How to stay cool indoors during the heat wave?

Summer officially starts on Thursday and this season is expected to be hotter than normal — a heat wave in the country this week is expected to affect millions of Americans. In New York, temperatures are expected to reach 96 degrees on Friday. On Monday, Chicago hit a record-breaking 97 degrees.

More than just uncomfortable, the heat can be dangerous and, at worst, fatal, and is only becoming a greater threat as climate change leads to rising temperatures. Prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in excessive heat can cause heatstroke, according to the researchers Mayo Clinic.

From Tuesday, cooling centers — indoor, air-conditioned areas for public use — will be open during the day in New York. The city’s fire department is also turning some fire hydrants into water sprinklers. If you’re staying at home, here’s what you can do to stay as cool as possible indoors, whether you have air conditioning or not.

While you should do what feels most comfortable for you, Carrier, an air conditioner manufacturer, suggests on its website that 72 degrees is the generally accepted “comfortable indoor temperature for many people.” It continues: “It offers a good balance between comfort and energy efficiency, making it a popular choice for residential environments.”

When you’re away from home, set your thermostat higher than normal to save energy and prevent your air conditioner from breaking down. At night, because heat can disrupt your sleep, the Cleveland Clinic.

It depends on the animal, size and type, but pets are generally less tolerant of higher temperatures than humans.

Dogs, the most common pet in the country, tend to overheat when temperatures are between 81 and 85 degrees, according to the American Kennel Club. “There is no one ideal temperature for all dogs, as their normal body temperature varies depending on size,” the organization said. states on its website. It also suggests installing one temperature alarm which can send a notification to your phone if your air conditioning is broken and you are not at home.

If your AC is broken, it may be too late to find a repairman to fix it in time for the heat wave, but experts recommend having your AC unit serviced once a year from now on. A technician will typically check for and diagnose problems with the system, clean it, and replace the filter.

Depending on your device, you may be able to replace your filter yourself. Carrier recommends inspecting your filter every two to three months, and certain factors may affect how often you need to replace it. (For example, if you have a pet, you may need to replace the filter more often as it falls out.) You can find an online guide on how to replace the filter, whether it is a window unit or a floor-mounted unit . or other. Make sure to turn off your system first.

You can close your blinds or cover your windows to minimize your exposure to direct sunlight. Self-adhesive solar film, which can be purchased online or at hardware stores, is also an option. This can deflect infrared heat that would otherwise come in through your windows.

While fans don’t cool the air, the breeze they create can have a cooling effect. Wirecutter has a guide to room fans in different sizes. Make sure your ceiling fans run counterclockwise so that the air is pushed downward.

If you can get to it in time, Wirecutter also recommends this portable air conditioner.

Stay away from appliances that generate heat, such as an oven, clothes dryer, iron or hair dryer. New York Times Cooking has a list of “No-Cook Recipes for a Heat Wave‘So you can prepare a meal without turning on your hob.

Try to avoid dark fabrics for curtains, upholstery or clothing as these can absorb heat more easily. You can also turn off the lights – too many lights close together can heat up the surrounding air.

Avoid thick covers and blankets. Percale sheets tend to be more breathable, and Wirecutter has a guide to sheets for hot sleepers.

While some cities, such as Dallasrequirements for air conditioning in rental apartments, this does not apply to New York City. (Landlords in New York are required by law to provide heat and hot water.) But if you live in an apartment that already had air conditioning when you moved in, landlords are responsible for maintaining it and replacing it if it breaks. is.

If they refuse to fix the problem or don’t respond, you have options. Ronda Kaysen, a real estate reporter and former “Ask Real Estate” columnist, suggests paying to replace the AC unit yourself if you can then negotiate down the rent and ask for the same amount for the next year. You can also take your landlord to court, but that can be more time-consuming and expensive than doing the repairs yourself.

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