If you live anywhere in Texas, you know a thing or two about Texas heat. In areas like Houston, Bellaire, Pearland, West University, and Friendswood, the heat and humidity can become unbearable.

Fortunately, most of us work in air-conditioned offices and have cool homes to return to after a long day. Yet, this doesn’t guarantee that we’ll have an easy-breezy summer.

If you want to stay cool this summer, we can help. Keep reading for our top six tips on how to avoid over-heating under the southern sun.

1. Stay Hydrated

Hydration is a fundamental component to staying cool, especially when it comes to Texas heat. Remaining hydrated helps our bodies regulate temperature. When we’re dehydrated, on the other hand, we don’t sweat as easily and are at risk of overheating.

Early signs of dehydration include:

  • Dark and/or odorous urine
  • Dry mouth
  • Muscle cramps
  • Dry and cool skin
  • Headaches
  • Infrequent urination

If you remain dehydrated for too long, these symptoms can escalate to things like fainting, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, confusion, and more. 

To avoid getting dehydrated, carry around a water bottle and drink before you get thirsty. This is especially important if you’re spending time outside under the southern sun.

If you have children who like to play outside, make sure they’re coming in frequently to drink water. And remember, water and juice are not the same things. Nor will coffee or soda provide proper hydration.

2. Conduct Regular HVAC Maintenance

Most of us retreat indoors to combat the Texas heat and humidity. Of course, this plan is only effective if your AC unit and HVAC system are working properly.

You can ensure your system is firing on all cylinders by conducting regular HVAC maintenance. This includes:

  • Replacing your HVAC filter
  • Ensuring your AC unit’s condenser coils are clean
  • Maximizing airflow to your AC unit by cleaning the outdoor grating
  • Investing in air duct cleaning
  • And more

Failing to properly maintain your HVAC system will lead to major and minor air conditioning issues. There’s nothing worse than expecting to come home to a cool house only to find out your air conditioning is pumping out warm air. There could be a number of reasons behind this, some simple, some complex.

If this happens to you, call AC repair services immediately.

3. Enjoy Some Water-Related Activities

Beating the southern sun doesn’t necessarily mean running away from it. If you like to be outside, find some water-related activities you can enjoy to keep you cool.

For example, there are plenty of lakes, swimming pools, and water slides in Houston, Bellaire, Pearland, West University, and Friendswood. Take your family out for a fun day of water and sun or meet up with some friends.

Just make sure you bring plenty of water and sunscreen lotion to prevent getting sunburned. Sunburns make it even more difficult to stay cool in the Texas heat.

4. Run Window and Ceiling Fans

One of the biggest complaints from people living in Texas is the cost of keeping their homes cool in the summer. Between the heat and humidity, their AC units are running on high all day and most of the night.

However, there are ways to reduce your HVAC energy consumption. For example, at night and in the morning while the temperature outside is cool, run window fans to bring in the cool air.

We also recommend running ceiling fans in a counterclockwise direction to push air down and create a cooling breeze. Keep them running even after the AC turns on and the windows are closed. Ceiling fans will keep the air moving which will keep your home cooler and place less stress on your air conditioner.

5. Dress Appropriately

Whether you’re going out into the southern sun or staying inside for most of the day, learn how to dress appropriately to beat the Texas heat. We recommend light-colored, breathable fabrics like cotton and linen.

It’s also a good idea to keep the sun off your face and head. Wear a hat and sunglasses if you’re going to be under direct sunlight.

If you’re going to be outside for a long time, having more skin exposed may not be a good idea. This will make you more vulnerable to getting sunburned.

We also recommend staying indoors during the hottest part of the day. There is plenty of fun to be had outside before and after these peak hours.

6. Learn How to Respond to Heat-Related Illnesses

Finally, understand that no matter what precautions you take, you may be exposed (directly or indirectly) to heat-related illnesses. It’s not uncommon for people to develop heat exhaustion in the Texas heat.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Cramps
  • Cool, moist skin

If not treated quickly, heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke, which is the most severe heat-related illness. At this point, the body fails to cool itself down. The victim then becomes vulnerable to seizures, confusion, loss of consciousness, or even death.

To treat someone with heat exhaustion and prevent heatstroke, take immediate action. This means:

  • Get the person in the shade or inside
  • Have the victim lay down with feet slightly elevated
  • Remove any tight or binding clothing
  • Hydrate (nothing with caffeine or alcohol)
  • Use water to cool the person slowly (spraying, sponging, fanning)

Keep a close eye on the victim until all symptoms of heat exhaustion subside. If the situation seems to be getting worse, call 911 immediately.

Looking to Beat the Texas Heat This Summer?

Do you want to stay cool this summer? If so, follow the six tips listed above to beat the Texas heat. Most importantly, stay safe out there and avoid those heat-related illnesses.

And if your AC unit needs a checkup or repairs, we’re here for you. P & M Air Conditioning and Heating has been in the industry for 75 years. We offer same-day air conditioning services because we know how intense and unbearable the Texas heat can become.

If you’re in need of some relief from the southern sun, contact us today to schedule an appointment. We offer our HVAC services in Houston, Bellaire, Pearland, West University, and Friendswood.