When Dante first wrote about his nine circles of HELL, no one in Europe had heard of Alabama yet. And we have that little factoid to thank for the book depicting nine and not ten unique places where souls can be tormented for all of eternity.
Alabama weather isn’t just hot. It’s damn hot.
We’re talking the kind of heat that makes popsicle vendors and electronics repair shops jump for joy. The heat and more importantly, h-u-m-i-d-i-t-y wreaks havoc on everything from your beloved smart watch to your health and hydration.
Turn off the AC for a few weeks in August, and your home’s a moldy, smelly allergen-filled pit that rightly belongs in a 14th century novel depicting fire and brimstone.
Sure, Alabama does have a lot to offer and we’re definitely not trying to talk you out of moving here. But we’re also not going to lie. IT’S HOT! That’s why we put this list together…
Dealing with Alabama’s Extreme Humidity Outdoors
If you’re like me, you avoid doing anything outside from June till October. It’s just too miserable to have any fun. But if you do spend time outdoors, it’s important to stay hydrated and be safe. Know the signs of heat stroke and wear plenty of sunscreen!
After you consider health and safety, take a look at some other tips for dealing with the heat and humidity outdoors:
Wear light, loose-fitting clothes
Reflect more of the sun’s rays with lighter colored clothing and leave the skinny jeans at home. With all the heat in the air, you’re going to sweat. And the humidity is so thick that the sweat is slow to evaporate. If you wear tight clothes, expect them to be soaked before you even get from the front door to your car door. Plan on hiking through Oak Mountain Park? Yea, you’re going to be miserable if you dress wrong.
Don’t plan your outdoor event in the full sun! It’s bad for your skin, and there’s plenty to do in the shade. Why go to the pool when you can tube down the Cahaba? It’s just as fun if not more, and you’re under shade trees most of the way.
Visit Tannehill where most of the park is wooded and in the shade.
Just be sure to limit your exposure to direct heat and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Parking: Choose Wisely
It seems like every other day there’s something in the news about abandoned dogs in hot cars. As tragic as that it, it brings up a good point for the topic of our discussion. Cars act like little greenhouses in the Alabama heat and unlike a real greenhouse, there’s no heat-activated vent to let the hot air escape.
Try parking in a parking deck or garage whenever possible. If you can’t, keep one of those windshield screens handy and use it when you park. It will help keep down on the sun exposure inside of your car. And by all means, do not leave pets or children in a hot car! Not even for a minute.
Dealing with Alabama’s Extreme Humidity Indoors
HVAC: Your Best Friend
Life in Alabama would not be possible without it. Have your system cleaned and serviced every year. Check your filters often, and replace as needed. Keep your AC running at peak efficiency.
Air conditioning systems do two things. They cool the air while removing humidity. Humidity is the main topic of discussion here and honestly, I think it’s what makes Alabama uniquely miserable in the summer. Improperly sized AC systems might not run long enough to remove adequate moisture from the air, so read our next tip.
Get a Dehumidifier
Even if your AC is properly sized for your home, it typically struggles to remove enough moisture from the air during our muggy summer months. Consider installing a portable dehumidifier and turning up your thermostat a couple of degrees.
It will save you money, while also keeping the house surprisingly comfortable, even at higher temperatures. The problem: Most of these units have a tank you need to drain daily.
The Solution: If you’re handy, you can actually plumb these units into a nearby drain and set it to run when needed without demanding your attention to drain the water.
Nighttime can be particularly unbearable in Alabama. If you’re sweating profusely under the covers, get lighter bedsheets. Consider running a ceiling fan, or even sitting a box fan next to your bed at night to beat the heat. Still miserable? These things look super-chill!
Escaping the 10th Circle of Hell
Hopefully these tips and tricks helped you escape the miserable Alabama summer heat that can only be described as a steaming lake of fire. Got any more ideas on staying cool? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below.