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What You Need to Know When Moving to a Hot Climate

Cars driving on a highway during a hot sunset.
Jevanto Productions/Shutterstock.com

Moving to a new city or town is always a big adjustment, especially if you move to a completely new climate zone with temperatures that are very different or more extreme than you’re used to. Moving from a chilly northern location to a desert, subtropical, or tropical climate, for example, is a big change that will require some adjustment.

If such a move is in your future, you may be wondering where to start preparing for this brand new hot climate and temperatures. It may seem daunting, one more thing to add to the list of ten thousand other tasks you need to accomplish before your move, but with a few small, key steps, you’ll be ready to enjoy warmer year-round weather before you know it.

Be Prepared for Your Utility Bills to Change

Obviously, your air conditioning is going to see a lot more use in a hotter climate. When you’re first acclimating, you may find yourself running it more often, no matter the time of year. On the flip side, your heating bills in the winter and colder months of the year will go down since they’ll be used far less—maybe not ever, if you’re in a warm enough area. 

There are a few steps you can take to lower your electricity bill during the summer and hotter months. One of the best things to do is to make sure your new home is properly insulated to prevent precious cold air from escaping out of hidden nooks and crannies; this will not only help keep your energy bills down but ensure that your air conditioning is more effective. Adding more insulation (if you’re able to), investing in insulating climate-control curtains, and keeping your windows’ drapes and blinds closed during the day may help shave a few dollars off your AC bill.

You can also look at installing a ceiling fan in the living room and bedrooms if possible, as they help keep things cool and cost much less electricity to operate than an AC unit does. Misting fans and classic floor-standing fans make for great cooling additions if you aren’t able to install ceiling fans. Swapping your old thermostat out for a more modern smart thermostat may also make a difference, as they allow you to switch your AC on and off at will when you’re away from your house or condo or apartment, so you know it’s not running when no one is home.

BGment Thermal Insulated Curtains

These well-insulated and energy efficient curtains are suitable for bedrooms and living rooms and will add some room darkening properties for better sleep.

Honeywell Contemporary Ceiling Fan

This modern, reversible ceiling fan is quiet, remote control operated, and match pretty much any classic or contemporary home decor style.

Google Nest Learning Thermostat

This smart thermostat gives you complete, precise control over your heating and cooling systems---even when you're not at home.

The Right Gear Can Make a Huge Difference

Be sure that you and your family have all the right equipment to help keep you feeling light, airy, and cool in hot temperatures. In terms of clothing, make sure that your current summer clothes are properly packed so as to be as easily accessible as possible. Look to add loose-fitting, breathable, lightweight fabrics like cotton and linen and lighter colors, hues, and shades like white and pastels, and avoid fully synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon that trap water and aren’t well-ventilated. Sun or beach hats and sunglasses are also ideal ways to protect yourself and your skin from the extra sunlight and UV rays you’ll be facing outside.

GearTOP Bucket Sun Hat

Ventilated, unisex, and with an adjustable drawstring, this sun hat provides you with UPF 50+ protection to help shield you from harmful sun rays.

Clothes aren’t the only gear you can invest in to make everyone more comfortable when they’re outside in the heat. If you have a baby or toddler who still rides around in a stroller, look into stroller fans to give them a cooling breeze when you take them around the block. Portable handheld fans are a great way to give yourself a burst of cool air when you need it, as are hands-free, wearable fans that rest around your neck and shoulders. The latter is an especially huge boon for walking, running, and exercising outside in hot weather.

JISULIFE Hands-Free Bladeless Fan

This wearable fan fits around your neck, providing you with a personalized cooling system wherever you go.

Don’t neglect your car if you have one, either. As you may have noticed before on hot, sunny days, the inside of your car can feel like an absolute furnace after sitting out in the sun all day. This will only get worse and happen more frequently in hotter climates. If your car isn’t going to be stored in a garage, investing in car sunshades for the windows (not just the windshield) can be a lifesaver.

EcoNour Car Windshield Sunshade with Storage Pouch

This hand windshield sunshade will prevent your car's interior from overheating while parked, no matter how hot the sun or warm the temperature outside.

Enovoe Car Window Shade (4 Pack)

Protect yourself from an overheated car interior and your car's upholstery from fading in the sun with this pack of car window sunshades.

Adjust Your Daily Routine

In hotter climates, you’re going to want to avoid going outside when the sun is at its peak in the sky (noontime) and especially during the hottest parts of the day (usually 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm). Avoid strenuous activities and exercising outside during those times, as it can be quite dangerous even if you’re acclimated to the hotter temperatures. You may want to switch to going on runs or walks in the morning when it’s coolest.

Try to be strategic about when you use certain household appliances as well. Devices like full-sized ovens, wall ovens, and laundry machines will heat up your home while they’re running, so you’ll want to avoid using them during the hottest parts of the day. If you haven’t already, look into buying countertop kitchen appliances like crockpots, rice cookers, and air fryers since they’ll allow you to cook meals without heating up the entire house or apartment.

