California Heat Wave

Stay Cool And Safe During A California Heat Wave!

Back in June, while the rest of the country was experiencing a deadly heat wave, we on the West Coast enjoyed relatively milder temperatures. Still, our June newsletter reminded readers of the need to stay hydrated and included tips to avoid heat injury. It appears that the information presented then may be even more timely now.

As of September 22, 2022, Fall has officially begun. Yet, we may not be done with the heat usually associated with Summer. We just experienced the most brutal September heat wave in California history. The state’s overtaxed electric grid was pushed to the brink of rolling blackouts. In the event that we should again experience record 3-digit highs, here are additional tips!

More Tips For Surviving The Next Heat Wave

1. Maintain your electrolytes: As mentioned in our previous newsletter, staying hydrated is very important. But an increase in water consumption could deplete your body of necessary salts and minerals (electrolytes). To keep up vital electrolytes, try alternating between drinking water and beverages such as sports drinks. Sports drinks often have sodium chloride or potassium chloride added to them which are major electrolytes lost during strenuous activity or flushed out of the body by drinking too much water. But these drinks often have added sugar, so try not to drink too much of them as well. A natural alternative is coconut water which is low on the glycemic index. That means that it won’t dramatically affect your blood sugar. It may also help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol as studies have shown.

2. Lower your thermostat: In the middle of an extreme heat wave, it is important to remember not to overtax the electric grid. If the power goes down, it can be dangerous in sustained 3-digit heat. So to help ease the strain, try setting your temperature down to about 78 degrees Fahrenheit. This will also help keep your electric bill down. As an additional measure, you can use a fan to cool you down by an average of 6 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit. By using a fan with your air conditioner, you can set your air conditioner down about 4 degrees Fahrenheit! Just remember to turn off the fan if nobody is in a room.

3. Maintain your cooling system: Like any piece of machinery that is used often like your car or other appliances, your air conditioner requires regular maintenance to perform reliable and efficiently. While some things may call for a professional to handle, you can do simple things like checking all floor and ceiling registers to be sure they are free from dust, dirt and other clogging materials. Also check that the evaporator and condenser coils are not blocked by twigs, rocks, or dirt.

4. Replace an old air conditioner: Let’s face it; not everything gets better with age like a good wine. Sadly, this is true with appliances such as air conditioners. According to HVAC professionals, the average lifespan of an air conditioner is between 10 to 15 years. That said, you should seriously consider replacing your air conditioner if it’s more than 15 years old. And now would be a good time to do it. In the middle of the next heat wave when everybody else is scrambling to grab that last air conditioner at the Home Depot or Costco would not be.

5. Learn about SCE Community Resource Centers: SCE Community Resource Centers are available to support customers during a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS). SCE provides access to its customer service team, as well as Customer Resiliency Kits, which include PSPS information, light snacks, water, small resiliency devices, and personal protective equipment. Location and hours of operation details are typically updated one day before any potential PSPS event. Click here to learn more here about additional resources and programs to help you prepare for emergencies or outages.

Extended triple-digit heat is serious business, so be careful out there and have a cool and safe October!