Surviving a Summer in Phoenix Without Air Conditioning

By Josh O.

It’s summer time in Phoenix, Arizona, and your air conditioner is broken. The outside temperature is 100o, and it’s 90o inside your home. You should be doing work, but you can hardly function. You want to get up and leave, but you are supposed to be working from home, and you promised your boss that you would get your work done. The key to surviving a summer in Phoenix without air conditioning is to stay hydrated, try and keep your home cool without an air conditioner, and don’t let it get to you mentally.

One of the easiest things to do is to simply stay hydrated. Many people don’t drink enough, and they end up with a headache or worse. If you’re stuck in extremely hot temperatures, your body is going to use lots of water. You must drink a lot of water to compensate, preferably ice water to help keep your body temperature down. Even if you don’t feel particularly thirsty, you should still drink more water. Popsicles and foods with high water content will also help keep you hydrated.

Now that you’re hydrated, you can focus on keeping yourself relatively cool. Take a cold shower to immediately cool yourself off. Get a personal fan for when you are sweating. Keep as much heat and sunlight out of your house as possible by closing curtains and blinds. Try making a makeshift evaporative cooler by hanging a wet sheet outside a window, although this only works as long as the sheet is wet and there is a breeze. If the air is still, you will have to position a fan behind it to blow the moist air toward you.

Once you are somewhat physically comfortable, you can concentrate on your mental well-being. One of the worst things about extremely hot weather is the toll it takes on your ability to think. Just try to focus. A lot of people will keep obsessing about how uncomfortable they are. Instead, try to set your mind on other things: like what you are doing for work, what you are going to do over the weekend, and how nice it will be when your air conditioner is finally fixed.

If you are ever in this situation, remember my advice: stay hydrated, keep yourself as comfortable as possible, and don’t let the heat get to your head. Some people may have special conditions that make it so they can’t handle the heat stress. But if you are an otherwise physically fit and healthy person, the key to surviving a summer in Phoenix without air conditioning is to “think cool” and don’t let the heat beat you.


Josh is a homeschooled teenager who speaks from experience when it comes to surviving a summer in Phoenix without air conditioning.

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