Crock-Pot 7-Quart Slow Cooker

Make full-sized, home-cooked meals for the whole family with minimal effort in this large, stainless steel slow cooker.

Aroma Housewares ARC-743-1NGR Rice Cooker and Food Steamer

This multifunctional rice cooker will not only make perfect rice every time but can make soups and stews as well as steam meat and veggies over the rice as it cooks.

COSORI Air Fryer Max XL

Make your favorite fries, vegetables, shrimp, and even whole chickens or steak in this dishwasher safe air fryer.

Keep Yourself Hydrated

This may seem like a no-brainer, but keep in mind that you’re going to be sweating more in hotter weather. Your body will eventually adjust when you fully acclimate to your new climate, but until then, you’ll need to drink more water than you’re used to in order to stay properly hydrated. If you track how much water your drink in a day, add at least a cup or two to your daily intake (more on days you exercise or hit the gym).

Be sure to keep a reusable water bottle or hydro flask handy at all times so you can take a sip whenever needed and prevent dehydration. Insulated water bottles are especially useful in hot climates because they’ll keep your water cold for longer; some really well-insulated models will keep their contents chilled for 24 hours or more. Collapsible water bottles are especially useful for on-the-go hydration.

Iron Flask Sports Water Bottle

Available in a wide range of different styles and colors, this insulated water bottle will keep your drinks cold for up to 24 hours at a time.

Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Reusable Water Bottle

Thanks to the stainless steel body and vacuum insulation of this large, colorful flask, you'll be able to keep your water and drinks cold for up to 24 hours.

Protect Yourself From the Elements

Moving to a hotter climate means you’ll be exposed to much more of the following: the sun and bugs. Thus you’ll need to protect yourself accordingly from both. Find a good, reliable, clean sunscreen with an SPF of at least 50. Waterproof, sweatproof sunscreens will be an extra boon for hot weather. Lip balms with SPF and hair products that protect your locks from the sun are also worthwhile investments.

In terms of bug protection, you may want to do a little research to see which pests live in your new home’s environment. Not every bug spray will protect against every type of bug; some mosquito sprays, for instance, are only effective against mosquitos. There are also DIY insect repellents and other non-spray items, like bug zappers, specialty candles, or wearable bracelets that help to deter bugs.

Banana Boat Ultra Defense Sunscreen Spray

This lightweight, spray-on sunscreen will help you protect even the most hard-to-reach places without feeling heavy or sweating off.

Repel Plant-Based Insect Repellent

Keep mosquitos and other bugs from biting you and your family with this all-natural, citrusy-smelling, spray-on formula.

Don’t Forget About Your Pets

Unless you live completely alone, don’t forget that you aren’t the only one who is going to need to acclimate to your new climate. Any pets you own, especially furry friends that spend time outdoors, aren’t going to adjust to hotter weather right off the bat either.

Making sure your home has the proper AC or other cooling system will ensure any indoor pets are taken care of, but you’ll need to be extra careful when walking your pet outside—be they dog, cat, rabbit, or any other species—or letting them run, play, or exercise out in the yard. Your furry friends can get overheated, dehydrated, and suffer from heatstroke the same as humans, after all. And any animals that can’t sweat (which includes almost all housepets) aren’t able to regulate their body temperature as well as humans, so they’re especially at risk.

rabbitgoo Cat Harness and Leash for Walking

This soft, breathable cat harness and matching leash allow your feline friend to safely enjoy the great outdoors by your side.

To prevent your pets from getting sick or uncomfortable in the heat, be sure to only take them for walks or let them outside in the early mornings and later evenings when it’s cooler. Shorten the length of their walks, at least to start, and find some more games and toys that can be enjoyed and played with indoors to ensure they get enough exercise and entertainment.

Collapsible water bowls that you can carry or attach to your clothes or belt are worthwhile investments for walks. Bring one along with a reusable or plastic water bottle, so you can stop and give your pet some much-needed hydration at any point. There are specialty walking vests and harnesses that are made with breathable mesh or other ventilated fabrics that provide better airflow and comfort for your furry friend. And if you have the backyard, porch, or balcony space, consider investing in a collapsible pool that you can fill up so your pets can splash around, play in, or lay in cool water—a great way to get some playtime in without overheating.

Moving is a stressful enough time as is, but having a better idea of what to expect and preparing properly for your new hotter climate can go a long way towards creating peace of mind for yourself and anyone else who is making the move alongside you. Though your body will need time to adapt, keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be comfortably enjoying the sun and soaking up vitamin D before you know it.

Meghan Herlihy Meghan Herlihy
Meghan Herlihy is a full-time writer for LifeSavvy and How-To Geek and has written across a wide variety of topics, genres, and formats, including radio talk shows, local sports journalism, and creative original fiction. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from Ithaca College and a master's in writing from Johns Hopkins University. When she's not writing, you're most likely to find her reading a book, petting every dog within eyesight, and indulging in her love of travel. Read Full Bio »
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