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Beat the Heat with These Hot Weather Tips for your Home and Health

Before heading outside, remember the warning signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Also learn to keep your cool without breaking the bank.
 
With temperatures rising, it’s important to keep heat safety and conservation in mind to keep you and your family happy and healthy.

There’s several ways to prep your home for severely hot temperatures that could help keep your utility bill down:
  • Close drapes during the day to block the sun
  • Keep HVAC filters clean
  • Close doors to rooms you aren't using
  • Set thermostat as warm as comfortable and use ceiling fans or portable fans to maintain comfort
  • Dress appropriately for warm weather
  • Use appliances like dishwashers and dryers in the coolest part of the morning
  • Use less water while showering and make sure your water temperature heater is set to 120 degrees or lower.
Check out more tips to keep your home cool at BentonPUD.org/EnergySavings.

Severe heat could post serious health risks and even death. With hotter temperatures in the Tri-Cities, follow these precautions to reduce risks.

Tips to avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke:
  • Drink plenty of water and have water readily accessible at all times.
  • Make sure your pets always have water.
  • Avoid sugary, alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.
  • Stay indoors.
  • Never leave pets, or people in a parked vehicle.
  • Dress yourself and your family appropriately for the weather.
  • If you take prescription diuretics, antihistamines, mood-altering or antispasmodic drugs, check with a doctor about the effects of sun and heat exposure.
  • Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun. Awnings or louvers can reduce the heat entering a house by as much as 80 percent.
If you're outside:
  • Use sunscreen or wear protective clothing. Sunburns slow your skins ability to cool itself.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes, it can cause hypothermia. Taking a cold shower after being in extreme heat can be damaging to young and elderly individuals in particular.
  • Take breaks when working outdoors.
  • Plan outdoor activities early in the morning or later in the day when temperatures are cooler.
  • At first signs of heat illness (dizziness, nausea, headaches, muscle cramps), move to a cooler location, rest for a few minutes and slowly drink a cool beverage. Seek medical attention immediately if you do not feel better.
If there's a power outage:
  • Stay on the lowest floor of your home and stay out of the sunshine.
  • Keep a few bottles of water in the freezer so you can place them in the refrigerator if the power goes out.
  • Know the recommendations for your refrigerated medication if there's an outage. 
You can find more heat safety information on the Washington State's Department of Health website.