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Heat Awareness and Powering Your Air Conditioner

Updated: Mar 1, 2022

May 31st is Heat Awareness Day

Thermometer on hot day - Aurora Generators

Did you know that heat is a leading weather-related killer in the United States? Every year hundreds of people die due to heat-related illnesses, many of which occur with just a short period of exposure (OSHA, 2021). Numerous employee deaths and thousands of employee illnesses are preventable by keeping the workplace or home cool, having access to water, and having a plan in place. Will the heat stop you in your tracks from going about your day-to-day or will you be prepared? Prevent the risk of a heat-related illness at home or in the workplace by keeping the air conditioning running even when there is no power with a reliable and quiet-running Aurora generator.


What Are Heat-related Illnesses?


The human body has an average temperature of 97 to 99˚F and can fluctuate based on our surroundings (Web MD, 2021). Our body temperature remains fairly consistent however, prolonged changes or variations of temperature either above or below the average can indicate illness, infection, or other health-related issues. Being exposed to high temperatures can hurt our bodies and lead to heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke, heat cramps, and heat exhaustion.


To cool down our bodies, blood rushes to the surface of our skin but this takes away blood from our brain, muscles, and organs (Khatri, 2019). Prolonged exposure to heat can lead to a loss of physical strength and mental capacity, affecting our ability to work and be productive. In some cases, this can be a serious or life-threatening issue.


What To Look Out For


If you are working in a hot environment, it is important to know the warning signs of heat-related illnesses so you can act accordingly. Common first signs of heatstroke and heat exhaustion include:

· High body temperature (103˚F or higher)

· Hot, red, dry, or damp skin

· Heavy Sweating

· Headache

· Tiredness or weakness

· Blisters on the skin

· Etc... (CDC, 2017)


How to Prevent Heat-related Illnesses


There are various things you can do to prevent heat-related illnesses to stay comfortable and productive at home or in the workplace. If you are going to be in a hot environment, you should choose to wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing. The Centre for Disease Control recommends pacing yourself when doing physical activities outside and to listen to your body (NCEH CDC, 2017). When in the heat and working, our bodies sweat as a cooling mechanism, so it’s important to drink lots of fluids and to replace salts and minerals that may be lost from sweating.


Workers drinking water - Aurora Generators

One of the best ways to prevent heat-related illnesses is to make use of an air conditioning unit or A/C. Entering an environment that is cooler than your previous surroundings will help to lower your body temperature back to a normal level and thus prevent the potential for a heat-related illness. Most people don’t think twice about their A/C units or how important they are for staying comfortable, productive, and ultimately safe from the heat. We spend so much time in our homes and offices but, what happens during an emergency or a power outage? Will you be prepared?


Picking A Generator To Run An Air Conditioning Unit


Once the power goes out, your home or workplace will begin to heat up quickly! Without a backup generator in place, the heat can quickly get to you and reduce comfort, productivity, and potentially lead to illness. When using an air conditioning unit, you need to match the square footage of the space to the cooling capacity of the unit. Air conditioning units are generally ranked by using a unit of measurement called BTUs. To cool a room that is 300 square feet, you will need an air conditioning unit that is ranked at approximately 10,000 BTU while a 2000 square foot room will need closer to a 30,000+ BTU unit.


Generator sizing chart for air conditioning unit - Aurora Generators

The larger the space, the more electricity you will use so you must plan accordingly when choosing a suitable backup generator. The small wall or window air conditioner would use and can be run on a diesel generator rated for less than 4 kilowatts (kW) where a 30,000+ BTU air conditioner will use closer to 10 kilowatts. Aurora Generators recommends a diesel unit over gas or propane as maintenance costs are lower, fuel is cheaper, and the units are more reliable during a time of disaster.


If you need additional help deterring what size generator you may need to power your air conditioning unit, Aurora Generators is one phone call away. Let us know if you have any comments or questions about powering your A/C or any other home appliances.



References


Cassoobhoy, A. (2020, March 25). Fevers and Normal Body Temperature: 98.6°F Is No Longer The Rule. Retrieved May, 2021, from https://www.webmd.com/lung/what-is-a-fever#1

Khatri, M. (2019, July 30). Heat Related Illnesses: Types, Causes, Treatment. Retrieved May, 2021, from https://www.webmd.com/first-aid/understanding-heat-related-illness-basics

Warning Signs and Symptoms of Heat-Related Illness. (2017, September 01). Retrieved May, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/warning.html





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