Hot Tip From EPA: Use Less A/C This Summer

By Elizabeth Harrington | May 2, 2013 | 11:15 AM EDT

How hot is it? EPA says cool it with less A/C. (AP Photo)

( - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants you to take the bus, walk more, and turn your air conditioning “to a higher temperature setting” to combat “smog season.”

It might help a little, but not a lot: Even the EPA admits that cars, motorcycles, trucks, and buses are primarily responsible for smog.

The EPA’s New England office sent out a press release Wednesday, advising New Englanders to take “simple actions” to reduce air pollution this summer.

Among them the EPA is asking citizens to “use public transportation or walk whenever possible,” car-pool and “avoid using” lawn mowers, chain saws, and power-washers on “unhealthy air days.”

Another step they can take: “use less electricity by turning air conditioning to a higher temperature setting, and turning off lights, TVs, radios and computers when they are not being used.”

“Air pollution is a significant public health concern in New England," said Curt Spalding, the EPA regional administrator for the New England Office. “New Englanders should pay close attention to air quality alerts and limit strenuous outdoor activity on air quality alert days. Also, when air quality is poor, we can all take simple actions to help reduce the amount of pollution being released into the air,” he said.

The agency is also setting up a text-message system so individuals can be alerted when the air quality is poor.

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