KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
August 21, 2023
By Natalie Cook Clark and Katrina Katsarellis
Katy residents lament on social media over ongoing hot temperatures. Many report home AC struggles and Katy ISD reacts to the heat and how they are keeping students safe.
Katy, along with the greater Houston area, continue to struggle with this extreme heat. There’s been 45-days with no rain and Katy has experienced more than 67 days in a row with 100-degree temperatures or greater. On Sunday, August 20, 2023, Bush Airport reported a temperature of 108 degrees, one degree shy of tying the record set in 2011.
Katy Residents Express AC Concerns on Social Media
Social media platforms, such as Facebook are full of Katy residents concerned over AC units struggling to keep up. This is true of my own unit, which spent the weekend set at 75 degrees and struggled to maintain 78 degrees.
Katy Magazine Talks to AC Experts
AC companies we reached out to say that older AC systems or ones that haven't been regularly serviced are having the worst problems right now. The main problem is homes just aren't cooling down to a comfortable temperature because they never get a break from the extreme heat. Many Katy homes can only cool off 20 degrees lower than the outside temperatures.
We also spoke to a Katy rental property manager who is experiencing similar issues in his properties and knows a lot about AC maintenance. "I tell my tenants to stay ahead of the heat," he says. "Start cooling your home very early in the morning and it will help as temperatures rise. If you wait until 2 or 3pm to cool your home, the AC has a hard time catching up."
AC experts also recommend keeping interior doors open and fans ON to allow AC to circulate throughput the home. You should also change your AC filters monthly because dust and debris can restrict proper airflow.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas and the Public Utility Commission of Texas issued a voluntary power conservation request this past weekend, requesting residents to conserve electricity between 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.
Intense Heat Worries Katy Parents
Intense heat has many worried about students and student athletes.
Katy ISD has been adjusting outdoor activity schedule based on their excessive heat polices.
From Katy ISD:
Concerning campus outdoor activities, according to the Katy ISD Extreme Heat Guidelines, when the temperature is above 100 degrees or the heat index is above 105 degrees, all campus outdoor activities will be discontinued. Likewise, staff members will hold students in air-conditioned areas until they are assembled to load a bus or for the car rider line. Throughout the school year, the Katy ISD Operations Department is constantly monitoring air conditioning systems to ensure work and learning environments are comfortable.
Katy schools are active in sports and we are in the heart of football season. The District stresses student safety is the priority and while most practices are scheduled early in the morning, Katy ISD coaches adhere to the District’s Athletic Handbook (Heat & Hydration Guidelines page 55) which provides specific considerations and guidelines for practice during these record-breaking hot days. The guidelines outlines practices for limiting the amount of time for outdoor workouts, providing regular breaks, as well as access to unlimited amounts of water.
A popular discussion on Katy mom groups like Katy Moms is where to take younger children to play out of this heat. Katy is home to many popular indoor play spaces. Until this weather cools off, Katy families will continue to adapt to the heat to stay cool and safe.
Stay safe Katy, stay cool and hydrated.