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6 Ways Local People Are Keeping Cool in Hawai‘i

The brutal summer heat hasn’t been bad for everyone.


Photo: Thinkstock 


An unbelievably hot, humid, sticky and sweaty summer in Hawai‘i looks like it’s turning into a sweaty, sticky fall and winter, as weather experts predict the heat is here to stay for the next few months. Yes, 2015 marked the hottest summer ever on Earth, and Hawai‘i certainly felt the effects: record-breaking temperatures cracking the 90s across O‘ahu, Maui and the Big Island, humidity soaring into the 80s, and no cooling tradewinds.


But not everyone hates the high temperatures; for companies specializing in ways to beat the heat, business is booming. We spoke with some of them to find out how they keep their cool.


“It’s definitely busier with the heat, the temperature affects everybody. We have lots of customers who come in and say their car’s AC has been broken for a while, or they were going to hold off on fixing it, but it’s too hot. Now, everybody’s coming in.”—Steven Lo, co-owner, Cool Tech Auto Repair Shop, Ala Moana


“The hotter it is, the longer people run their AC, and then it breaks down and needs repair. Or they haven’t used their AC in a while and turn it on because of the heat, and then it breaks down from lack of use. We normally get maybe five or six calls a day for AC repair, but lately it’s been between 20 to 30 calls from people.”—James Chong, sales manager, ABC Air Conditioning & Repair, Kalihi


“Sales have probably gone up in general from previous years, both here at the factory and also at each of the locations, I’d say. Luckily, people tend to eat ice cream all year-round. Which is a good thing. [Laughs]”—Keith Robbins, owner, Bubbies Ice Cream, Hālawa Valley


“All YMCA branches except for Kalihi have a pool, and both Windward and Nu‘uanu Y membership directors have noticed a spike in new members. They’ve noticed their Aqua Zumba classes have doubled in size, Family Swim has increased by 25 percent and private swim classes by 30 percent. The first thing many potential members want to see is the pool—and their main reason for wanting to join is to cool off with a swim!”—Abe Mcaulton, windward district A+ registrar, YMCA, Kailua


“Surprisingly, we haven’t had a huge increase in numbers for people visiting. During the week, people have work and school, and then during the weekends, we’re usually very busy. The cold is my favorite part about working here though. [Laughs] I get to go to work and get out of the heat!”—Rachel, front office, Ice Palace, ‘Aiea


“Some people open the beverage coolers to look at drinks, but don’t really grab anything. I assume they just want to feel the breeze of the fans cooling them off.”—Mark Gamiao, customer
service clerk, Longs Drugs, Ala Moana Center


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Honolulu Magazine July 2020
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