This summer, temperatures around Texas soared well into the 100s, rivaling and surpassing decades-old record highs. During the third and fourth weeks in July, the National Weather Service warned of excessive heat throughout the southwestern United States with temperatures expected to near 120 degrees in certain parts of the region.
San Antonio broke its first heat record on Sunday, July 22. Temperatures reached 103 degrees, beating the 2009 record of 102.
By 5 p.m. on Monday, July 23, the San Antonio International Airport registered a temperature of 104 degrees, while the Stinson Municipal Airport hit 109 degrees. These high temperatures both matched and exceeded the previous 104-degree record set in 2017. Residents were advised to stay inside cool, air-conditioned buildings and limit time spent outdoors.
Historically, the end of July kicks off the hottest time of the year for San Antonio with an average high of 95 degrees. Average high temperatures aren’t expected to dip below the 90-degree mark until the end of September.
Driven by the stifling triple-digit temperatures, CPS Energy customers’ demand for electricity reached an all-time high as well. On Monday, July 23, the municipal electric service’s energy load topped out at 5,080 megawatts, beating the August 12, 2016 record of 5,017 megawatts.
Thankfully, a greater-than-expected performance by Texas wind farms helped supply the extra energy needed to keep the state cool. According to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, energy demand throughout Texas surpassed 73,250 megawatts on July 19.
Extreme Heat Dangers
A healthy human body maintains a core temperature of 98.6 degrees, meaning too much time in the sun exposed to temperatures far exceeding normal body temperature can pose serious health risks.
Under normal circumstances, the human body eliminates heat energy through three methods:
• Convection: The body naturally warms surrounding air, causing it to rise and allowing cooler air to move against the skin.
• Radiation: Skin radiates heat to cooler objects such as walls and furniture, allowing the body to shed unwanted heat.
• Evaporation: When the body creates more heat than it can lose through the previous two methods, it begins to sweat. Evaporation carries the excess heat away from the skin to cool it.
Extremely high temperatures, however, make it more difficult to discard that heat. Once environmental temperatures climb higher than the body’s, the order of these processes reverses. This causes the heat to flow from the environment into the body.
As heat crosses the triple-digit threshold, the body depends on perspiration to reduce its core temperature. Sweating results in water and salt loss. When these substances are lost in large quantities, the body can become dehydrated quickly. Blood flow to the skin decreases, and core body heat rises – sometimes to dangerous levels:
• 104 degrees – health danger
• 105 degrees – heat stroke
• 107 degrees – irreversible organ damage or even death
Under extreme conditions, this can happen in an hour or less. That is why it’s crucial to find ways to keep cool during a heat wave.
Finding Ways to Keep Cool
San Antonio officials urged residents to be mindful of the heat and take care of themselves by following a few guidelines:
• Drink plenty of water
• Check on neighbors, especially the elderly
• Use available public establishments with air conditioning
• Stay out of the sun
The cool, dry air circulated by air conditioners ensures humans can live in a controlled temperature that prevents them from succumbing from the negative effects of excessively high temperatures of outdoor environmental conditions.
Air Conditioner Installation, Repair and Maintenance in San Antonio
With heat waves like this, it’s best to ensure your A/C unit is working properly by having it inspected by a reputable HVAC contractor. The service technicians at Aramendia Plumbing, Heating & Air stay up to date on the latest industry knowledge and tools to ensure your A/C unit is maintaining peak performance.
Aramendia has been serving San Antonio
and the surrounding areas for over 29 years and we pride ourselves on the trust and reputation we have earned over that time. Our loyal customers know us as a reliable and trustworthy service company that will quickly send a highly-qualified technician to their home or office to take care of them. In August of 2017, Aramendia became part of the Service Experts family. As a Service Experts company, Aramendia will continue to serve San Antonio and the surrounding area.