Preparing for summer

Sweaty BusinessmanIt seems like New Year’s and the Super Bowl just happened, but summer is quickly approaching, and we can already feel the heat coming. Especially in Arizona, our health depends on being ready for the demands of summer. Here are some key areas to cover:

Self

  • Protect yourself against the sun:
    • Look for sunscreen and a lip balm with SPF 30 or greater
    • Wear a hat with a brim when possible
    • Wear long-sleeved sun-protective clothing, especially when out in the sun for long periods of time.
    • Wear sunglasses with UV protection
    • Drink lots of water

You’ve probably heard this over and over again, but the importance of staying hydrated in hot weather cannot be overstated. For men, an adequate amount of water is around three liters (about 13 cups). For women, it’s around two liters (about nine cups).

Home

  • Replace Your Air Filter. Phoenix is a dry, dusty place. As a result, your air filters won’t last as long as they would other places. Dirty air filters restrict airflowwhich also affect the system’s efficiency, which costs you money and leads to uncomfortably hot house.
  • Seal Air Leaks. If you have air leaks in your house, even the most efficient air conditioner available can’t adequately cool your home. Look near doors and windows for cracks or gaps. Replace broken weather-stripping, fill holes with caulk, and put new seals around plumbing fixtures.
  • Examine Your Insulation. nsulation helps keep hot air out and cool air in, and holes in your insulation will make your AC’s job harder.If you don’t know how or don’t feel comfortable examining your insulation, call a professional, especially if you have an older home.

Car

  • Tires. The summer heat beating down upon the Arizona asphalt can produce temperatures in excess of 120 – 130 degrees and this is the primary cause of many tire failures. Tires are perhaps one of the places where it is wise not to try to save a buck when replacing and is always a safety item that should be checked frequently.
  • Coolant. The engine of a car produces plenty of heat on its own and combined with Arizona summer heat this can really tax the cooling system. An improperly maintained cooling system can be the death of an engine no matter how old or new it is.

Us Phoenicians are a tenacious group that love our city, even in the heat. Follow these tips to manage and stay safe this summer.