When the weather outside starts to swelter, it can be tough to keep cool, especially outdoors, away from the comfort of your home’s air conditioning system. But when it gets too hot to handle, staying cool is important not only for your comfort, but also for your physical well-being. When people ignore the proper precautions during hot weather, there are many physical illnesses that can come about, like heat cramps, heat exhaustion and sunstroke. You can be safe when the weather is at its hottest, though, with these tips from the American Red Cross.

Don’t venture out. If you don’t have to be outside, then stay indoors! Use fans in your home to help circulate the cool air throughout your home. (Remember, fans only move the air around but can’t actually cool it.) Close curtains or blinds to keep the direct sunlight out of your home.

Take it slow. One of the easiest and best ways you can take care of yourself during a heat event is by simply avoiding strenuous activity. If you need to labor, try to do so between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m., when temperatures are cooler. Take frequent breaks, and make sure you’re getting enough fluids.

Drink water. Making sure you get adequate hydration is an absolute must. When you’re outside, take water with you everywhere you go and take frequent drinks, even if you aren’t thirsty. If you prefer, drink juice, but try to avoid alcoholic and caffeinated beverages, as they can aid in dehydration.

Dress appropriately. Wear light-colored, lightweight, breathable clothing in fabrics like cotton. Darker colored clothing and synthetic fabrics tend to hold the heat in. Keep yourself shaded by wearing a sunhat or carrying an umbrella.

Think of friends and family. If you know of friends and family who are elderly or ill, keep in mind that they can particularly struggle during a heat wave. Check on them often. Keep your furry friends out of the heat, too, and keep their dishes filled with fresh, cool water.

Of course, when the weather is at its hottest, your air conditioning system will be running at its hardest. Make sure it’s working properly by trusting the experts at Burkhardt Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration & Generators to help. Our technicians want you to stay safe and comfortable, and one of the ways we can do that is by helping you get the AC you need. Count on us for professional installation, maintenance or repair of your air conditioning system, as well as for a whole host of your other home comfort needs. Southshore residents contact us at 504.277.7520, and Northshore residents please call 985.626.7741. We will be happy to help you with all of your HVAC needs.