As heat rolls through, are there enough air conditioning units?

Staying aware and safe during periods of excessive heat
Published: Jun. 4, 2021 at 9:55 AM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — With the first heat wave of the year here, it’s important to be aware of the surrounding environment and temperatures.

Whether it’s muscle spasms, heat stroke, dehydration or even death, the current hot conditions could cause heat-related illness.

“They are most accentuated in these types of situations where people have not gone through what they call ‘acclimatization’ meaning you haven’t a had a gradual increase in heat over a certain length of time,” said St. Luke’s Urgent Care System Medical Director Dr. Martha Taylor

Certain groups, like young children, the elderly, people on steroids, blood pressure medication, antihistamines and more, can be extra sensitive to heat.

Whether these apply to someone are not, there are signs to heat-related illness.

“You will sweat, lightheadedness, again you’ll get warm and flushed,” Taylor said. “They can progress to the point where they stop sweating, they can start getting chest pain, feeling like they are going to pass out and eventually may end up passing out.”

As it gets hotter, air conditioning units are turned on, fixed, or added to residences.

One problem though, there is a shortage with air conditioning unit stock currently.

“Followed by the shortages that we had in 2020 (of all kinds of materials), we knew that this year was going to be probably even worse and we, like, quadrupled the amount of units that we brought in,” said Terry Greene, president of Terry’s Heating and Air Conditioning.

The store in Twin Falls has plenty of units in stock for now thanks to planning ahead.

“We know that our customers can’t live without AC, we’re literally their 911,” Greene said. “When the AC goes out, people get sick, they can die from the heat.”

Green said when the first hot spell of the year comes around, which we are in right now, air conditioning units start moving off the shelves pretty quickly.

Thursday was also the busiest day, demand-wise, for the organization.

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