This story was created by #ThisIsTucson and underwritten by The Pima County Home & Garden Show, June 7, 8 and 9 at the Tucson Convention Center. Scroll to the bottom for a BOGO coupon. Thank you for supporting the local organizations that support us!
It's getting hot this week, with temperatures expected to rise into the high 90s.
I guess this is where we say goodbye to the glorious surprise that was May. It's been cool. Literally.
With summer heat arriving, it's worth thinking a bit about the place you trust to protect from those sweaty days: Your home.
Do it now before you're sad later.
Give your air conditioner some TLC
There's nothing worse than an air conditioner that gives up late-June, leaving you desperate and (almost) willing to pay outrageous amounts to have cool air drifting through your home again.
Tucson Electric Power has a number of rebates that will reward you for doing some maintenance on your AC, including certain tune-ups and the installation of the Nest Learning Thermostat. Go here for a list of contractors that participate in the rebate program.
You should be changing your air filters regularly. Clogged air filters make your air conditioner work harder.
Tucson Electric Power also suggests keeping your doors and windows tightly closed and your windows covered during the hottest hours of the day.
Think about water
Hotter weather means soil dries out faster. Rather than irrigating your plants frequently for short periods of time, water more deeply but less frequently. This will help plants grow deep roots and better survive desert temperatures.
You want the soil to be moist as deep as the roots go. That means about 12 inches deep for annuals and grasses, about 24 inches deep for shrubs and about 36 inches deep for trees, according to Tucson Water. You can use a soil probe to test the depth of soil moisture.
Make sure your irrigation system is leak-free and plan to water your plants in the morning — this will reduce evaporation.
Find some more tips here.
Make sure your trees are trimmed so the wind can pass through their canopies without uprooting them when monsoon season comes. You also want to make sure to trim back any branches that could drop debris on your roof or in your gutters. Clogged gutters can cause some serious water damage.
If you have space on your property, you should also consider planting shade trees when summer ends. Although it won't help you today, shade trees can keep your house cool by blocking the worst of the sun.
You can purchase low-cost trees through Tucson Clean and Beautiful's Trees for Tucson program. TEP also has a tree program for customers willing to plant those trees within 15 feet of a home's west, east or south sides. That program is currently on hold until the fall, but you don't really want to be planting trees right now anyways. The heat will make it tough for them to survive. We're just telling you this now so you can make a mental note before next summer.
Go here for more information about Trees for Tucson.
Buy one, get one free admission for the Pima County Home & Garden Show
The Pima County Home & Garden Show provides everything you need to plan and complete any home improvement project. Whether it involves landscaping, contracting, design, entertainment, remodeling, or anything in between, you'll find it here!
When: Friday, June 7, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, June 8, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, June 9, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave.; free parking