Heat Alert: Three things to check as the mercury rises

A/C window unit electrical safety & A/C car coolant
Posted at 4:51 PM, Jul 18, 2019

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — The heat is on and the humidity too. We talk a lot about how to protect your home when cold weather strikes, but what about dangerously high temperatures?

We look at three things you need to know as the mercury climbs and they're in the two places you spend a lot of time in, your car and your home. You might be trying to 'beat the heat' in your home or apartment with a window air conditioning unit. But you need to make sure it's safe.

"You can easily overload a circuit with an air conditioners because it's a high draw appliance," explained Michael Scherer, ownerScherer Electric in Hamburg.

A lot of people just plug it in without thinking about the power burden and some use an extension cord. But to prevent a potential fire hazard. Sherer tells us you should have a dedicated circuit and electrical outlet.

"And they will just melt and burn inside the wall – a lot of times people will say they smell some plastic burning or some kind of acidic smell in the air, that a lot times is the wiring the receptacle," Sherer noted.

The other important ac device is in your vehicle. But you should make sure the coolant is checked.

"Over time - your coolant breaks down - it loses the additive - so that's there to cool an engine - especially in oppressive heat we are going to see this weekend," remarked Rocky Casullo, Casullo's Automotive in Kenmore.

Make sure you check the pressure in your vehicle tires in the extreme heat.

Casullo tells us the extreme heat will also affect your car battery and your tires.

"It's not just a cold winter day that's going to make the battery fail – a hot summer day can do the same," Casullo said. "Due to the heat – it increases tire pressure – over-inflated tires cause premature tire wear –under inflated will cause more flats."

Both the auto repair shop and electrician want to remind you - these are your two biggest assets - you car and your home, so preventive maintenance and proper ac home installation will keep you safe and cool.