July 7, 2010
LIMA — Most weekends might bring in six to 10 calls about broken air conditioners. But with 90-plus degree temperatures, this past weekend proved far busier for the John P. Timmerman Co.
Nearly 80 desperate calls for help kept company President Larry Esmonde’s staff with plenty of work. It continued Monday as temperatures remained in the 90s.
“Everything that is going to break, seems like it breaks in extreme weather,” Esmonde said.
Temperatures were expected to remain in the mid-90s through Thursday, with the weekend temperatures dropping to the mid-80s. Some showers and thunderstorms are likely for Thursday and Friday.
Even with the workweek beginning Tuesday, Schoonover Pool remained pretty constant with people trying to stay cool. Lots of talk poolside focused on the heat, said pool manager Samantha Reichardt.
“You hear a lot of, ‘Oh, it is so hot outside,’” she said. “They come and they swim and our pool’s nice and cold.”
Others fed up with the heat headed out to buy air conditioners. Those buys often come after a hot night, said Matt Buckley, sales manager at Tracy’s Appliances.
“When it gets hot during the day, but it stays cool at night, people can live through it,” he said. “If it stays hot at night, that is when you start seeing a lot of calls for air conditioners.”
Even more than air conditioners, Tracy’s is seeing customers needing refrigerators and freezers. The sweltering heat can be tough on especially older refrigerators forced to work harder than usual.
Ohio’s Summer Crisis Program provides one-time assistance of up to $175 toward the purchase of air conditioners, fans, or to put toward the electric bill. The program is for low-income elderly and people with medical conditions. For information: www.puco.ohio.gov. Click on “Energy Assistance Programs.”
American Electric Power doesn’t expect to have any problems keeping up with everyone trying to keep their homes cool, but offers some advice on keeping cool without overloading the air conditioner.
A few tips include to close drapes when the sun is rising and setting, keep lamps and heating devices away from thermostat, use the microwave instead of the oven, and avoid using heating devices like the dishwasher and dryer during the hottest times.
Area hospitals haven’t seen any major health issues related to the hot temperatures, although some minor problems seem more serious while battling the heat.
“Things they would normally put up with, but with the heat, they don’t feel like putting up with it,” said Linda Bernath, clinical manager in the emergency room at Lima Memorial Health System. “Any symptom they are having, with the heat, just seems to be more irritating to them.”
Health officials say it’s important to drink plenty of water while avoiding alcohol and caffeine when it gets this hot. Other advice includes wearing lightweight clothing, seeking out places with moving air, and avoiding heavy physical activity.