Living in Phoenix Without Air Conditioning - Is It Possible?

Is Phoenix livable without air conditioning? With an average year-round temperature of 75°, and summers that can swelter up to triple digits (104 degrees being the average in June and August), we asked five Arizona locals what they thought and their strategies for dealing with the heat.

"I make common sense choices."

"I've lived in Phoenix for 16 years and have definitely evolved into a desert rat. I love the Arizona heat. When I was younger, I lived in the pool for most of the summer but as I got older, I would hang out with friends and do all activities inside. Now, as an adult I just make common sense choices:

  • Don't go running or hiking after 9:00am
  • Put on sunscreen EVERYDAY
  • Wear light and loose clothing
  • For any outdoor dates, plan after 7:30pm if you don't want makeup melting off your face!

As far as living in Phoenix without AC, I don't think it's possible. I drove a '91 Ford Ranger with no air conditioning when I was in high school and survived (barely). Not having it in your home would just be miserable. I think anyone who has lived in Arizona for more than two or three years has had their AC go out at least once and would all agree that being able to carry out a normal lifestyle without air conditioning would be difficult."

 - Brooke 

"I am so much more aware now as a parent."

"I can't imagine a Phoenix summer without air conditioning! I am so much more aware now as a parent and do my best to keep my young daughters inside with temps over 115. We always carry water, ice packs, and car seat cooler pads during the hottest months. Sunscreen, sunglasses and wide brimmed hats stay in our car for unexpected outdoor activities."

- Heather, Brie Brie Blooms

"Once you get used to the triple digits, it's not too bad."

"I've lived in Phoenix since I was a kid, so adapting was relatively easy. I hardly remember life before the Valley of the Sun. People tend to stay indoors during the long summer months, but there's always fun to be had at the local water parks or on a staycation at one of the nearby resorts. Prices at the high-end resorts are very reasonable during the summers and you can crank their air conditioners as much as you want! There's minimal humidity in Phoenix most of the time so once you get used to the triple digits on the thermometer, it's really not too bad. As far as air conditioning, I don't know of a home in the Valley that doesn't have air conditioning these days, and I wouldn't recommend trying it!"

- Abby,

"We are super grateful for air conditioning!"

"The heat isn't as bad as people think it is. When it's 110° and above, you avoid the sun just like you avoid the cold when you're in negative temperatures in cold states. You learn to do your errands in the morning and avoid your car and shopping in the afternoon when the sun is at its peak. As far as AC, that's a must. It's miserable to have hot air blowing on you - it's not refreshing in the least! At night, if you don't have air conditioning, you'll never be comfortable enough to sleep well. We are super grateful for air conditioning in our homes and our vehicles. It's the only relief to the heat!"

- Kelli and Kristi, Lolly Jane

"Sundresses will be your best friend!"

"I have been living in Arizona for 10 years now. The heat here is the worst, but also the best for your tan. I've done pageants for the past couple of years and one of the main puns in my interviews is, "Besides the weather, what is a hot topic here in Arizona?" Here are some ways I deal with it:

  • When you are tanning, stay out for only thirty minutes, then either jump in the pool or go inside. 
  • Learn to love iced water. I am a huge coffee drinker, but having an iced latte a day to cool me down has not been nice to my non-existent abs.
  • Sundresses will be your best friend! I CANNOT stand shorts or pants and the way they feel when it is 120 degrees outside. I only own dresses so people cannot see that I am struggling and sweating underneath.

- Nicole

If you're moving to the Phoenix/Scottsdale area soon or recently relocated to Arizona, you will want to consider purchasing an air conditioning unit to keep your space circulating with cool air!

Here is one of our favorite picks (which you can purchase directly from Amazon):

This budget-friendly in-window option is easy to install, yes, a teeny bit loud (but it's affordable!), and can quickly cool down a small space.

If you live in Phoenix, we'd love to hear from you in the comment section. What are your top tips for beating the heat and staying cool during the summer?

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