Guest editorial: Tips for staying cool during a heat wave

Posted: July 15th, 2016 | Opinion, Opinion & News | No Comments

By Jennifer Margulis White

When summer comes to mind, we often imagine spending our days lounging on the beach, having a picnic, and enjoying the outdoors. But warm summer weather has some miserably hot days as well. Days of intense heat can make it impossible to be comfortable and in some cases potentially dangerous.

Most of the year Southern California has a rather mild climate, but we do see days that creep into the triple digits making it hard to stay cool, especially if you don’t have air conditioning in your home. Here are a few tips to help you beat the heat:

  • Stay out of the sun. Take advantage of A/C by having lunch in a restaurant, visiting the library, walking through a mall, going to a museum, or seeing a movie. If you are outside, try to find shade and a cool breeze to relax in. You can also visit a “Cool Zone,” of which there are over 100 locations in the San Diego region. To find a location, visit San Diego Network of Care’s list at
  • Hydrate properly. Drink 6 to 12 ounces of water every 15 minutes. Avoid caffeine, and instead drink a sports drink that contains electrolytes, which will help hydrate you properly.
  • Take it easy. Wear light-colored clothing that breathes, like linen, cotton or silk, and add a hat to keep you cool. If you’re exercising or working outside, know your limits and be sure to take breaks. Rest during the hottest part of the day.
  • Act quickly. Be sure you know the signs of heat illness: dizziness, headache, muscle cramps and nausea. More serious symptoms, profuse sweating, convulsions and chills, confusion/mumbling and vomiting, indicate a possible heat stroke. Recognize the signs early, rest and drink water. If symptoms become severe, you may need medical attention. Cover your body in cool water and use icepacks to lower your body temperature.

SDG&E offers these conservation tips for saving on summer utilities.

  • Set your thermostat to 78 degrees when at home, health permitting. Changing the A/C thermostat from 72 to 78 degrees can save up to 12 percent of your cooling costs.
  • Use fans, like a ceiling or portable fan, instead of A/C.
  • Power down equipment. Unplug TV, cable, DVD or gaming devices when idle or use a smart power strip. Powering down, especially when you aren’t home, can save up to $300 a year.
  • Turn off unnecessary lights, hold off on doing laundry, running your dishwasher, etc., especially from 4 to 9 p.m.
  • Close blinds, shades or drapes during the hottest part of the day to block out the sun’s heat.
  • Cleaning or replacing A/C filters regularly will help it run more efficiently.
  • Weatherstrip and caulk drafty doors and windows to keep conditioned air in and save up to 5 percent on cooling costs.

For more money saving tips visit If you are looking to replace or service you’re A/C system, visit to find an Accredited Business you can trust. Read customer reviews, learn more about the business, see complaints, and more. Or give us a call at 858-496-2131.

—Jennifer Margulis White is public relations and web content coordinator for the Better Business Bureau for San Diego, Orange and Imperial counties.

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