California’s Rolling Blackouts: What it Means for Your Air Conditioner

Can you guess how often will you have to schedule an AC repair service job while there is an ongoing rolling blackout? The best answer probably is zero for no one wants a broken air conditioner this summer.

Yet this is a problem many Californian’s may have to deal with due to the rolling blackouts that are currently happening statewide. It is a dark time for some communities, especially for those living in areas identified as high-risk to wildfires. This is a concern locals can’t shrug off because summer isn’t just about the sweltering heat, it’s also the Wildfire season.

The Threat of the Wildfire Season

air conditioningSince it is naturally dry and humid in Cali during summer, grass and bushes wither and dry up which easily catches fire. “So far this year, California has faced 1,746 wildfires, burning through more than 15,500 acres of land,” this is according to an online post by The Guardian just recently. There is no sure way to predict when a bushfire may occur, but arid, windy days have the highest wildfire risks.

In the past years, wet winters help lower this risk, but somehow with the changes in the climate, having a wet winter season doesn’t guarantee anything. Summers are getting hotter and drier, everything just wilts and dry up. Last year’s deadly Camp Fire that took many lives and burned down hundreds of properties ignited due to electrical transmission lines that were surrounded with dry vegetation.

Because of this, utility companies the likes of PG&E were advised by the California Independent System Operator (Cal-ISO), a body who manages the state’s power grid, to reduce the electricity load in some areas. Thus the start of rolling blackouts in different communities at a time in the day. Although, hospitals, police stations, fire departments, and other emergency centers are unaffected.

How Can You and Your Cooling System Cope?

Before a scheduled outage, the utility companies usually informs the affected areas so the residents can prepare. On one hand, knowing ahead of time gives you room to look for ways to beat the heat while your cooling system is down. On the other, how long can you last without an AC service in the midst of summer?

Cooling down is never easy when it’s just too hot, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is not possible. Here are a few workable tips:

  • Drink lots of water. Staying hydrated helps cool down your body temperature.
  • Wear thin clothing. Don’t cover up yourself. Instead, opt for loose, thin clothing. Wearing white or light-colored garments help as well.
  • Hang wet sheets or towels. The moisture from wet towels or sheets can help bring down the humidity level.
  • Close off warm rooms within your home so hot air can’t seep through the colder parts of the house.

There are more tips about cooling down during the summer when you visit Our last blog was about the best air conditioner repairs to make, and you can also read about spring maintenance here.

Rotational outages is a crisis itself. Scheduled blackouts can be countered with the right preparation. But those that aren’t can cause serious damage to your appliances, including your air conditioning system. Prevent costly AC repairs with a routine maintenance check. Talk to a skilled technician at Marthedal Solar, Air & Heating to protect your heating and cooling system during these trying times. Call us!