First day of summer begins next week, but excessive heat watch for a majority of Northern California starts Friday, so a lot of people should expect to feel a tad warmer than usual.
"The summer solstice this year is June 20, on Tuesday. That means that the next 12 days or so will have the most daylight so it will be hot, and bright for a good chunk of the day," according to ABC10's Meteorologist Rob Carlmark.
With a heat wave expected, there's usually a collective thought on how someone can possibly prepare or even save energy to a certain extent.
In short, there's a plethora of options available to avoid hot days and keep costs low during this time. PG&E shares a handful of options that anyone could follow:
- Avoid using an oven. Alternate options would include cooking on the stove, using a microwave, microwave oven or grill outside.
- Clear area where your air conditioner vents. If done, it can provide the best possible ventilation because it rids the vents of possible debris or other things that may ensure bad ventilation.
- Enjoying a day at a pool, park or local library. Also, community cooling centers are available too.
- Wait to do tasks like laundry and cooking. At least until cooler times of the day because those tasks can makes your house warmer.
- Turn ceiling fan on when using air conditioner. You can raise the thermostat about four degrees Fahrenheit which will save on cooling costs with no comfort reduction.
- About 10 minutes after finished, turn off bathroom and kitchen ventilation fans. Doing so keeps them from pushing cooled air out of the house.
- Hanging laundry outside. This seems like an extra task, but take advantage of some of these "late sunsets and warm evenings" and detour using a dryer to air-dry them outside instead.
- Turn off lights in rooms that aren’t in use. How many times have we heard this growing up, but it cuts costs and there are other options like relying on natural light alone or candlelit dinners.
- Get air conditioner inspected. This is important because it ensures whether your system efficiently operates and is leak-free.
Whole house fans can work. Also, opening windows allows cooler air to flow into the house and contrasts just blasting an AC everyday. Shielding windows during the day, while you're home, work, school or wherever, does block direct sunlight.
If you're someone who might say you don't feel the air coming in when windows are open, then the use of room fans can help keep the house cool.
Remember it's not just your house that needs to be prepared for the heat, but you need to be alert of your own body.
"Extended time outdoors could make you sick or worse. Excessive heat doesn't sound extreme but it's the top level warning from the National Weather Service," said ABC10's Rob Carlmark. "You could experience heat stroke, exhaustion, dehydration, and a number of other issues. Basically take it easy, don't wait until you are thirsty to drink water, and take extra steps to keep an eye on seniors, children and pets, they often have difficulty communicating their condition."
These are all real things and in extreme heat, something like dehydration is more likely to occur, so making sure you're drinking small amounts of water during the day is always necessary. If you're prone to forgetting, get in a habit of bringing a bottle of water to work or school everyday.
They feel even the food you eat can help keep you cool in ways, according to Eartheasy.
The site mentions that items like salads or cold fruits that are full of water, watermelons and cantaloupes, will help keep you cool. The use of room-temperature ingredients to prepare sandwiches is an easy option too.
"Some foods can be prepared in the evening or early morning when the temperature is cooler, then served cold during daytime meal," according to Eartheasy. This may include food items like cooked chicken or fish which after being cooked can be left in the refrigerator for dinner.
Whether this heat wave is different or the same from past years, make sure you're doing everything in your control to stay cool and be safe.