The weather in Portland definitely has a heated reputation throughout the country. The entire Pacific Northwest, but Portland and Seattle specifically, is known for its torrential downpours threatening to drown every living thing, however the summers here are gorgeous.

With typically mild temperatures, low humidity, and weeks without rain (sometimes nearly 60-day stretches without rain, in fact), Portland is a great place to be in the summer. However, many residents will tell you that you don’t need air conditioning here. Let’s investigate.

Historically, Portland tempers its summers with average temperatures ranging from 67 degrees in May to 80 degrees in August. In fact, despite our recent heat waves this August, the average temperature for August 2017 is currently 74 degrees. July was only 70 degrees, on average, and June actually averaged 66 degrees.

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Averages don’t tell the whole story, however. Why is that? Meteorologists point to the fact that the weather only becomes forefront in our attention when it’s extreme in one direction – either hot or cold. Take the week of August 28, 2017, for example – forecasts predict we’ll see triple-digits today (Monday) with highs ranging from the low 80s to the high 90s throughout the rest of the week.

Consumer Reports recommends keeping the thermostat set to 78 degrees or higher to save on your electric bill, however business strategists suggest setting the temperature at 72 degrees for optimal productivity – not too hot and not too cold. Based on that, Stumptown’s average temperatures throughout the summer suggest that air conditioning isn’t a necessity, however here’s the kicker: Portland typically sees 12-15 days each summer where temperatures exceed 90 degrees – often breaking triple digits.

So, do you need air conditioning? Well, turns out that’s a matter of personal preference. Many homes and apartment complexes in the area don’t offer air conditioning, so you might not have much of a choice. If you’re more of an environmentally-conscious type (as Portlanders often are), you might opt not to have the cool stuff in your domicile. However, if you live in the Pacific Northwest to beat the heat a lot of the rest of the country sees, you might want to pick up a window unit to survive the triple-digit insanity we see from time-to-time every summer.

Do you have air conditioning in Portland? What’s your limit for handling the hot? Throw some heat in the comments with your replies!


Source: Intellicast Weather History for Portland, Oregon
Source: Best Setting for Your Central Air Conditioning – Consumer Reports