Keeping Cool in Summer Heat  

by Pool Builders on 08-28-2012 in Articles

Keeping cool in summer can be accomplished through a variety of means. In the old days before air conditioning, people would gather down at the swimming hole to cool off and have some good fun. Today, while air conditioning is fairly prevalent, swimming pools are still a popular way to stay cool when the day is hot. Even when the air temperature is into the 110s, pools will often stay in the 70s or 80s. One reason for this is that evaporation from the pool is constantly lowering the water temperature. This is why areas in the immediate vicinity of lakes and other large bodies of water are usually cooler than an equivalent environment with no water. The second reason that pools are cooler than the day time high temperature is that even though a summer day might reach 110 degrees or hotter, it won't be that high all day. Often, even very hot places cool off at night.

Phoenix, Arizona has thousands of swimming pools. When flying into or out of Sky Harbor Airport and look down - you'll see a vast, sprawling, mostly brown city, peppered with swimming pools. Probably more homes have them than don't. And for good reason - Phoenix has warm weather for most of the year, and very hot summers. In fact, July and August are hot enough that pools might reach 85 or 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is primarily because the temperature at night in Phoenix stays warm. While surrounding areas might drop down into the mid 70s at night, Phoenix overnight lows are regularly mid to high eighties, and occasionally reach into the low 90s for a week or so. The fact that it is 105 degrees outside at two in the morning means that a pool cannot cool off.

This intense heat at all times also means that the only way to keep a home cool is via an air conditioning unit. Opening a window at night is simply not effective when the temperature doesn't drop out of the triple digits for more than a few hours.

Air conditioning in Phoenix is generally set up as a central system. Although room air conditioners might be common in other areas, the nearly constant need for it makes central air a surprisingly economical system. To save money on air conditioning, focus on using it as little as possible (difficult though that may be). Turn up the thermostat when no one is home during the day, plant shade trees on the south and west sides of the house and in front of any windows, and use blackout shades to limit the light and heat that can get into exposed rooms.

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