Beat the Heat, The Right Way
The summer heat has officially arrived, and it’s only going to get hotter moving forward, which means it’s time to revisit ways to conserve water and energy while staying cool. As temperatures rise during the summer months, the amount of ground level ozone rises as pollutants interact with sunlight, creating a dangerous environment for everyone. Because of this, it’s important to reduce the amount of pollutants we contribute, especially for those with respiratory issues. Symptoms that can arise from exposure during high ozone days include asthma attacks, coughing, shortness of breath.
Clean Air Action Day 2021
Clean Air Action Day is on August 4th, 2021. We encourage you to join us in doing at least one thing to improve air quality. For more on clean air actions you can take, sign up for air pollution alerts and check out more information here. Helping reduce pollution through eco-friendly actions will help keep North Texans happier and healthier for longer, so check out these tips for beating the heat the right way.
Keep Cool and Conserve Energy
While keeping the AC at 70 might seem like the smart thing to do if you want to keep cool, setting your thermostat that low increases your energy consumption by quite a bit. Here are some better ways to conserve and keep cool:
Set your thermostat as high as you are comfortable with, the recommended setting is 78, but choose what you can live with. Remember, don’t dramatically crank your AC lower when inside, but decrease it gradually instead.
Turn on your fans when you’re in the room but remember to turn them off when you leave. Fans cool the human via a windchill effect, not the room.
Close blinds and try to block any other areas that may expose your indoor areas to heat or sunlight.
Turn off lights and electronics when not in use and replace incandescent bulbs with LED’s or CFL (Fluorescent).
Do your laundry, cooking, and cleaning in the early morning or after the sun goes down if you can, it will reduce energy use and lessen the heat contributed. Nobody likes a blast of hot air from an oven when the house is already hot.
If you don’t need to use an electronic device that requires a plug, unplug it.
Green Travel Habits
Practicing clean air actions on the go is a good way to make sure you’re helping keep our air clean, and there are more than a few ways to do it.
Idling consumes more fuel than driving. Nobody likes a hot car, but idling for more than 10 seconds contributes unnecessary pollution. On days when ozone levels are acceptable, roll down your windows to cool your car and turn your engine off when waiting.
Walk, Bike, or Take Public Transit
By reducing the number of cars on the road you help reduce pollution. If taking public transit, remember to check CDC transit guidelines as they update.
If your work allows for a hybrid work schedule, take advantage of it. Instead of contributing to increases in vehicle emissions, commute virtually. You can track your commute with TryParkingIt for rewards.
Aggressive driving wastes gas and hurts your wallet. Fuel economy decreases quickly when driving 50 mph or higher. Save your wallet and observe the rules of the road, it’ll help combat pollution and contribute to cleaner air.
Keep an Eye on Watering
Water conservation is an important action we can all take during the summer to keep North Texas air clean. Reducing the amount of water you use for recreation, irrigation, and hygiene is the easiest way to help out. That means no 20-minute showers or leaving the sprinklers on daily.
Remember to use this tool to check your local watering rules.
Cool Off at North Texas Water Features
Instead of taking a vacation that’ll drain your wallet, waste gas, and have you driving hours to a different state, check out some of the local DFW water features. Spending time in these spots is a great way to avoid excessive energy use in residences and beat the heat in a fun way. Check out Lake Lavon, White Rock Lake Park, Lake Lewisville, or Lake Ray Hubbard to start. If you’re not into hanging out on the water, you can also use these hiking and biking trail resources.
Taking these small steps to beat the heat the right way will help reduce pollution and provide cleaner air for us to breathe, take your first step today. Visit airnorthtexas.org to learn more about clean air actions and the upcoming Clean Air Action day on August 4th, 2021 so you can help keep North Texas air safe.