LA-AQMD is preparing for the next heat wave

How to get a low-cost A/C unit and other help from LADWP to beat the next heat wave

As the first day of summer turned into a second day of heat, the Los Angeles County Air Quality Management District (LA-AQMD) has issued a notice that the air is “extremely hazardous” after last week’s heat wave.

Not to worry. LADWP plans to provide air conditioning — up to the first 10 A/C units within the LA-AQMD’s permit — and other help in the next heat wave.

“If you are experiencing an extremely hazardous condition, call LADWP at (323) 763-3800,” said LADWP’s director, James A. Johnson, in an email. “If the situation is less hazardous, you can use your phone.”

During heat waves, LA-AQMD staff is often unable to operate most of its air conditioning systems in time, which creates an unpleasant surprise for residents and tourists.

LA-AQMD’s emergency operations center receives at least 10 emergency calls a day, mostly from residents about the heat, said Johnson. The calls are answered by call takers who have to relay them through the computer.

LA-AQMD staff has been working closely with LADWP to plan for the next heat wave, Johnson said. “We anticipate that the heat wave will cause us to exceed our limits more than we have in years.”

LA-AQMD does not regulate the price or placement of air conditioners in homes, but LADWR’s “air conditioning requirements” provide some guidance, according to public notice posted last week at

To avoid being slapped with fines by the LADWP, homes have to maintain air conditioning at a level not to exceed 5% of the monthly heat load. A heat load is the sum of the heating and cooling loads for the entire home, which could range from 20-25% of the daily heat load in hot weather. But if the monthly heat load exceeds 15%, the heating load must also be limited to no more than

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