With many homes not equipped with air conditioning units and the temperatures expected to hit record levels this weekend, residents will be on the lookout for indoor relief.
Bellingham has several options that are also a good way to support the business community. Here are some of the bigger area options; keep in mind that there are still COVID-19 restrictions in place, including face mask requirements:
▪ Regal Barkley Village movie theater: Catching a movie to avoid high temperatures is a traditional way to go, and the Barkley theater has a full slate of movies this weekend, including the latest Fast & Furious installment and Quiet Place Part 2.
▪ Pickford Film Center: The downtown movie theater is currently showing a variety of films, including In the Heights, Shiva Baby and Minari. Face masks are required while watching the movie and not actively eating as well as in the lobby area.
▪ Bellis Fair: A stroll around the mall is also a popular option to cool off. While the mall has dealt with plenty of smaller tenants closing during the pandemic, the large anchor stores remain in place. Bellis Fair is also following current guidelines to the pandemic restrictions in terms of cleaning and face masks.
▪ Lightcatcher museum: Open Thursday through Sunday noon to 5 p.m., the museum is also following pandemic guidelines, including limited capacity.
▪ Silver Reef Resort’s casino, restaurants, bars and hotel are all air-conditioned and open 24 hours on the weekend.
Members of the Facebook group Bellingham Open is compiling a list of local businesses that have air conditioning. Here are some examples, confirmed by either the owner or employees: 1 Up Lounge in Fairhaven, and downtown Bellingham businesses like NEKO cat cafe, Uisce Irish Pub, The Racket, L&L Libations, Thousand Acre Cider House.
For those businesses and homes who do have air conditioning, Brad Barron of Barron Heating AC Electrical & Plumbing has a couple of tips to avoid having them break down during the heat wave:
▪ Clean coils on the outdoor unit with a garden hose. This is especially necessary with all of the cottonwood trees dropping leaves and seeds on them and will make it less likely that the coils will freeze, Barron said.
▪ Change the filters because they have a big impact on your system’s efficiency. Homeowners may want to change filters more frequently in the summer if smoke from fires lingers in the area.