Friday, July 13, 2018

4 Hazards of Homes That Are Too Hot

In the summer months, it's tempting to set back the AC and simply suffer the heat to avoid outrageous energy bills. While it's true that summer comfort can come at a price, it's often worth paying for. There are many potential hazards of high heat that go far beyond mild discomfort.
Sleep Disruptions
Image via Flickr by CocteauBoy
Modern lifestyles often disrupt the natural rhythms that help people stay healthy. Artificial light and climate management put you out of touch with what's happening naturally outside. This can throw off your body clock and disrupt your circadian rhythm, which helps you get a good night's sleep.
If you're having trouble sleeping, your home temperature could be the problem. Your body naturally expects cooler temperatures at night, as this is when the sun goes down. If you're setting your thermostat back to save money, you may end up tossing, turning, and sweltering all night. Switch to lighter pajamas and bedding, and try adding a fan to your bedroom to get a cooler night's sleep.
Mold and Mildew Growth
Hot air holds more moisture than cool air can. If your home is too warm, it is typically too humid as well. This excess moisture can settle almost anywhere, leading to hazardous mold and mildew growth. Some growths are obvious, but others can take root behind walls and ceilings, causing headaches and breathing problems long before they're discovered.
Take steps to keep your humidity low. Your air conditioner is a natural dehumidifier as it cools the air, making it incapable of holding as much water. If this isn't enough, installing a whole-home dehumidifier will help remove excess moisture. Running an exhaust fan while you cook or shower will help as well.
Warped Wood
High heat and humidity can do long-term damage to hardwood floors or wood furniture. When exposed to these conditions for long periods, your wood will warp and crack. Floors may become uneven, and tables can develop unsightly lines. Keeping your home cool and comfortable is the best solution. 
Use curtains or blinds to block direct sunlight during the hottest parts of the day. If you're keeping the air off because your air conditioner isn't delivering the energy efficiency you want, schedule a maintenance visit to make sure everything is in good shape. A quick tune-up can help you reduce your energy expenses so you can affordably enjoy cool comfort.
Heat-Related Illness
Heat-related illnesses include everything from heat stress to potentially fatal heat stroke. Individuals are at a higher risk for these conditions if they have heart problems, lung or kidney disease, high blood pressure, and other health issues. Stay hydrated when it's hot and make sure your home has good air circulation to minimize the heat. 
If your air conditioner isn't delivering the cooling you need to stay healthy and safe, contact an HVAC technician to determine where the problem is. Your AC system should deliver efficient, even cooling throughout the house. Don't put yourself in harm's way with a too-hot house. Take smart steps now to create a cooler, more comfortable space.