Extreme heat can kill people, pets and wreak havoc on A/C

KENNESAW, Ga. (CBS46) — Extreme heat can be deadly not only to humans, but to pets as well. Humane Society officials recommend limiting your dog’s time outdoors and reducing his exercise.

A dozen people and their four-legged friends were visiting the Swift Cantrell Park dog park in Kennesaw on Monday morning. Many of them said they arrived early to avoid the high heat expected in the afternoon.

Pet experts say you should limit your dog’s exercise in the middle of the day. Instead, early morning and late evening is better.

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

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

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

“When she runs too much, I always try to make sure she has water,” Pfenninger said. “In fact, every time I ask her if you want water, she’ll run over there and I’ll bring her water.”

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

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

The owner of Ultimate Sports & Fitness in Kennesaw trains young athletes at the high school and college levels – as well as professional athletes.

This week’s weather forces him to change his fitness schedule.

A normal one-hour workout might start with a run outside, but not this week. Instead, they do cardio indoors on an elliptical or rowing machine. It also reduces the intensity of workouts.

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

As Cowan lowers the intensity, he also reminds his athletes to hydrate, not just during training, but well before.

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

Hot weather keeps air conditioning repair shops busy. The Top Mechanical Services team in Kennesaw sees its business increase tenfold. The phone kept ringing with worried homeowners whose air conditioning is not working properly.

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

Tommy McDuff says homeowners can solve this problem by clearing the debris from their unit’s drain pipes and coils. But McDuff also recommends being proactive in 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 look for.

“It’s the outside part of your A/C. And inside there’s a coil and that’s what takes the heat out of the house,” McDuff said. If you’re mowing your grass, you always want to blow the grass away from your condensing unit because that thing is going to suck up dirt, grass, and whatever else is on it.

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

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

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