How to Prepare for Cooler Temperatures as the Weather Changes

Oct. 10, 2023

In Arizona, we can anticipate the cool season to begin around October and last through the month of March. In order to prepare for the drop in temperatures, it is recommended to prepare your heating system, and or clean and check your fireplace in anticipation of maintaining safe and comfortable home temperatures during the cooler weather. More information on extreme cold weather and public health safety tips can be found on the Arizona Department of Health Services website

While Northern regions of Arizona typically experience the coldest weather during the winter season, the western and southern regions also are faced with potential dangers such as snowstorms and hazardous driving conditions. Additionally, unsafe conditions such as power outages and frozen pipes caused by freezing temperatures can lead to cold stress amongst workers exposed to cold environments, risk of hypothermia amongst at risk groups such as infants and the elderly, as well as frostbite in those with reduced blood circulation or individuals wearing improper clothing for cold temperatures. 

In order to maintain a properly working heating system in the winter you may do the following:
  • Clean out your chimney of excess debris such as twigs, creosote, nests, or other items that may have blocked or caused damage to the chimney. More information on fireplace safety can be found on the United States Environmental Protection Agency Website
  • Note any cracks or changes to the outside of a chimney and repair these if possible before the winter season
  • Ensure any smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in the home are working properly. Firefighters will install battery operated smoke detectors free of charge. More information can be found here
  • Seal any air duct leaks to decrease potential heat loss in the winter months (sealing areas around ducts, pipes, wires, and vents is a good way improve energy efficiency and save money!)
  • Set your HVAC fan to “auto” in the winter to ensure only warm air flows from the vents and the fan is only running while the heating system operates
  • Seal drafty windows with curtains, new caulk, or weatherstripping, and open the shades during the daytime to allow natural sunlight to warm the home.
Additional resources regarding preparing for cooler weather in Arizona can be accessed below:
  1. Information on cold stress and hazards to outdoor workers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) can be found here
  2. Safety tips for travel in icy or snowy conditions in Arizona from the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) can be accessed here 
  3. Winter weather preparedness including winter flooding, heating tips, home preparedness, and pet safety from the Arizona Emergency Information Network can be found here.
  4. Available emergency shelters including warming stations can be accessed through the 211 Arizona webpage