Staying cool amid dangerous heat wave

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The Helping Hand Mission of Raleigh is trying to help people stay cool. (WTVD)

On a day that's so hot, Pullen Park had to close its paddle boats to visitors and families are still braving the heat to have some fun.

Everyone packed plenty of ice water and opted for some of the indoor activities to get the most out of their summer day.

At home, if you think your HVAC unit is working overtime in this heat wave, Wake Tech's Director of Air Conditioning, Heat, and Refrigeration Program Jim Freeman said it probably is.

Freeman suggested clearing the area around your HVAC unit of any bushes or debris in order to increase its efficiency.

While Freeman said your unit doesn't feel the triple-digit heat index like you do, it is set to cool up to a certain temperature.

"On days where we go above 92 degrees, your unit's going to be working harder than normal," he said. "So a homeowner shouldn't be alarmed on the really hot days if their unit's running all the time and having trouble maintaining that target temperature."

Before you call a technician and spend money on a service call, Freeman advises checking your registers to make sure cool air is blowing. Then, step outside and feel the air coming out of the HVAC; if it's hotter than the surrounding air, Freeman said your unit is likely working properly.

He suggested changing your air filters, closing your blinds, and checking the weather stripping on your doorframes to keep hot air from seeping in.

Not everyone has a way to cool off during this heat wave and the Helping Hand Mission of Raleigh is trying to do something about it.

"They've been coming in and going out quicker than they're coming in," said Sylvia Wiggins, director of the donated fans and window AC units that are in high demand.

The Helping Hand Mission is accepting fans all season long. Fans, air conditioners or monetary donations can be dropped off at 623 Rock Quarry Road Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. or Sundays from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

For more information call 919-829-8048.
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