Drinking lots of water, wearing light-colored clothing and staying out of the sun will protect you from dehydration and heat stroke this summer. So can your air conditioner.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranks air-conditioning as the number one protection against heat-related illness and death.
So, take good care of yours. If you rely on single-room air conditioners instead of a central a/c system:
- Have a qualified service technican perform routine maintenance and an inspection of your units once a year before summer starts.
- Repair defects as soon as you’re aware of them. That can prevent a fire or a surprise breakdown on a hot summer day.
- Plug them into grounded, three-prong outlets, and make sure each outlet you use is on a circuit that is large enough to handle the load. The only way to know that is to ask an electrician.
- Avoid using an extension cord to reach from the window a/c to a grounded outlet. If you have no choice, buy a cord that is designed for use specifically with air conditioners.
- Consider updating your room air conditioners if they are more than 10 years old. Newer models are far more energy efficient. An Energy Star-qualified model can save you $25 on your electric bill this summer.