Written by: Claire Brumback, Public Affairs Intern
It's no secret: Indiana summers are hot. The heat paired with the humidity can be dangerous if you're exposed to it for too long. According to the National Weather Service, heat is one of the leading weather-related killers in the United States. Knowing the signs of heat-related illness and what to do during a heat wave will keep you and your loved one safe all summer long. If you must be outside in excessive heat, be sure to stay hydrated and take breaks in the shade as often as you can, especially when working or exercising. During the summer months, make sure to keep a close eye on children, the elderly and those who do not have air conditioning in their homes.
Know the signs of heat-related illness
- Heat cramps—symptoms include spasms in the legs and abdomen, as well as heavy sweating. Get the person to a cool spot and give sips of cool water.
- Heat exhaustion—persons experiencing heavy sweating even when the skin is cool, as well as fainting, dizziness, nausea, vomiting or headaches, could be experiencing heat exhaustion. Again, get the individual to a cool place and give sips of water. If the person is vomiting, seek medical attention.
- Heat stroke—when the body temperature is very high, the skin is dry and hot while breathing becomes shallow and rapid. This is a medical emergency and requires a trip to the hospital. During transport, try to cool the person by using cool compresses to reduce their temperature.
In order to keep your home safe and cool this summer, here are some tips that will help you manage energy and your budget along the way.
Know these free and easy tips to save money
- Blinds and curtains—Keep blinds and other window coverings closed during the day to block the sun's rays from heating your home.
- AC unit—If a heat weave is in the forecast, make sure to check your air conditioning unit. In the excessive heat, it's more difficult for AC units to cool your home. To save energy and avoid overusing the unit, turn your thermostat up as comfortable as possible. A good rule of thumb to follow is the less temperature difference between outside and inside your home the less energy you're using.
- Floor and ceiling fans—Use fans to keep yourself cool when inside. Fans cool people, not rooms, so there's no need to keep the fan on when you're not home.
- Appliances—Avoid using the oven, dryer, dishwasher and any other appliance during the day as these can create and trap more heat inside your home.
- LED light bulbs—Light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs produce 75 percent less heat than incandescent bulbs keeping your home cooler in the summer. They also consume less energy, so replacing incandescent bulbs in your home will pay off in the long run.
Even more savings with IPL
IPL PowerToolsTM are 12 energy efficiency programs designed to help you effectively manage your energy use and monthly bills.
- IPL PowerView—See your actual daily energy use, view bills over time, see how you compare to similar households nearby, and determine habits that cost you money.
- Home Energy Assessment—A professional energy advisor will conduct a walk-through assessment, install several energy-saving items, and discuss findings and recommend additional ways to help you manage energy.
- IPL CoolCents—Receive a $5 credit on your monthly electric bill each month from June through September (up to $20 total) for your participation. A device that's installed on the outside of your home near your air conditioner allows IPL the ability to briefly and moderately reduce your AC unit's cycle time during peak electricity usage periods.
For more information on IPL PowerTools, visit IPLpower.com/powertools.
When the forecast is looking hot and hotter, make sure you and your loved ones are prepared. Stay cool, hydrated and out of the sun. For more hot weather tips, visit ready.gov/heat.