Arkansas Students, Livestock, and General Public At Risk During Excessive Heat

The hottest days of the 2018 summer may still be ahead in Arkansas.

According to KUAR, communities in rural Arkansas are struggling to deal with the burden of high temperatures. Thankfully, public centers, like the West Central Community Center, exist and open their doors to the people of Arkansas during heat advisories.

“It’s a great opportunity to get some good air, get out of the heat. It’s very dangerous when it gets that hot,” said Tye Forte, facilities manager at the West Central Community Center. “We also have food and water, all types of things to keep you going.”

Additionally, innovative technology is helping the people of Arkansas, especially students and farmers.

New irrigation systems are currently being put in place in Arkansas to address the area’s declining water table, combat extreme heat, and maintain the health of livestock and crops.

According to Facility Executive, one of the largest universities in the state is implementing a new form of technology in order to improve their air conditioning equipment.

The University of Arkansas is home to 27,000 students and the indoor air quality has been suffering as of late. Thankfully, Rick Gragg, HVAC Coordinator with the university’s Campus Utilities and Building Climate Services department, has implemented a decade-long mission to improve indoor air quality on campus by retrofitting buildings with ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI).

Replacing AC equipment that is more than 15 years old can result in significant energy savings, as well. This new technology uses light in the ultraviolet-C (UV-C) spectrum to remove biological growth from HVAC equipment, subsequently ensuring safe and clean air is provided to the students and faculty members.

“Moisture is an ever-present threat in air handlers because the evaporator coil operates at a temperature less than the dew point,” said Gragg, who’s been working in the HVAC industry for 35 years. “As moisture is drawn out of the air to yield cooler temperatures to room occupants, the resulting condensation provides the perfect environment for mold and other harmful contaminants to flourish.”

In fact, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, a relative humidity below 50% can help remove indoor allergens.

Temperatures nearing triple digits can harm the livelihood of students, livestock, and the general population. During periods of extreme heat in Arkansas, it’s recommended that you stay hydrated, avoid direct sunlight, and only venture outdoors when necessary.

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