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Tips to keep cool for a Midwest summer

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Merilee Kern
A shortage of air-conditioning units across the nation and can be largely attributed to COVID-19.

Supply chain issues are hitting the heating, ventilation and air conditioning industry, leaving some people in Kansas City concerned about another hot summer.

In Kansas City, air conditioning in homes, cars, shops and other buildings isn't a luxury. Locals believe it's a necessity.

Summers in Kansas City are hot, but high humidity is the real issue. The EPA recommends trying to keep indoor humidity between 30% and 50%, but on a steamy Kansas City morning the humidity outside can reach as high as 90%.

And due to the pandemic, there's a nationwide shortage of air-conditioning units, which is why experts say getting your air conditioner checked can be crucial to staying cool.

Making sure you have a qualified company services your unit twice a year (once in the fall and once in the spring), making sure its condenser coils are clean and changing its filter are all ways to improve and help the life expectancy of your air conditioner, said Karen Crnkovich, owner and president of DMC Service Inc. in Olathe, Kansas.

Crnkovich also recommended keeping the temperature in your house constant to use less energy, even when your not home.

"The amount you're saving by bumping it up a couple of degrees in extreme temperatures is really negligible and it's far easier on your system, allowing it not to work as hard and long to keep temperature once it's at temperature," she said.

But not everyone in Kansas City has access to air conditioners. Crnkovich said keeping your blinds closed, closing the garage door and adding fans are great alternative ways to stay cool.

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
Reginald David is an assistant producer with Up To Date. You can reach him at reginalddavid@kcur.org.
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