Summer in Alberta is heating up, and it’s got the entire province gasping for energy. Since temperatures soared at the start of summer, the power grid has been pushed to capacity. Energy-saving measures, which include requesting residents to cut back on using air conditioning in Edmonton, have been implemented, according to a recent report in the Edmonton Journal filed by Elise Stolte and David Howell.

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The City of Edmonton … asked citizens to watch their use of lights, air conditioners and other appliances. Alberta hit a new summertime high for demand and supply is tight.

The hot weather is expected to continue into the long weekend.

“The temperatures have been quite high, over 30 degrees for the last couple days,” said Dr. Chris Sikora, medical officer of health for the Edmonton zone.

Hot under the collar
The intense heat has taken its toll on the residents themselves, many suffering from heat stress, dehydration, high blood pressure, and others. The body can only tolerate conditions like this for so long, and the consequences could be dire.

Eventually, it can’t cool itself off any longer. The core body temperature rises, toxic metabolites build up in the brain, oxygen levels decrease and a person gets confused. Eventually, the body will start shutting down and the person slips into a coma.

Find ways to save
In an effort to conserve electricity without endangering the health of the residents, the city has announced that public outdoor pool facilities will stay open longer. Besides minimizing air conditioning use, citizens were encouraged to turn off unnecessary lights, draw curtains and blinds, and wait until after 7pm to run washers, dryers, and other major appliances. Edmonton air conditioning repair and installation companies, such as Capital Plumbing & Heating Ltd., recommend having AC units serviced to maximize their efficiency. This would make the appliances perform better while saving energy.

Power guzzlers
Heating and cooling systems consume the most electricity, followed by water heaters, dehumidifiers, and refrigerators. As mentioned earlier, these appliances are recommended to be used only once temperatures have dropped in the early evening, to conserve energy. Any electric or mechanical device running at peak efficiency, however, will use significantly less power than the one that isn’t.

To use an analogy, a healthy person will perform with less effort and feel less fatigued than an unhealthy one. So, making sure that your heating and cooling systems are running at peak efficiency all the time is tantamount to saving energy all the time.

(Article Excerpt and Image from Edmonton under heat advisory; Albertans asked to watch power use, 30 July 2014, http://www.edmontonjournal.com/Edmonton+under+heat+advisory+Albertans+asked+watch+power/10076135/story.html)