Get Ready for a Chicago Heat Wave

June 30, 2011

Some of you have been complaining that this summer in Chicago has not been hot enough.

Well, complain no more, as temperatures are expected to near 100 degrees on Friday. A heat advisory has been issued by the National Weather Service as humidity levels will make it feel like 105.

Are you and your Chicago home ready?

It’s too late to get a new air conditioning unit by tomorrow, but there are some things you can do to protect yourself from the heat:

*Check the filter on your air conditioner; clean or replace it if it’s dirty or you have not done so in the last three months.

ceiling fan

A ceiling fan will keep you cool but won't lower room temperatures. Turn if off when you leave.

*Check your fans to make sure they are circulating for summer months and not the other way for winter. Run them when you are in the room, not when you are gone, which wastes energy.

*If you have an air conditioner unit in the window, clean the coils. Make sure the area around the condenser unit is clear for full air flow.

*Check for air leaks around window edges and doors; caulk or weather strip where necessary.

*Close window shades, blinds and drapes during the day to stop sunlight from penetrating.

*Keep heat-producing devices, like lamps, away from the thermostat so it doesn’t read higher temperatures than necessary.

*Shut vents and doors in rooms you will not enter.

*Try not to use the oven during the day.

*Change out those old incandescent light bulbs for energy-efficient ones, which create 75 percent less heat.

*Increase your fluid intake, avoid caffeine, sugar and alcohol, wear appropriate clothing and decrease your activity.

If you just can’t keep your home cool enough, there are cooling centers throughout the state to help you beat the heat. Visit keepcool.illinois.gov or call (800) 843-6154 to find one near you.

Also, please check on neighbors, family members and friends you think might need assistance, especially those most vulnerable to high temperatures, like seniors, children and pets.

“We must all be aware of the health risks that accompany rising temperatures, as well as the resources that are available to assist everyone in Illinois. The state is here to help people stay cool — providing cooling centers in more than 120 locations.” said Illinois Governor Pat Quinn.

“We must all do what we can to ensure people are safe and healthy.”

For a “Summer? No Sweat” survival guide, visit idph.state.il.us. Stay cool!

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