Lake Havasu City has historically been the hottest municipality in the United States, with triple-digit temperatures throughout the summer months. It’s a place where eggs can fry on a sidewalk, cookies can be baked in a car, and the lake becomes more attractive to visitors than any other time of year.
The National Weather Service predicts Havasu’s first 100-degree temperatures to arrive on Thursday, and it’s only going to get hotter throughout the Havasu region as summer draws near.
High summer temperatures will require a little preparation, however, and a lot of precaution. While locals may anticipate the Havasu heat, newcomers might find themselves overwhelmed. According to Lake Havasu City Fire Battalion Chief Carl Stello, the city’s paramedics are trained to respond to environmental emergencies including heat stroke and heat exhaustion, which can be a common risk for outdoors enthusiasts during the summer months.
“If you have to go out, wear a hat and sunscreen and take a bottle of water with you,” Stello said. “Try to plan your outings during the coolest part of the day.”
According to Stello, Havasu residents and visitors should stay hydrated, and avoid sweetened drinks, caffeine and alcohol to avoid dehydration. People should never leave children or animals alone in a vehicle, and try to stay cool by seeking out air-conditioned buildings. Residents and visitors can further ward off unwanted heat by drawing their blinds, using fans, taking cool showers and dressing in light and loose clothing.
Staying cool in Havasu isn’t always cheap, however. In a region where staying cool means staying safe, Havasu’s summer months create higher demand on Havasu’s power grid than any other time of year, according to UniSource spokesman Joe Barrios. And that can mean higher energy costs for Havasu residents.
“It’s the same every year, and we know what to expect,” Barrios said. “People will be counting on our services, especially for air conditioning. Their summer bills will increase, and it’s the time of year when our energy infrastructure is taxed the most.”
According to Barrios, a few tips to curb electricity costs this summer could require residents to block as much sunlight from their homes as possible, whether through window tinting, drapes or curtains. The use of ceiling fans or oscillating fans is encouraged, and properly sealing residences is a must.
“Use fans as much as possible,” Barrios said. “And try to reduce indoor heat sources, like ovens and other appliances, as much as possible. Check your air filters so your air conditioners work more efficiently, and make sure none of the vents are blocked so air can pass more easily through them. Use weather stripping to make sure there aren’t any leaks for cool air to get out. People can also look at energy-efficient options on our website.”
Barrios also says some experimentation with the thermostat might also be prudent.
“Start at 78 degrees,” Barrios said. “Then adjust it as high as possible … some people require flexibility, however. See how high you can keep the temperature and still be comfortable. For every one degree increase temperature, it’s about a two or three percent cost savings.”