In the hot Californian climate, seniors who suffer from breathing conditions and other illnesses are vulnerable. Older people cannot handle the heat as well as younger people can, especially if it gets much hotter suddenly. According to the CDC, seniors may even be taking prescription medication that stops them from being able to sweat properly.
All of these factors can make seniors uncomfortable in high heat and cause them to experience more severe symptoms. If their air conditioner suddenly breaks down, seniors can even die in the heat.
To keep your loved one safe this summer, check up on these key parts of your HVAC system.
1. Air Conditioner
The air conditioner is, of course, the key piece of equipment that will keep seniors safe and comfortable over the summer. Before the truly hot weather arrives, have an HVAC professional perform maintenance on your senior’s air conditioner to make sure it will last through the season. That way you can avoid air conditioner break-down emergencies. Plus, the HVAC professional will also change the air conditioner filter, so that it won’t spread allergens which might trigger your senior’s symptoms.
Also, consider that as seniors get older and have more problems in the heat, they may set their home temperature lower and make more demands on their air conditioner. This can increase the cost of utilities, especially if they have an older model. It may be time to invest in a new energy-efficient air conditioner to keep them more comfortable without incurring a huge utility bill.
If you don’t have a lung condition, you’ve probably never noticed how humidity affects your breathing. Those who have shortness of breath and other lung-related conditions will notice that when the humidity rises, it gets harder to breathe. High humidity can even trigger a COPD flare-up.
Sweat is also less effective in high humidity, which makes it harder for everyone to cool down. Your body will sweat more to compensate for high humidity, which increases the chances of skin irritation and rashes. Seniors who are already battling rashes from conditions, incontinence, or limited mobility, will be at even more risk.
For all of those reasons, investing in a dehumidifier can make seniors much more comfortable. Symptoms from breathing conditions like COPD will be reduced. Plus seniors will sweat less and stay dry.
3. Full House Fans
Do some areas of your senior’s home feel more refreshing and comfortable than others? Too many seniors spend their summer days right next to the cool from the air conditioner, or as far from the bathroom humidity as possible.
Installing a full house fan can make your senior’s whole home feel more comfortable, so they aren’t limited to a certain area of the house. Full house fans can circulate cool air, release humidity, and make uncomfortable parts of the home comfortable again.
Why not head out and buy a standing fan, instead of bothering to get a full house fan installed? Fans that blow directly in a senior’s face can actually be too powerful and take a senior’s breath away, which may make them uncomfortable. Full house fans are gentler and achieve better air circulation through the whole home.
4. Whole Home Generator
A bonus checklist item for those who want to be extra pre-cautious is a whole home generator. If there is ever a power outage that affects the home of an elderly loved one, you might not get there in time to help them. If that’s ever the case, you’ll want to make sure they’re prepared to handle the emergency effectively. A major part of being prepared is having electricity, and a standby generator provides just that.
Talk with your HVAC technician about your senior’s needs and they can recommend products or maintenance to help keep them safe and comfortable in the summer.