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It’s hot, REAL hot!

Yes, that’s just stating the obvious, I know. Temperatures are expected to reach record highs today, so let’s help each other out and find out the best air-conditioned places to spend the day. We don’t have time to call every business in Greenwood/Phinney, so we need readers to put a comment below about where to go to cool down.

I just called Greenwood Hardware and they’re out of big fans, but they do have a few 7-inch fans that would work for a desk. They’ve ordered a bunch more, which should be delivered in their Thursday afternoon shipment.

In all the hubbub over keeping humans and pets cool, Stu in Greenwood wanted to make sure we don’t forget about our wild friends:

In all the anxiety related to the heat be sure not to forget our avian neighbors! Birds need water, especially at this crucial time when the youngsters begin to start feeding themselves. On my block everyone from crows to hummingbirds appears to have produced a bumper crop of offspring this year. That means many more mouths to fill with food and water. Please be sure to set out shallow bowls of water in shady spaces for or winged friends. Fill up your birdbaths if you have them, if you don’t have one find something that will do. Remember that the smaller birds such as chickadees and bushtits prefer to shower: if you are watering your vegetable garden consider hosing down a tree with lots of leaves and watch the small birds go for it in a big way! They’ll drink from the leaves and shower in the dripping water. Without our help many of our backyard friends will perish in the heat.

It should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway. Don’t EVER leave a child or pet in a car in hot weather, even for just a few minutes. Heat stroke can happen very quickly. It’s illegal to leave a child alone in a car and King County Animal Care & Control says leaving animals in a hot car can be grounds for animal cruelty charges.

If you see a pet in a hot car, first contact the security guards at the location you are visiting. Security guards can often use security camera footage to find the owner of the car to unlock it quickly, and they can contact Animal Care and Control for additional assistance. If no security is available, call 296-PETS and an Animal Control Officer will respond.

Paws can burn when walking on hot pavement and the skin on a dog’s nose can sunburn. Be sure animals have access to shade and lots of fresh, cool water when playing outdoors. Do not over exert pets during the warmest hours of the day, and avoid long walks or extended exercise in the heat of the sun.

If a dog or cat becomes overheated, apply cool water or cold towels to their head, neck, and chest. Then immediately take the animal directly to a veterinarian. For additional precautions, please consult your pet’s veterinarian.

And here’s a bunch of tips from City Light for keeping cool:

One of the best ways to keep your house cool is not to let the outside heat inside. Keeping the windows closed during the day and covered by blinds or drapes can significantly reduce the amount of heat gained through a window. Better yet, install an exterior shade. Also, good insulation not only keeps your house warm in the winter, it helps keep you cool in the summer. Other money-saving tips include:

1. Give appliances a break. Limit the use of ranges and stoves, dishwashers, dryers, washing machines and other heat-producing equipment especially during mid-day.
2. Prepare cool meals, such as salads and sandwiches. If you must cook a hot meal, wait until later in the evening when it’s cooler.
3. Use a ceiling fan, A typical fan consumes 98 percent less electricity than most central air conditioners use.
4. Adjust ceiling fans to turn counter-clockwise, which will push down warm air trapped near the ceiling.
5. If you have central air conditioning: Cool only the rooms you use. But don’t close all vents. Closing too many actually reduces operating efficiency.
6. Turn off the air conditioner when you leave the house for several hours.
7. An air conditioner thermostat is not a throttle, so don’t switch your air conditioner to a colder setting when you turn it on. It won’t cool the room any faster but it will waste energy when you forget to turn it up again. Keep it set at 80°F.
8. Install a timer on your room air conditioner, or use a programmable thermostat on your central air conditioner.
9. Keep your air conditioner shaded to improve its efficiency.
10. Set your furnace thermostat as high as possible. The minimum recommended energy-efficient summer temperature is 78°F.

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