Heat Wave Ushers in Concerns for Elderly Seniors.
What Caregivers Need to Know About Extreme Summer Heat and the Elderly
TEMPE, Ariz. – April 21, 2022 – PRLog — The summer heat is back in Phoenix with triple-digit temperatures arriving by end of the month. For many residents, this is the dreaded time of year that brings the familiar hum of air conditioners (AC) back to homes. But what many fear even more than the high summer energy bills, is the potential of their AC unit not functioning properly.
According to John Lamont, CEO of PriceMyAC.com, many Arizona residents forgo regular unit maintenance and wait until the heat waves strike to find out if their AC system is operational. “Unfortunately, many people discover there is a problem with their air conditioner when they need to use it most,” says Lamont. As heat waves become more common, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), warns that each year around 618 Americans die from extreme temperatures, most of them elderly people.
Tami Bohannon, CEO of FSL, reminds us that “an efficient and functioning air conditioner and a weatherized home are vital to keeping our vulnerable populations safe as heat climbs into triple digits. For many years, FSL has provided homeowners with personalized recommendations for increasing their home’s energy efficiency through the Arizona Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program.”
To protect seniors from the unrelenting summer heat, the standard advice is for them to remain inside air-conditioned buildings, dress lightly and keep hydrated. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Part of the problem lies in the fact that seniors often don’t realize when they are overheated, dehydrated and in danger.
“In addition to health concerns, seniors often fall victims to unscrupulous companies that take advantage of this aging population,” added Lamont.
Overloaded air conditioning systems can set the stage for shady sales tactics and unreliable contractors. Unfortunately, Arizona is a prime market for fraudulent air conditioner repairs to desperate homeowners — especially the elderly. “We encourage consumers to search for a reputable service company and always do research,” adds Lamont. “In fact, we have established a consumer education center on our website to provide information for everyone.”
- Don’t fall for high-pressure sales techniques, ask the technician for specifics about what is wrong with your AC. If it can’t be repaired, ask why. Even in Arizona, where many companies say that a unit will only last 12 years, a system can easily last 20 years or more with proper maintenance.
- Do some simple upkeep before calling in a professional. Check the thermostat batteries and change your air filters. Then schedule your AC’s spring maintenance. Most mechanical issues develop over time, which is why your spring maintenance appointment is crucial for addressing issues early, before we’re in the brutal heat of summer and having no AC is an emergency. Scheduling your spring maintenance to make sure your unit is ready for the summer is key.
- If you do need a new AC unit, make sure you understand exactly what you are getting. Request a full, detailed materials list so that you can review the complete breakdown of what is included and ensure that parts are not just being reused. Ask for a complete breakdown of the price as well to make sure it is not inflated. Remember – if it’s not in writing, you have no recourse, so make sure everything is in your contract, then keep it in case you need it.
Lamont reminds that it’s not too late for spring maintenance, “Customers shouldn’t be intimated by having spring maintenance service. Annual service is required to uphold an AC’s manufacturer’s warranty. Plus here in Arizona the dust clogs components such as filters and condensation lines. If these aren’t addressed your AC won’t function efficiently and its just a matter of time before a simple maintenance issue becomes a major repair or replacement.”
For more information about how to diagnose and understand potential issues with your AC unit please visit PriceMyAC.com’s Learning Center at: https://pricemyac.wpengine.com/did-you-know/
If you are in need of an energy audit, please visit www.azhomeperformance.com. In addition, low-income homeowners in need of help with a repair of their home’s air conditioning system, can call 602-532-2976 x540 to see if they qualify for FSL’s Healthy Homes Air Conditioning Program.