Dealing with the heat: Your AC, your pets and you


This week’s record heat has people hoping their home air-conditioning units work properly. Dallas Allen came home from vacation to find the upstairs of his home hot. The thermostat read 85 degrees.

“We got fans throughout the house going,” Allen said. “So we do whatever we can to cool it down.”

He called Morris Jenkins and was told that the next available slot was in 48 hours because of the high volume of calls.

Officials from the Charlotte office at Morris Jenkins say by 10 a.m. Monday they had 100 calls for service. Hours later, they had nearly 600 calls for service. Technician David Dupuy advises homeowners to get their air-conditioning units inspected regularly to prevent breakdowns.

He also advises keeping the area clear around the air-conditioning unit and making sure there is enough refrigerant.

“You need to change your filters, make sure your air filters are clean. Open up all the individual ducts in the room that’s going to get the maximum amount of air through the system,” Dupuy said.

As homeowners keep their homes cool, pet experts are reminding people to not forget about the safety of their pets. Pets can get overheated, too, and owners should watch out for that. Experts say if the owner thinks it’s too hot for them to go outside, then it is probably too hot for pets to go outside. Some pets don’t do well in the heat.

“Dogs that have sort of the smushed face,” Dogs All Day owner Anita Williams said. “Think about like a pug, boxer – they can’t cool themselves as easily as other dogs. Those dogs are going to overheat fast.”

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are common sicknesses during hot weather. So what do you need to look out for when talking about heat exhaustion?

“You might have nausea, vomiting,” Dr. Chris Diggs said. “You are sweating a lot. You feel very fatigued. You can get a headache. You might get some mood disturbances and become irritable.”

Diggs recommends staying away from alcohol in the heat. He says to stick with water and sports drinks to stay hydrated.