Top Ten Things to Know About Summer in Phoenix, Arizona￼
You know Phoenix is hot during the summer. You probably also know the desert gets monsoons in the summer. But there might be a few things you don’t know about summer in Phoenix, and these are important factors to make note of if you’re thinking of moving to Phoenix, Arizona. From tepid swimming pools to uninvited exoskeletal houseguests, check out ten things to know about summer in Phoenix.
10 Things to know about Phoenix Summers
1. Utility Costs:
We are lucky enough to live in a time with the game-changing luxury of air conditioning (sorry, ladies in hoop skirts boiling in the summer heat in the 1800’s.) Still, even though we have it, it isn’t cheap! During the summer in Phoenix you can expect your utility costs to skyrocket as you run the A/C full blast pretty much 24/7. Yes, you can turn it down a little at night, and yes you can use fans to supplement the cooling attempts, but those use energy too. No matter how you try to conserve, you’re going to have much higher utility bills in the summer if you live in Phoenix.
2. Sun Damage to Outdoor Things:
Patio furniture, cars, even your home are all under siege during the summer months. Not only is there just the sheer heat coming from the sun that will cause items to melt and warp, but UV damage takes a toll on everything. Plastic, fabric, and even paint will all break down faster when exposed to the sun’s relentless rays day in and day out for months and years on end. You can buy tarps, carports, and covers for most things, but that’s just one more expense. Forgot your towel by the pool for a couple days? Now it’s bleached. Just got new lawn chairs last year on fall clearance? If you don’t cover them, they won’t look new for long.
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3. Being Stuck Inside:
One of the biggest reasons people move to Phoenix is to enjoy the beautiful weather everyone raves about. So, where does that weather go during the summer months? Your guess is as good as mine, but it sure doesn’t stick around. It’s difficult to plan any outing during the summer in Phoenix because from the hours of 10:00 am to about 4:00 pm it’s just absolutely unbearable outside.
If you know you will have shade, or chances to get indoors, you might be more comfortable. But if you have to do anything outside that requires you to actually be in direct sun exposure, it’s going to be at the very least uncomfortable, more likely miserable, and potentially even quite dangerous.
4. Phoenix’s Monsoon Season:
Water is good…we love it, we need it, we’re made up of it! But when it rains in Phoenix during the summer it becomes too much of a good thing, and fast in the form of a monsoon. The desert that has been parched all summer soaks up the rain and soon reaches capacity, yet the rain doesn’t stop. Flash floods are dangerous in many of the canyons, but they are a real threat in the cities as well.
Phoenix is not Seattle; it wasn’t made to divert rain all the time. The roads quickly flood and even drains fill, spewing the water right back out onto the roads. Everything turns to mud as well, so if you put a lot of effort into your landscaping, you can kiss much of it goodbye…including the soil that your yard is composed of.
5. Dangerous to Hike:
We mentioned how difficult it is to be out during most of the day in the summer in Phoenix, but it can turn from uncomfortable to dangerous very quickly. Phoenix is known for its beautiful landscape and plethora of hikes for all ability levels. Often, people come just to enjoy the outdoors. But during the hottest parts of the day heatstroke, dehydration, and overexposure can be a very real concern.
Even if you think you’re just about the most avid sun worshiper on the planet, you’re probably no match for the desert sun. The days are long, the highest UV hours last for most of the day, and dehydration happens incredibly quickly between sweating and even just breathing the drying air. It can be really difficult to plan longer hikes when there are so few moderately comfortable hours of daylight in the summer in Phoenix. Whether you start really early or really late, you’re racing the heat.
Learn More: Things to do in Phoenix (and what’s overrated)
6. The summer heat can be dangerous for Kids and Pets:
The heat is dangerous for everyone, but kids and animals can be at particularly high risk. If you have dogs, horses, or other animals that like to be outside it can be hard to provide adequate shade and water to keep these animals safe from heatstroke. Many dog breeds can get too hot even on a short walk if they have long hair. Paw pads can blister on the pavement, too.
A good rule of thumb is that if you couldn’t walk here right now barefoot, neither can your furry friend. Children are at risk in the heat as well. Adults know to get in the shade, drink enough water, and put on sunscreen consistently. Kids are a little more unpredictable. As a parent, you’ll have to pay close attention during the hot summer in Phoenix, you’ll not only be on guard for yourself but the whole family.
7. Heatstroke/Fatality Risk:
Of course, a more somber and very real threat during the summer heat is children and pets getting accidentally left in hot cars. The summer requires extra diligence in keeping an eye on those who don’t know any better. Dogs will hop into an open car door hoping for a ride, a sleeping baby might get left to slumber in their car seat while you run into the store for “just a second.” You absolutely cannot be too careful, because there is no amount of regret or sorrow that can fix this once it’s too late.
Even just being outside for too long can cause heatstroke, which if it doesn’t kill you can still leave lifelong effects. All too often, when a child or animal is brought into the ER with severe heat exposure, the brain has already started shutting down. If you suspect your children or pets have gotten too hot, get them inside and into a cold bath or shower ASAP.
8. No Cold Water:
What do we do when the weather gets hot? We run for the cool, cool water! Unfortunately, in Phoenix, it can be hard to find in the summer. When you turn on pipes the water often runs hot for a bit due to the water warming in the pipes that lay in the hot ground. If you want to jump into a swimming hole or pool, you might be disappointed to jump into what is more or less a great big bath; not exactly refreshing. Especially if you bought a home with a pool specifically to beat the summer heat, it can get frustrating that during the hottest hours of the day the pool won’t even be enjoyable.
Learn More: 8 Things I hate about living in Phoenix
Creepy crawlies can and will get into your home in the summer. Every home has them, no matter how clean you think your home is. Luckily, they are for the most part totally harmless; helpful even! (Thanks, spiders who eat other bugs!) But during the long, hot summer in the southwest, you might notice you see more of these little squatters. Roaches, spiders, and of course a summer staple – flies (yuck) always seem to find their way indoors more in the summertime.
Though they really have nothing to do with cleanliness, seeing a cockroach skitter across the bathroom floor fleeing from your bare foot during your 2:00 a.m. bathroom visit is anything but inviting. You can lay out traps, and spraying for them will greatly help, but a few will still get past even the best of your efforts.
10. Hot Cars:
We mentioned the severe danger of hot cars, but even when less nefarious, they can still be miserable! If you own your own home, you likely have a garage. If you have an apartment or condo, you likely have a shaded carport or a garage cell. But you don’t always park your car at home.
No matter how you try, you will have to park in parking lots and driveways at a point, and when you get back into your car it’s going to be an absolute inferno. The seats will sear bare legs and backs, metal seat belts will brand any flesh they touch, and even your dashboard will warp eventually if you don’t put up a shade in the windshield when you get out of the car. There is absolutely no way around the fact that your cars will be hot in the summer in Phoenix. Hopefully you have a well-operating air conditioner!
Even with the heat, are you ready to call Phoenix home?
No matter where you live, there will be downsides of every season. Phoenix is a wonderful place to live any time of the year, and if you’re ready to make your move to the Phoenix Metro Area, reach out to me today at AZLiveStyles!