It’s no secret that global warming has caused us to experience hotter temperatures than ever. Scientists have even pointed to global warming as the culprit behind recent record-breaking heatwaves, and researchers agree that the last decade has been the Earth’s warmest on record.
With these deadly heat waves come high risks during the summer months, especially for anyone with no AC. Older adults and people with health issues are even more vulnerable to the negative effects.
Whether your college dorm has no air conditioning or your home’s HVAC system breaks on a hot summer day, here are a few key health risks to be aware of.
Physical Health Risks of Living With No AC
A lack of AC—or even a short-term power outage—may seem like a minor inconvenience at first, but spending too much time in the heat can harm your physical health.
Most importantly, hot temperatures make it more difficult for our bodies to regulate their internal temperatures. This, in turn, can make it harder for the body to carry out its normal processes and to protect essential organs. It can also lead to a spectrum of severe health conditions, from heat exhaustion and heatstroke to respiratory issues and even death.
If you’re ever concerned that you or someone in your home is experiencing a heat-related illness, it’s important to watch for warning signs. Here are a few key symptoms to look out for:
- Excessive sweating
- Unusual fatigue
- Rapid breathing or heartbeat
These mild to moderate symptoms are signs of heatstroke, often the first condition to affect the body during periods of high heat. If these symptoms worsen—especially if the person hallucinates, has a seizure, or falls unconscious—it’s important to seek immediate medical treatment.
These severe risks are a clear reason why it’s important to call a reputable HVAC company the moment your air conditioner breaks down—or to install one when you need it most!
Mental Health Risks of Living With No AC
If you’ve ever had no air conditioning during the sweltering summer months, it may come as no surprise that a lack of AC can affect your mental Health as well. This goes beyond even the constant distraction that your physical discomfort causes.
Studies show that living in a hot room with no AC in summer had a negative impact on participants’ working memory, reaction times, and other measures of cognitive function. This was especially true during periods of high heat waves, as opposed to days with more moderate temperatures.
In addition, high heat can affect our sleep duration and quality, which can, in turn, impact our mental focus and productivity. Over time, this can make it difficult to manage basic tasks or even make rational decisions.
Minimize Your Health Risk Today
If you find yourself living with no AC during the blistering summer months, it’s important to take precautions for your safety. Know the signs and symptoms of heatstroke, be prepared to seek medical attention as needed, and take steps to keep cool as much as you can. If possible, minimize your health risks by getting air conditioning before your area’s next heatwave comes!
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