Experts and cities offer ways to beat the heat


by Velma Scaife, Cleve Bryan

Posted on July 13, 2011 at 3:30 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 13 at 5:42 PM

NEWPORT NEWS, VIRGINIA BEACH – The dangerous heat has sent at least 10 people to hospitals across Hampton Roads.

Six people were treated at Riverside Regional in Newport News on Wednesday.  At Sentara Virginia Beach General, three people arrived with signs of heat exhaustion, and a military servicemember who was doing physical training got dehydrated in Virginia Beach and was treated at Sentara Bayside.  All were given fluids and discharged.

Meantime, in Newport News, three community pools offered free admission for those who have proof of residence.  Those are Wendwood Community Pool on Dominion Drive, Village Green Parkway and the Boys and Girls Club on Hampton Avenue.

The Main Street library was also crowded Wednesday.

Air conditioning repair technicians are out in the heat, keeping busy this week.  13News talked with a home inspector who offered some advice to help you stay cool and avoid damaging your A/C unit.

Experts recommend keeping you’re A/C no colder than 74 to 78 degrees. Depending on the condition and design of your cooling system, running your air at full blast all the time can cause severe condensation, and overtime, mold or water damage to your home.

Window units that experience heavy condensation can drip into your window frame, causing it to rot.

Experts recommend raising your thermostat slightly during the day and lowering it a little more at night to reduce the strain on your unit.

According to home inspector Pete Sessa, one of the most overlooked ways to increase the efficiency of your air conditioner is to clean the outside equipment.  He says you can simply do that with a hose.

"If you have one of those electric meters with the wheel that spins around, you can actually see the decrease in energy consumption as you’re hosing off your air conditioner," said Sessa.