Farm Bureau Financial Services encourages you to protect your AC
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (July 25, 2012) — Air conditioning exists in 87 percent of American homes according to the 2009 American Housing Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. As summer temperatures climb, we’re more inclined than ever to retreat indoors for relief. Are you doing the right things to ensure you’ll continue to keep cool in the event of an air conditioner breakdown?
“We find the cost for air conditioner repair or replacement runs anywhere from $200 to $3,000,” said Noel McKibbin, Property-Casualty Claims Vice President at Farm Bureau Financial Services. “An unexpected expense like that can really put a damper on summer fun for your family.”
To help you stay cool this summer, Farm Bureau Financial Services offers these tips.
Protect against breakdown before it occurs
Get your AC tuned up annually to help keep it running at its peak and catch small problems before they become big ones. To protect yourself from the high cost of a breakdown consider adding residential equipment breakdown coverage to your homeowners policy. “Adding protection for your air conditioner and furnace is inexpensive, and could save you thousands,” says McKibbin. “Our customers often talk about the peace of mind the coverage gave them when they were told a new system was required.”
Keep the heat out
Help ease the burden on your AC by keeping unnecessary heat out of your home. Close the shades on windows that receive a lot of sun, and use ceiling or stationary fans to help circulate cool air throughout the house. Keep your stove and oven use to a minimum. And, if possible, hang laundry outside on a line to prevent your dryer from heating the house.
Find a cool place
If a breakdown occurs, consider going to a location with air conditioning, such as the mall, a library or a heat-relief shelter. This is especially important for the elderly, children and people with medical conditions, who may be more prone to heat illness. Keep in mind that heat rises, so when you are in your home, the lowest level of the house will provide the greatest relief. If the heat wave means waiting a few days for repairs, consider visiting relatives or staying in a hotel.
If you remain in your home during an AC breakdown, don’t rely on fans alone to keep cool. Fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the 90s or above, they will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or spritzing with ice water and drying in front of the fan are much more effective ways to cool off. You can also cool the air being circulated by placing a bowl of ice in front of the fan.
Indoors or out, always stay hydrated
In any excessive heat situation, indoors or out, don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Drink plenty of cool, nonalcoholic beverages. Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body. A sports drink can replace these essential electrolytes to keep your body functioning properly.
The dog days of summer are here. With the right protection and a little knowledge, you can take the heat out of a potentially stressful – and dangerous – situation.