the danger of exposure to harmful UV rays, this isn’t anything new.
But what about the dangers associated with high heat?
Sunscreen and ballcaps only go so far in protecting your health.
The next step is to find a solution for high heat and humidity.
How dangerous can high summer heat be?
In severe cases, heat can be deadly.
According to Statistics Canada, 595 people died in BC due to one of the longest and hottest heat waves in Canadian history. This happened in 2021 - only two years ago!
Eleven years before that (2010), a heat wave in Quebec caused 280 deaths.
While these statistics are Canadian-based, not Ontario, we can’t deny how close to home they hit.
In our books, it's too close.
And it’s not just the fatal cases we need to worry about!
Exposure to high heat can cause dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
There is also a risk of chronic conditions flaring.
This typically only occurs when high temperatures of 32 degrees C or higher last two or more days. According to Aaron Bernstein of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, flare-ups can commonly occur in people who suffer from existing conditions like
- Cardiovascular disease, etc.
To sum it up, our bodies are not designed to handle high heat for long periods. According to Bernstein, “We’re warm-blooded, and our whole body is designed to operate within a narrow range of temperatures.”
If our body gets too hot, it can’t function properly. Our heart, lungs, brain and kidneys can malfunction or slow down. This is a huge risk for people with existing organ problems.
So, how can you protect yourself and your family from these health risks?
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Avoid the outdoors during the hottest parts of the day.
- Wear sunscreen.
- Wear lightweight, light-coloured clothing.
- Take cool showers.
- Check your local news or weather app for health and safety updates.
Another tip is to install whole home air conditioning!
Is Air Conditioning The Solution?
If you don’t currently have an air conditioning system installed, we highly recommend it.
According to the CDC, A/C is the number one way to protect against heat-related illness and death.
Below are some of the top health benefits of installing A/C:
Lower Your Core Body Temperature
The main purpose of an air conditioner is to cool and regulate the temperature of a given space, such as your home.
Once your home gets too warm, the A/C kicks on and begins removing excess heat and moisture.
The result is a temperature-controlled space that is safe and comfortable.
Did you know your body has a similar process when it gets too hot? It basically has a built-in air conditioning system called thermoregulation.
Thermoregulation occurs when your internal temperature (core body temperature) changes. If it becomes too hot, your body uses internal mechanisms to cool it down. These include sweating and vasodilation.
As you sweat, the moisture from your body evaporates off your skin, lowering your body temperature. But this process is quite challenging when the air is too humid for evaporation to occur.
That’s where air conditioning comes in to save the day!
A/C removes the excess moisture from your air, allowing your body to sweat properly. It also helps cool your environment - making it easier for your body to regulate its core temperature.
High humidity is dangerous in your home. As mentioned above, it can reduce your body’s ability to cool naturally. But that’s not all. It can also cause fatigue, muscle cramping, fainting, dehydration, etc.
Thankfully, A/Cs are powerful multitaskers!
The system as a whole cools the home down. But, at the same time, the refrigerant within the system removes humidity from your air.
Here’s how that works:
A/Cs pull warm indoor air into the vents, through the return ducts and over the evaporator coil. The refrigerant within the coil absorbs the heat, which is then expelled into the condenser coil.
Then, as the now-cooled refrigerant returns to the evaporator coil, more warm air meets it. This forms condensation.
This condensation is the moisture in your home.
Once the moisture drips into the condensate pan, it flows into a drain pipe outdoors.
Voila - humidity control!
Reduce the Risk of Dehydration
As your body undergoes thermoregulation, you can lose a lot of water. And, as you know, your body needs water to function. Without it, mental and physical performance can deteriorate.
Air conditioning reduces the body’s need to sweat, thus helping prevent dehydration.
Get Better Sleep
Trying to sleep in a hot environment is challenging, uncomfortable and dangerous.
While you’re trying to sleep in this heat, your body works to try and regulate its internal temperature. This means a lot of sweat, discomfort and potential dehydration.
Air conditioning creates a cool environment that’s ideal for optimal rest. This makes it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep!
Improve Indoor Air Quality
Investing in indoor air quality is vital to protecting your health.
Do you have underlying health conditions, such as asthma or allergies? If so, A/C is especially crucial.
Air conditioning circulates and filters your indoor air - removing pollutants and allergens!
Contact Campeau Heating in Sudbury, Ontario
Looking for quality air conditioning in Sudbury, Ontario? Contact our A/C experts at Campeau Heating!
We’ll help you find the right air conditioner for your home, lifestyle and budget.
Call today at 705-560-2441 or shop online!