Apartment Living BlogApartment Living › How to Survive the Summer Heat in Phoenix

If you tell anyone who lives in Phoenix that you just moved there, the first question you’ll get will inevitably be: have you lived through your first summer, yet? And for good reason, too. Temperatures in the summertime regularly hit triple digits. Sure, it’s a dry, desert heat. But it’s still sweltering. But fear not —millions call Phoenix home year-round, and they’ve learned how to cope. Here are tips to help you beat the heat. And just remember: summer is just three months long.

1. What Temperature Should You Set Your Thermostat?

Both HVAC experts we spoke with recommended setting the thermostat at 78 degrees.

“You can save energy when you aren’t home by raising the temperature up four degrees,” says Mike Donley, president of Donley AC & Plumbing.

2. Best Temperature Practices

“Set it and forget it,” says Audrey Monell, president of Phoenix-based HVAC company Forrest Anderson. “Just because you lower the temperature does not mean the temperature coming out of the vents will be cooler. It will simply run longer until achieving your desired temperature.”

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3. Change Your Air Filters Regularly

“Changing your filter regularly keeps your unit running cleaner and more efficient. Additionally, a clean filter allows more air to flow from the unit than a dirty filter,” says Donley. Monell advises that you change the filters monthly.

4. Carry Water

This might seem like a given, but you do not want to be in Phoenix without water. Buy and bring a bottle with you wherever you go. Most stores will have pitchers or coolers out so you can fill it just about anywhere.

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5. Be Prepared Before You Get in the Car

Before you leave your home, program your phone GPS to where you want to go so you don’t have to waste time sitting in your car doing it. You can also try to leave a window open or door cracked a few minutes to air it out. It’s also best to keep the air conditioning on the lowest setting, waiting for the air to cool and then upping the air intensity so as not to stress the system.

One of the first things you learn when you live in Arizona: the importance of shade. Try to find a shady spot if you can. It helps tremendously. Be sure to use a sun shield on the windshield too.

6. Try to Avoid Going Out During the Afternoons

It might sound obvious, but try to stay inside during the hottest part of the day in the afternoons. If you need to exercise or walk your dog, try doing so in the mornings or evenings. It’s best to stay out between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

7. Take Breaks

Heat can take it out of you. If you have to run errands in the afternoon, take breaks when you need it. Stop at a restaurant, eat, drink plenty of water, and rest.

8. Avoid Stopping and Starting Your AC Unit

You might be tempted to only keep your AC on when you’re at home to save money, but it’s best to avoid this.

“Do not start and stop your unit. Turning the thermostat up and on at short intervals or switching it off and on can cause compressor problems,” says Donley.

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9. Use Ceiling Fans and Curtains

When you’ve left your apartment, keep the blinds closed during the day.

“Closing the curtains to keep[s] the sun’s heat out of the home does help keep the apartment cooler,” says Donley.

Ceiling or room fans also can make a difference. Just be sure to shut them off when you’re gone.

“Only use ceiling fans when you are present,” says Donley. “They help us feel cooler when they move air across our body.”

10. Get in the Water

If your apartment complex has a pool, take advantage of it. The water will help you cool off. You also could tube down the Salt River, a quintessential Phoenix summertime activity.

 

 

Once you’ve got beating the heat down to a science, use your new techniques to stay cool while you experience some of these unforgettable hiking trails found in and around Phoenix!

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Ever since I first started writing for my middle school newspaper, I knew that I was born to tell stories. Well, that and travel. I've been fortunate enough in my professional life to combine both loves. My work has appeared on sites like USA Today, Fast Company, Racked, Refinery29 and The Daily Meal. I enjoy covering lifestyle topics like food, fitness, travel and decor. When I'm not writing or travelling, you'll find me reading books, playing with my two Chihuahuas, exercising or searching for my next great cup of coffee. I've never met a cupcake I didn't like. Visit Chocolate and Chihuahuas

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