Extreme heat can be deadly for people, pets, and wreak havoc on A/C

Published: Jun. 13, 2022 at 7:15 PM EDT
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KENNESAW, Ga. (CBS46) – The extreme heat can be deadly not only for humans but for pets as well. Humane Society officials recommend limiting your dog’s time outside and scaling back on their exercise.

About a dozen people and their four-legged friends were visiting the dog park at Swift Cantrell Park in Kennesaw Monday morning. Many of them said they got there early to avoid the hot temperatures expected by the afternoon.

Pet experts say you should limit your dog’s exercise in the middle of the day. Instead, early mornings and late evenings are better.

Also, pets respond differently to heat than people do. For example, you shouldn’t rely on a fan to keep your dog cool. Dogs sweat primarily through their feet, and fans don’t cool off pets effectively as they do for people.

“We like to sit in the shade,” said Laura Munro of Kennesaw. “We make sure he drinks plenty of fluids. And we don’t stay out here too long because obviously, he has his double coat. Just watch him to see how he acts to make sure he doesn’t get heat stroke.”

Munro and her friend Jasmine Pfenninger meet in the park often. Both bring their dogs to play while they chat about life. Today’s conversation is about the heat.

“When she’s running around too much, I always try to make sure she gets her water,” said Pfenninger. “Actually, whenever I ask her do you want water she’ll run over there and I’ll get her some water.”

Swift Cantrell Park also has signs posted warning dog owners about the surface temperature of the asphalt. For example, if it’s 77 degrees – the asphalt can reach 125 degrees. Pet experts say if it’s too hot for you to walk barefoot on pavement, it’s too hot for your pet too.

While too much exercise is dangerous for your pet, it’s also dangerous for you when the temperature surpasses 90 degrees.

The owner of Ultimate Sports & Fitness in Kennesaw trains young athletes at high school and college levels - also some professional athletes.

This week’s weather is forcing him to change his fitness programming.

A normal hour-long exercise might start with a run outside, but not this week. Instead, they’re doing cardio inside on an elliptical or rower. He’s also scaling back the intensity of the workouts.

“We try to identify those markers of fatigue, dizziness, things like that. And again, it’s beneficial for us to work in those small groups to again identify those small markers,” said Jack Cowan, owner of Ultimate Sports & Fitness.

While Cowan decreases intensity, he’s also reminding his athletes to hydrate, not just during the workout, but well before.

“Keep a wet towel. A lot of people carry dry towels, but a wet towel actually keeps you cool,” said Cowan. “Put it on your head, on your neck, keep your body temperature down. It’s good for weather like this.”

The hot weather is keeping air conditioning repair shops busy. The team at Top Tech Mechanical in Kennesaw is seeing their business increase tenfold. The phone has been ringing off the hook with worried homeowners whose A/C isn’t working properly.

HVAC experts say the common culprit is that your air conditioning unit isn’t properly draining the water that it collects when cooling your home.

Tommy McDuff says homeowners can fix this by clearing debris from drainage hoses and coils in their unit. But McDuff also recommends being proactive by keeping debris away from your AC in the first place. McDuff stands in front of a large air conditioning unit and describes what homeowners should be looking for.

“This is the outside part of your A/C. And inside there is a coil and that is what removes the heat from the house,” said McDuff. “It’s very important that this stays clean. If you’re mowing your grass, you always want to blow the grass away from your condensing unit because this thing will suck any dirt, grass, and everything up into it.”

McDuff also says you should keep your thermostat at 76 to 78 degrees when temperatures outside reach over 90.

Experts also recommend changing out your filter every 30 days depending on how much you use your AC.