Keeping cool during a hot stretch of days

Posted at 2:14 PM, Jul 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-06 17:13:01-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The News 3 First Warning Storm Team says the region is in the for the hottest stretch of days so far this summer and that has folks looking for ways to stay cool.

On Wednesday, a worker and a contractor at BAE Systems were treated for heat exhaustion.

Dr. Maulin Desai is the Medical Director of the Holland Road Patient First in Virginia Beach.

He says the most common issues during hot weather include dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Dr. Desai says proper hydration can help ward off some of those problems.

"You don't want to wait until you go outside and start becoming active and then start hydrating. If your body is already hydrated when you get outdoors, it helps prevent against heat exhaustion and heat stroke," he told News 3's Todd Corillo Wednesday.

The Virginia Beach SPCA is also taking action to remind pet owners to watch out for their companion animals during hot weather.

Amanda Dunlap with the VBSPCA says our pets can't cool down the same way we do.

"If you're going to take your animals out for a walk, make sure you do it either early morning or late evening so that it's cooler. Bear in mind that the pavement gets extremely hot, so you don't want to take walks during the heat of the day," Dunlap stated.

Dominion Virginia Power is offering these tips to customers to help keep energy bills lower and combat how hard cooling systems have to work:

  • Raise your thermostat a few degrees if possible, (78 degrees is the ideal) taking into account your comfort level and any medical conditions that exists for household members. If you are away from home for more than eight hours, raise the thermostat setting and you can save for each degree of setback. You can learn more about your thermostat settings by visiting the U.S. Department of Energy website.
  • Keep shades closed when the air conditioner is on. Sunny windows can add heat to your home and can make your air conditioner work two to three times harder.
  • Check and clean air filters—it allows the system to run more efficiently. The #1 cause of AC breakdown is dirty air filters.
  • Install ceiling fans and make sure they are blowing down (counterclockwise). Moving air over the body provides a cooling effect. Most fans have a switch to change the fan direction. Keep fans off when the room is unoccupied.
  • Postpone activities that require hot water and large energy use – such as washing dishes or clothes – to early morning or late evening.  This will keep from adding more heat and humidity to the home.
  • Use cold water to wash dishes and clothes. This will save on water heating costs.
  • Unplug equipment or appliances when not in use. Electric chargers, televisions and audio/video equipment use electricity and produce heat even when they are not in use. Running an older refrigerator can use up to three times the energy of a modern one.

Patient First is also offering these tips to stay safe during the hot weather:

  • Wear light-weight, light colored clothing made of breathable material, like cotton.
  • Stay hydrated.  Drink water throughout the day.
  • Avoid strenuous outdoor activity on hot days.
  • If you must be outside, take frequent breaks in a cool place.
  • Air-conditioning is the best way to protect against heat-related illness.  If you do not have air-conditioning at home during extreme heat. Try to spend time in air-conditioned locations such as a shopping mall, public library, or public health sponsored heat-relief shelter in your area.