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Tips for staying cool, saving energy as NYC temps hit 90 degrees

NEW YORK (WABC) — Central Park officially recorded its first 90-degree day of the year Sunday, capping off a steamy weekend of summer-like temperatures.

Several other spots across the Tri-State set new record high temperatures.

According the National Weather Service, temperatures reached 97 degrees at Newark Liberty Airport, 95 at LaGuardia Airport, 93 in Bridgeport, Connecticut and 90 in Islip, all record highs.

The heat triggered an air quality warning through Sunday evening and Con Edison is urging customers to conserve energy as the heat is expected to hang around for the next several days.

Health officials say people, especially young children, those who exercise outdoors, those involved in vigorous outdoor work and those who have respiratory disease (such as asthma) should consider limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity when ozone levels are the highest (generally afternoon to early evening).

When outdoor levels of ozone are elevated, going indoors will usually reduce exposure. Individuals experiencing symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain or coughing should consider consulting their doctor.

New Yorkers also are urged to take the following energy-saving and pollution-reducing steps:

– Use mass transit or carpool instead of driving, as automobile emissions account for about 60 percent of pollution in our cities
– Conserve fuel and reduce exhaust emissions by combining necessary motor vehicle trips

– Turn off all lights and electrical appliances in unoccupied areas
– Use fans to circulate air. If air conditioning is necessary, set thermostats at 78 degrees
– Close the blinds and shades to limit heat build-up and to preserve cooled air
– Limit use of household appliances. If necessary, run the appliances at off-peak (after 7 p.m.) hours. These would include dishwashers, dryers, pool pumps and water heaters
– Set refrigerators and freezers at more efficient temperatures
– Purchase and install energy efficient lighting and appliances with the Energy Star label
– Reduce or eliminate outdoor burning and attempt to minimize indoor sources of PM 2.5 such as smoking.

A toll-free Air Quality Hotline (1-800-535-1345) has been established by DEC to keep New Yorkers informed of the latest Air Quality situation.

Con Ed says it will have crews ready to respond to any service issues that arise.

The company offers these money-saving conservation tips:

– Set your air conditioner to the highest comfortable temperature. Every degree you lower the thermostat increases costs.
– To reduce heat and moisture in your home, run appliances such as ovens, washing machines, dryers and dishwashers in the early morning or late at night when it’s cooler outside.
– When the AC is running, close doors to keep cool air in and hot air out.
– Keep shades, blinds and curtains closed. About 40 percent of unwanted heat comes through windows.
– Even when using AC, use ceiling and other fans to provide additional cooling and better circulation.
– Turn off AC units, lights and other appliances when not at home and use a timer to turn on your air conditioner about a half-hour before arriving home;
– Keep AC filters clean.

Replacing an old air conditioner with a new ENERGY STAR unit can reduce energy usage by 30 percent.

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