Moving from a chilly or temperate climate to a warm or hot climate takes preparation. Your wardrobe will change from boots and sweaters to shorts and flip flops; your hobbies will go from snowboarding to surfing. But it’s not all fun and fashion—it’s important for your health, happiness and safety to know how to acclimate to hot weather.
As you plan your move to a hot climate, be prepared to make a few changes. In order to take advantage of the weather, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind. Make the most of your new home and learn more about how to adapt to hot weather!
Living in a Warm Climate vs Cold Climate: What’s the Difference?
Age, weight, lifestyle—they all play a role in how someone is going to handle different temperatures and climates. Getting used to the weather in any new place can be tough, depending on the climate and the person. If you’re unsure if you’d like to live in a hot climate or not, take a look at our list of pros and cons for warm and cold climates:
Warm Climates: What to Know When Moving to a Hot Environment
- You’ll get plenty of vitamin D
- You’ll likely spend more time outdoors. Although running in hot, humid weather can be uncomfortable, you’re more likely to head out for your outdoor activity when you don’t have to bundle up first.
- Your brain will thank you—spending time in the sun has a positive impact on your brain’s chemistry
Minimalist packing. With the warmer weather, you wont need to pack as much clothing when you travel.
- Bugs, bugs, bugs. You aren’t the only thing that likes warm weather… Bugs do, too!
- It’s difficult to avoid skin damage and sunburn. When you move to a warm climate, you’ll need to be extremely mindful of protection (clothing and sunscreen).
- It’s difficult to escape the heat. Even if you enjoy warmer climates, everyone needs a break sometimes. When you live somewhere that’s warm year-round, it can be tough to escape the heat.
- You may experience a heat related illness or heat cramps. The human body can have a hard time adjusting if you don’t follow appropriate steps. It’s important to do your best to stay cool and drink plenty of fluids!
Cold Climates: What to Know When Moving to a Cold State
- You may have an increased metabolic rate. When our body is cooler, it has to work harder to maintain our core body temperature.
- There’s a strong sense of community. When the weather is freezing and the snow starts to pile up, there’s often support and kindness between folks in the community.
- Healthier skin. Without the sun’s harsh rays, you’re less likely to experience redness and swelling.
- Unsafe road conditions. When temperatures dip below freezing, roads can quickly become icy. If you’re uncomfortable driving in snow, ice or slush, a cold-weather home may not be for you.
- Sedentary lifestyle. It can be tough to build up the courage to head out to the gym when the roads are slick or out for a run when there’s snow on the sidewalk. That’s why long seasons of cold weather can often lead to a sedentary lifestyle.
- High energy costs from keeping your home warm.
Does Moving to a Warmer Climate Help Depression?
Yes and no. It’s not so much the warm weather that provides mental health benefits, but it’s the time spent outside in general. In a study conducted at the University of Michigan, it was found that people who spent at least 30 minutes outside in nice weather had better moods.
Does Your Body Acclimate to Heat?
Yes. Your body will acclimate to heat. Get acclimated faster by spending at least 2 hours a day outside for heat exposure. This will allow you to adjust more quickly without overwhelming your body.
How to Acclimate to Hot Weather & What to Expect When Moving to a Hot Climate
Living in hot climates can take some getting used to. A great first step in adjusting is knowing what to expect when you arrive. Here’s how to tolerate heat better so you can get the most out of warm weather living:
1. Stay Hydrated: You’ll Sweat More Than Usual
If you’re looking for ways on how to get used to hot weather, drinking water is a great and simple place to start. Since your body is used to a certain temperature, it’ll take some time to adjust, especially if you’re going from a cold climate to a hot one.
Your body will compensate for this temperature change by increasing sweat production in an attempt to cool you down. Once your body gets used to the heat, however, your sweat production will slow down. As you adjust (and after, too!) drink lots of water.
2. Be Financially Mindful: Your Summer Energy Bills Will Increase
There’s a good chance you didn’t run your air conditioning constantly in your old home. However, in a place where temps hover upwards of 90° Fahrenheit, having the A/C running is crucial.
With the A/C running more often, you’ll probably see an increase in your energy bill. There are a few things you can do, though, to keep your bills from becoming too expensive, including:
- Replace the A/C unit in your new home with a more efficient model using fans.
- Make sure your home is well-insulated, so the cold air doesn’t escape.
- Invest in window shades or UV-filtering window tints.
On the bright side, you likely won’t need to spend as much on energy bills in the winter. In southern Florida, for example, average lows in January are 5° Fahrenheit – a temperature that is much easier to warm to room temperature than the below zero average low temperatures in Maine in January!
3. Change Your Routine: The Heat & Sun Will Make a Big Impact on Your Day.
If you’re used to heading out for a run after work when the sun is strong and hot, you may want to think about shifting your routine. In your new hot climate, being active outside when the sun is so strong can prove dangerous. You’ll need to start finding ways to accomplish your daily tasks without getting too hot.
Keep your run fun by going early in the morning when the day is at its coolest. Avoid using your oven or doing laundry during the day, as these appliances quickly heat up your home. You might think about creating an outdoor kitchen area, which is much more common in the southern U.S. than in northern states.
4. Cover Your Windshields: Your Car Will Feel Like a Furnace
When the sun shines through your windshield it can heat the metal components of your car to the point where they may burn you. It’s hard to drive when you can barely touch the steering wheel! Avoid this extreme heat by covering your windshield with shades. You can also protect your steering wheel with a light-colored, heat-resistant, fabric covering.
5. Help Your Pets Adjust: They’ll Notice the Difference, Too!
You’re not the only one who’ll need to adjust to the warmer climate; hot summer temperatures can have a harsh effect on animals as well. Although your dog may have enjoyed playing in the backyard all day at your old home, spending hours in the scorching heat can make your canine companion sick. Combat the effect of hot weather on your pets by:
- Keeping them inside as much as possible
- Taking them on walks in the early morning or evening
- Providing plenty of shade in your yard
- Giving them access to fresh drinking water
- Providing access to a small pool or tub
6. Wear Sunscreen: Your Skin Will Need Extra Protection
Living in an area with more sunlight and more incentive to spend time outdoors can sound like benefits of living in a hot climate. That said, you have to be careful with all that sun exposure!
To enjoy your new home without worrying about seriously damaging your skin, take precautions before going outside. Wear sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher when you leave the house, and use hats and sunglasses for further protection. If you plan to sit by the pool or ocean, go earlier in the day or in the evening to avoid exposure to direct sunlight.
Okay, I’m Ready to Move. Where Is It Hot All Year Round?
If moving somewhere warm is your next step and you’re looking to move to a place that feels like summer all year long, consider making one of these places your destination:
- Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- Maui, Hawaii
- San Diego, California
- Savannah, Georgia
- Tucson, Arizona
Get Help from the Hottest Moving Company Around!
Now that you have a better understanding of how to live in hot weather and a few ideas of places you can go with summer year round, it’s time to get help with your big move! When you hire Bekins Van Lines, our movers will help you stay out of the heat as we handle your move’s technical details. Request an in-home estimate or get in touch with the expert team at Bekins today to get started!