CADILLAC — As temperatures soar into the 90s, public health agencies are urging residents to find ways to stay cool.
“Extreme heat can be life-threatening,‘ said Capt. Kevin Sweeney, commander of the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division. “By taking some precautionary steps, you can minimize your risk of heat-related injury and help those who are most affected by severe heat.‘
To prevent heat-related injury, find places with air conditioning to take a break from the heat; if you are outside, find shade; wear a hat wide enough to protect your face; wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing; drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated; do not use electric fans when the temperature outside is more than 95 degrees, as it could increase the risk of heat-related illness. Fans create air flow and a false sense of comfort, but do not reduce body temperature; avoid high-energy activities; check yourself, family members and neighbors for signs of heat-related illness.
Consumers Energy also has some tips on beating the heat without breaking the bank.
“Michigan residents should know they can take simple steps in their homes every day to reduce energy waste and lower their bills,‘ said Lauren Youngdahl Snyder, Consumers Energy’s vice president of customer experience.
Snyder offered seven tips to help reduce summer energy use:
• If you have central air conditioning, clean leaves and debris from the unit and away from the compressor because they can block airflow. Clean the filter regularly. Dusty filters make your air conditioner work harder.
• Set your thermostat at 78 degrees when you’re home and higher when you’re away. Install an automatic setback or programmable thermostat that starts your air conditioner shortly before you get home.
• Close drapes, shades and blinds during the day to prevent the sun from heating your home unnecessarily. Open windows and doors in early morning and in the evening to let cooler air in.
• Make sure to seal and insulate your home. Reducing air leakage can be just as important to keep cool in the summer as to stay warm in the winter. Information about rebates for air sealing, insulation and windows is available at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/myhome or by calling 866-234-0445.
• Operate your stove, oven, dishwasher and clothes dryer in the morning or evening when it’s cooler outside. They add extra heat to your home and make your air conditioner work harder.
• Keep cool with fans. A ceiling fan cools fast and costs less than air conditioning. You can also reduce the need for air conditioning by installing an attic fan.
• Replace or tune up your old air conditioning equipment and receive rebates ranging from $50 to $500. Go to www.ConsumersEnergy.com/myhome or call 866-234-0445 to choose a participating contractor, who will install equipment, perform tune-ups and submit the rebate application for you.