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Q+A: What Happens When Going Inside Doesn’t Beat the Heat?

Tree casts a shadow on exterior wall of an apartment building

April 29, 2024

As the extreme heat effects of climate change intensify, it may not be possible to beat the heat by going inside. In fact, this is already the case for many people in vulnerable communities throughout the United States.

According to studies by the National Institutes of Health and New York Department of Health, a growing number of heat-related deaths actually occur indoors, as people try to escape the heat.

With the National Weather Service predicting an unusually hot summer for the United States, heat vulnerability is a pressing issue and, according to researchers at Drexel University, it’s a challenge that doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all solution, particularly in urban areas where indoor temperatures can exceed those outside.

In a recently published review of research that explores the impact on indoor overheating, Drexel’s Simi Hoque, PhD, a professor and head of the Architectural Engineering program in the College of Engineering, Leah Schinasi, PhD, an assistant professor who studies environmental and occupational health in the Dornsife School of Public Health, and Chima Hampo, a doctoral student in the College of Engineering, called for focused efforts to understand how indoor overheating affects the health and wellbeing of people in different regions of the country and how building design standards must evolve to ensure people can find refuge indoors.

Schinasi and Hoque, who are also leading a National Institutes of Health study on the effects of chronic indoor heat exposure, recently shared some of the insights they gleaned from the research and discussed what individuals can do to beat the heat and address this pressing challenge.

Read a full Q&A with Dr. Schinasi and Dr. Hoque on the Drexel News Blog:  Q+A: What Happens When Going Inside Doesn’t Beat the Heat?