100-degree temps to roast SC Midlands rest of week. Here’s how hot & ways to cut your cooling bill

Brace yourself.

It’s about to be a scorcher.

The 90-degree temperatures the Midlands have endured in recent days were just the beginning. According to the National Weather Service in Columbia, temperatures are expected to hit and even exceed 100 degrees starting Wednesday.

Columbia heat is predicted to be particularly brutal. As of Tuesday evening, the Soda City was forecast to see thermometers soar to 102 degrees on Wednesday. Even more disturbingly, the heat index is projected to reach an eye-melting 109 degrees.

Needless to say, if you plan to step outside at all in Columbia on Wednesday, make sure you drink plenty of water.

Much of the rest of the week for the Midlands and Columbia is also forecast to endure temperatures of up to 100 degrees. However, some possible rain showers on Friday and Saturday could help reduce the top temperatures to high 90s.

How to save on cooling costs

The U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting your air conditioner to 78 degrees during the summer. The idea is that you’ll save 10% on your power bill for every degree you go above 78 degrees. Otherwise, you’ll spend 10% for every degree you go below 78 degrees.

Staying comfortable

Carolina Comfort Inc., a Columbia-based HVAC company, notes that 78 degrees can still fee muggy, particularly in places like the Midlands because of the high humidity.

“This is because the heating and cooling system simply will not run long enough to pull the humidity in the house down below 50% relative humidity, which is ideal for most people,” the company’s website states.

To counteract that feeling, the company suggests also running ceiling fans.

“By running the ceiling fans in your home, you will move the cool air around; also, the air movement will help eliminate hot and cold spots that can be present in the home,” the website states.

Energy saving tips

Dominion Energy has several tips to help South Carolinians save money on their power bills over the summer.

  • Check air filters monthly and change when dirty

  • Periodically check your ductwork for leaks or tears

  • Have your central heating and cooling system serviced annually

  • Upgrade your attic insulation to a minimum of R-38 (12-14 inches)

  • Caulk, seal and weather-strip around all seams, cracks and openings

  • Install a door sweep to seal the gap between the bottom of your door and the threshold

Heat stroke symptoms

  • High body temperature (103°F or higher)

  • Hot, red, dry, or damp skin

  • Fast, strong pulse

  • Headache

  • Dizziness

  • Nausea

  • Confusion

  • Losing consciousness (passing out)

What to do

  • Call 911 right away-heat stroke is a medical emergency

  • Move the person to a cooler place

  • Help lower the person’s temperature with cool cloths or a cool bath

  • Do not give the person anything to drink