Welcome to Arizona, neighbor! For many Arizona newcomers, our mild winters and unstoppable sunshine are major draws to the area, but few come prepared for the extremes of our summer heat. Never fear! Learning to adjust to central Arizona’s hot summers may seem like a steep learning curve, but small adaptations to your home and lifestyle can make a huge difference.
Shift Your Schedule
During the summer heatwaves, one great strategy for staying cooler takes a lead from local wildlife: save your activities for when the sun is down. Shifting to a schedule that prioritizes the hours before sunrise and after sunset isn’t common for humans, but in Central Arizona working around the midday heat is surprisingly common. Throughout the summer in Phoenix, you may notice public spaces open earlier and stay open later. Outdoor workforces also tend to shift to schedules that are largely nocturnal. Many events and activities are likewise planned to begin after the sun goes down or before it comes up, making it easier to avoid dangerous heat and still take advantage of the city’s culture.
Take Cooking Outdoors
When the thermometer is creeping up to 115°F, it may seem just as logical to cook your dinner on the driveway rather than turning on the oven. In part, this is true – using your stove or oven during the summer can heat up your home even more and the extra heat blast can stress out your air conditioner or evaporative cooler. During the summer, don’t add heat to your house by cooking indoors – instead, rely on outdoor cooking systems like grilling and smoking food. Add cold items to the menu that take advantage of summer produce and don’t require heat to prepare like chilled soups and salads.
If you are feeling especially adventurous, there are ways to harness the sun to do your cooking for you. Solar ovens consolidate solar heat to cook food, many reaching oven-like temperatures and don’t require any fuel or maintenance. They work best in hot and sunny climates, exactly like ours.
Unusual Frozen Treats
Certainly, an ice-cold frozen popsicle or ice cream cone can help cool you down during the summer, but have you thought about using your freezer to cool other “treats” as well? During the summer months, consider keeping a plastic bag in your freezer where you can ice down a spare sheet or tshirt (or both!). Coming in from the heat to put on a fresh chilled shirt can be a delight and help lower your body temperature. Similarly, keeping a frozen sheet available will help you relax at night, even when the desert heat doesn’t cool down. A fresh frosty sheet on your bed makes summer heat less distracting and encourages comfortable sleep.
Plant Strategic Shade
This next tip isn’t for the short-term thinkers, but can have some of the biggest payoff over time. Allow plants to cool your home by planting shade trees like mesquite and palo verde strategically where sun blasts your home. Young trees will need to be tended to carefully during their first years to make sure they grow and thrive. Over the years as trees branch out, your home will become increasingly comfortable with their protection.
Want a true insider tip on how to beat the heat this summer? Installing custom sunscreens from CC Sunscreens helps your home stay cool and comfortable even as temperatures rise. Your home’s windows are the site where most heat infiltrates the home – and where most cool air is dispelled. By installing sunscreens on your windows, the majority of solar heat is repelled before it can infiltrate your home, along with harmful solar UV rays. Sunscreens work passively to reduce your energy costs, cutting summer cooling expenses by 25% on average.
Sunscreens benefit your home in other ways as well. Sunscreens reduce glare from windows, improving your view outdoors while increasing your privacy by limiting the view into your home. At CC Sunscreens we work with you to design custom screens best suited to match the style and aesthetic of your house. By blocking UV rays, sunscreens not only reduce heat entering your home, they also protect your furniture and belongings from deterioration and fading. Ready to conquer your first Arizona summer? Give CC Sunscreens a call!