Stay cool AND save money with your A/C this summer here in Kansas City08/16/2016 As we enter into August, typically the hottest month of the summer here in Kansas City, the heat shows no signs of letting up. Temperatures continue to stay in the 90’s, keeping excessive heat warnings in play, as well as the risks associated with extreme heat. Not working in our favor here also is the high relative humidity we have in the area. High humidity is dangerous because it slows the body from naturally cooling off as quickly, as your body is prevented from releasing the sweat it naturally releases to cool off. Other factors that can prove to be dangerous in extreme heat include several personal factors, such as age, obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug and alcohol use. Finding a way to stay cool and safe is most important during these days of extreme heat, as the CDC estimates that over 650 people die yearly from heat-related illnesses. The vast majority of heat-related illnesses are preventable however. Some basic tips to avoid heat-related illnesses include the following: Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible. If A/C isn’t available in your home call a service company ASAP, or use a public facility. DO NOT RELY ON A FAN AS YOUR MAIN COOLING DEVICE DURING A HEAT WAVE. Limit outdoor activity, especially from the hours of 10AM-6PM. Drink more water than usual. Try not to use the stove or oven to cook, as it will make your house hotter. Check on a friend or neighbor, and have them do the same for you. Hopefully the tips above aren’t a huge worry to you, as you have a dependable air conditioning system in your home. If you do then your focus should be on staying cool obviously, which is the result of a well-functioning and well-maintained system, but also on saving money with your air conditioning system. Running your A/C all day every day for 3+ months (as is necessary during the regular Kansas City summer) can prove to be expensive. Here are some tips on lowering your monthly electric costs: Use your windows to your advantage. Keep your windows well insulated, as this will keep out unwanted warm air. Also, during rare cool periods turn off you’re A/C and open up your windows to cool your home. Set your thermostat as high as comfortable. An often recommended temperature is 78 degrees when you’re home, and 85 when you’re out of the house. You can save 3% - 5% on your air conditioning costs for each degree you raise the thermostat in the summer. Install a programmable thermostat as an alternative to constantly monitoring and changing the thermostat yourself. Programmable thermostats allow you to be in absolute control of the temperature in your home, day and night, home or away, saving you money in the process. Keep your filters clean. Check your filters monthly, or as often as specified by the manufacturer. Replace filters when needed. Consider installing an energy efficient air conditioner. New energy efficient A/C’s have several advantages over their predecessors, including a longer lifespan, lower energy bills monthly, and the use of environmentally-friendly refrigerant.