According to the National Weather Service, the hottest temperature recorded in Utah was in St. George where it hit 117 degrees on July 5, 1985. It's been a doozy lately in Utah with the heat, but hey, there's no global warming, right? (Not!) The hottest temperature ever recorded on earth was 134.1 degrees in 1913 in Death Valley, Calif., according to the World Meteorological Organization. We like to say in Utah that we have a dry heat. It's more tolerable than high temperatures combined with high humidity like the much of the country has been suffering through.
If you're a renter, your landlord does not have to provide you with air conditioning. If your lease says you do get central air, a swamp cooler or a window unit and it breaks down, the landlord has to repair it. Much of Europe right now is experiencing a heat wave the likes of which have not been seen before, and people in places like Paris don't normally own anything other than a fan to keep them cool during the summer months. I remember being in Portland a few years ago where it's also uncommon to stay in a place with air conditioning. We stripped down to our bare skin, threw a wet bath towel over us and laid like stiff boards on a night where it was in the high 80s. This is how the ancient Egyptians used to stay cool at night, for real. You can also freeze small towels or wash cloths to put on your feet at night in bed—the slow melt and evaporation will feel really nice.
What can you do to stay cool when you don't have any kind of air conditioning? Certainly, find water! Stay hydrated and take a cool shower or bath, find a lake or a pool and float or swim. Better yet, find friends who have a boat and offer to pay for the gas to get you all out on the water for a day. Google DIY air conditioners. They might not be pretty, but there are some great ideas out there to keep a room cool.
Sadly, President Donald Trump's tariffs are now beginning to take a toll on not just our economy, but on the items we get from China. Sheet metal (for air ducts) and air conditioners of all types have been hit with 10-25% increases from last year. Now, more than ever is the time to price shop if you're going to invest in a cooling system for your home. Also, if you're building a home, putting on a new roof, or planning an addition, don't put on dark or black shingles. Light colored roofing materials will keep your home much cooler. Consider heat-blocking curtains or blinds on west-facing windows. If you don't have the money and are simply renting, get the aluminum foil out and put it up in your windows. Looks ratty, but you'll be grateful when that heat doesn't get into your home.