Our very own 'urban heat island'

Now that September is here, we are getting very excited for the changing leaves, delicious apples and big wooly sweaters that come along with the fall season. However, it also makes us reflect on the barbecues, beaches and heat of the summer months! Summer in the city gets more brutal every year, and for those of us who are not lucky enough to live in a new condo cooling our homes can be inefficient and costly. Many New York City buildings have dark tar roofs causing the city to be up to five degrees warmer than surrounding areas (called the Urban Heat Island effect). Roofs themselves can get as hot as 170 degrees, which not only affects the internal heat of the building, but also reduces the lifetime of electrical wires. The innovative NYC Cool Roofs initiative is part of a long term goal to reduce New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030. The program encourages building owners to cool their rooftops by applying a reflective white coating that reduces energy use, cooling costs and carbon emissions.