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HVAC experts provide tips on preparing for summer amid supply shortages

Posted at 9:37 PM, May 09, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A taste of summer this week means a trial run for what's to come when the hot weather settles in.

Supply chain issues are already hitting the heating, ventilation and air conditioning industry.

Karen Crnkovich, owner and president of DMC Service Inc., is seeing this first hand.

"Many of our suppliers are already sold out of their inventory for certain lines through the end of this year," Crnkovich said. "It means for the consumer at home, if your AC breaks and there aren't parts and there is not a system available, you might be warm."

Crnkovich showed KSHB 41 News some simple tips to keep your home cool, starting with keeping your curtains closed.

"Because the darker the room, the less your less load there is for your AC unit to work," Crnkovich said.

In regulating room temperature, she recommends setting your thermostat and leaving it alone.

"When you set it back, your home gets very, very, warm and you wake up in the morning, it has to work all day long to get back to temperature," Crnkovich said.

A flip of a switch on a ceiling fan could result in big savings.

"They have the down direction that you want to have in the winter time when you're pushing the hot air that rises to the ceiling down to the floor," Crnkovich said. "In the summer time, you want to reverse that so that it will pull the hot air down up to your ceiling."

Crnkovich also said you'll want to keep the garage closed to prevent hot air from rushing in.

For those who do have to be out in heat, doctors recommend drinking plenty of fluids.

Dr. Todd Fristo, a family physician with the Saint Luke’s Medical Group, gave some pointers on what signs to look out for to indicate you may not have enough fluids.

"If you're out doing something outside and say you bend over and you stand up and you get really lightheaded — that's one of the first signs that you're probably a little dehydrated," Fristo said. "Or [you're] developing some volume depletion. A more serious sign of heat related illnesses is if you quit sweating, that's like an emergency."

There's also another sign.

"If you are working in the heat humidity and you find you're not using the restroom as much, you probably do need to drink a little more fluids," Fristo said. "Or if your urine gets really dark."

He adds the young and old are susceptible to heat exhaustion.

"It takes a while for our body to adapt to that extreme amount of heat," he said. "We can adapt to the heat, but it sometimes takes a little time."