Europe has spent most of the summer broiling in the grip of a sustained, record-breaking heatwave. Temps have soared into the 90s and stayed there in places that usually only see high temps in the 70s, like Sweden and the British Isles. Northern Ireland and Wales just recorded the hottest June on record, while Sweden logged its hottest July in 260 years.
The region is generally ill-equipped to deal with sustained high temperatures, as most facilities don’t include air conditioning systems. The heat has caused sickening algae blooms to choke water ways, and has sparked deadly wildfires.
The heatwave covers more of Europe and includes more intense temperature readings than previous heatwaves, and is considered by many to be a harbinger of things to come thanks to global climate change.
Kentucky, Ohio and surrounding states have endured their share of heat waves over the years, but that doesn’t mean heat should be taken lightly. Sustained heat waves can be deadly events and deserve the same thoughtful preparation as other disasters.
What can you do to be prepared for a heat wave? Suggestions from Ready.gov align with best practices for energy efficiency, and can be scaled for office or other large facility settings. Ideas include:
- Cover windows with light and heat blocking drapes or shades during daylight hours. Consider using reflective material that reflects heat back outside. The window covers will keep out the heat and keep rooms from heating up.
- Add weather stripping to doors and windows to minimize air leakage. Weather stripping will keep hot air out, and cool air in.
- Add insulation in attic and other areas to keep cool air in and hot air out.
- Use attic fans to clear out hot air. Don’t use electric fans in high temps; while they might provide some sense of comfort, they don’t actually reduce body temperature and could result in heat illness.
- Insulate around window air conditioning units.
- Encourage hydration and cooling off periods for workers who must be outside in the heat. Know the signs of heat related illness, and monitor closely for symptoms. Wear loose, light-weight, light colored clothing.
- Keep on top of routine maintenance for all HVAC and other cooling equipment. Keep filters fresh and monitor for efficiency.
Have questions about how integrated systems can help you keep an eye on energy efficiency, and spot early signs of trouble? Call me at (800) 567-1180 for a consultation.