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Las Vegas summers mean adjustments for new residents

All it takes is one summer living in Las Vegas to learn how heat a ffects various items. Take, for example, possessions left in your car. ChapS tick melts, liquid makeup separates and rubber bands wither and die.

Vehicle dos and don’ts

Similarly, CDs can warp slightly under extreme temperatures. The lacquer layer —- the top layer —- can peel off CDs, DVDs and Xbox, PlayStation and Wii disc s that are left in bright sunlight. If the lacquer layer is gone, the layer below it, which holds the data, will suffer damage as well.

Your iPod and other electronics don’t like the high temperatures, either.

Batteries will not explode in a hot car, said Robert Legorreta, regional manager for Batteries Plus Las Vegas. In a Catch-22, it helps increase battery power, giving you a longer charge that day … but the heat also is degrading the battery.

“So, the sun is helping you (short term) but hurting you in the long run,” he said.

Vehicle interiors heat up quickly. The National Weather Service web site, weather.gov, reports that the interior temperature of a car left in the sun will increase 22 degrees in the first 10 minutes. And it only goes up from there.

It cannot be stressed enough: Never leave a child or a pet in a car in hot weather.

Buying a reflective windshield shade will help keep car seats from blistering one’s skin.

Excessive heat can alter prescription medication, and it can lose its effectiveness. Make the pharmacy your last stop before going home.

Bacteria thrive in warm water. Do you really want to take a sip from that water bottle you left sitting in your hot car all day?

Don’t wash your car in bright sunlight. The beads of water act as miniature magnifiers and can degrade your paint job.

Las Vegans have learned to change out their windshield wiper blades before it rains, as the blades are apt to dry out, rendering them useless.

Cars have their own greenhouse effect. For comfort while driving, consider getting window tinting and a glare strip for your vehicle’s windshield.

According to Nevada Revised Statute 484D.440, window tinting for the front- side windows must allow a light transmission of “not less than 35 percent.” In other words, they can be tinted but not very much.

“The back windows, you can have as dark as you want,” said Metropolitan Police Department Officer Laura Meltzer . “They just can’t be reflective.”

Keep Pets inside as temperatures climb

Besides learning the hard way that crayons melt on the sidewalk between 128 and 147 degrees Fahrenheit, there are other considerations when dealing with Las Vegas summers.

When it comes to pets, keep them inside your home. Think how you’d cope if you were locked out of your house for hours on end.

Dr. Sue Wiggers of Blue Cross Animal Hospital, 3470 S. Hualapai Way, said dogs can be let out for short periods of time — five to 10 minutes — into a yard with no shade.

“The big thing is giving them shade and having some air flow,” she said. “Some people want to keep them in the garage. Not a good idea.”

Similarly, walk your dog early in the morning and in the evening when it’s cooler and the sidewalk is less apt to burn his footpads.

Watch your water

Pool water evaporates at an alarming rate. Using a pool cover can save you from losing 10,000 to 15,000 gallons a year, according to the Southern Nevada Water Authority. Some pools hold only 15,000 gallons. Kristen Howey, Water Authority spokeswoman , said some people are astounded when they hear that figure.

“It makes you realize how often you’re filling up your pool,” she said.

Pool toys should not be left out in the sun as they can become brittle. Swim goggle bands can lose their stretch.

Running your sprinklers during the day is a water conservation no-no and for good reason. Evaporation begins before the water hits the ground. Also, plants can be burned by the droplets, that “beads of water as magnifiers” effect again.

Water near the surface of the soil, between 11 and 12 inches a month, evaporates even if watering at night or using a drip system, the Water Authority reports.

Protect items inside the home

Close your drapes. It not only keeps the house cooler but will keep your upholstery from fading.

Have a piano? Don’t position it near a window that faces south or west.

Contact Summerlin and Summerlin South View reporter Jan Hogan at jhogan@viewnews.com or 387-2949.

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