Staying Cool Without Heating The Planet

Prepare for the heat while being thoughtful about emissions.

The number of heat records that have been broken in the past decade can sound like, well, a broken record. Again, last month was the hottest June ever recorded, and this month is on pace to become the hottest month ever

Air conditioning is both a life-saving tool and a source of planet-heating greenhouse gases. So, this week you can both fight climate change and prepare for hotter temperatures by optimizing your home’s temperature control to reduce the amount of time you have the AC running. Here are some tips: 

  • If you use AC, set it to a relatively high setting like 76 degrees F. 
  • Try changing your clothes before turning down the temperature on your thermostat.
  • Use a fan, especially a ceiling fan to cut back on AC usage. Just remember that floor fans and portable fans can only cool your body when directed towards you, so turn them off when you walk away.
  • Most heat enters your home by sun. Keep shades, curtains and blinds closed during the day to reduce this heat source. 
  • Consider spending a few of the hottest hours of the day in a cool public place, like the library, a movie theater, or cafe.  
  • When you’re away from home for even a few hours, set the thermostat to 85 degrees F or turn off small AC units completely. 
  • Stay hydrated.

Heat is a real killer. Don’t shrug off high temperatures, even if you live in a place with a historically hot climate. If you haven’t recently, consider getting familiar with the early symptoms of heat stroke.