Phoenix, Arizona continues its streak of record-breaking temperatures: 19 days over 110 degrees and counting

Originally published at: Phoenix, Arizona continues its streak of record-breaking temperatures: 19 days over 110 degrees and counting | Boing Boing


On broken air conditioners: Ours flaked out overnight last weekend and, as new homeowners with DIY/cheapskate inclinations, we learned that it is often a large capacitor that fails. (When I say we figured it out, I mean my wife did.) You can get these things same-day shipped from amazon and with a basic tools and some youtube videos, it is very doable yourself.

We cleaned the condenser too, which helps with performance, efficiency, longevity, etc.


That’s 43° C for those living in 2023. Bloody hot.


Having gone to Phoenix as a kid to visit grandparents, I’m honestly surprised this is a record. After spending any amount of time outside you’d be desperate to cool off by sticking your head in the oven while the cookies baked. The entire state is like some experimental biosphere to test the viability of humans colonizing Mercury.


Arizona very clearly is only marginally human-habitable, and absolutely no place to have a large city.


The movement into the Sun Belt was driven by the invention of air conditioning. AC makes the heat worse because you move heat from inside to outside plus you have to generate more electricity by (mosty) burning fossil fuels dumping more CO2 into the atomosphere which warms the environment meaning you need more AC which <wash, rinse, repeat>. I’m in the middle of a really interesting and depressing book called ‘The Heat Will Kill You First’ by Jeff Goddell. The TL;DR: We’re f&#@ed. Never been so happy to be old.


Just be very, very careful. If it’s the capacitor in the outdoor condensing unit, you’ll be working around 240V power. Make sure you shut off the circuit breaker. Even then, capacitors store energy. It’s what they do. And the voltage across the capacitor is likely at least 370V. Now, if you accidentally discharge it by touching both sides of it, it’s probably not going to kill you, or even do any real damage, because there won’t be any current, but it will hurt. I’m all for DIY, especially because HVAC contractors are notorious for wanting to replace the entire unit when it’s just a bad capacitor, but you have to be extremely careful when working around electricity, and not everyone should even try, probably.


I am all for DIY, and do a lot of it myself, but after some truly, epically stupid adventures as a younger person, I have a rule about electricity where i don’t fully understand what is going on: Don’t.


Excellent advice. I do know what’s going on. I have a BS and MS in engineering, and I worked for HVAC manufacturers for 15 years, and I still usually call an electrician or HVAC contractor when anything involves higher voltages than household 120. Those guys work on that stuff every day. I don’t.




Just spent 2 weeks in Arizona, a large part of it in Phoenix. Had to help my dad install a new window unit A/C and it is better than the 20 year old model but still barely works in that heat. Like the room is now 85-90 when the thing is set to full blast at 60 degrees.

Even the swamp cooler barely does anything in the rest of the house.

It was already bad and the past few summers have been getting aggressively worse.

Clearly I need to personally do more and so do all of us because this has absolutely nothing to do with the oil companies at all, just us individuals.

Oh sorry this just in, the local talk show hosts there tell me that nobody has anything to do with it. It’s a natural feature of the earth and that’s if anything is even getting hotter because as we all know the 70s media told us it was global cooling so who can believe scientists anyway?

And if you challenge most of those folks it’s all either “Oh I’m old and all my friends are dead so what do I care anyway? I won’t be here to see it.” or “If we die it’s God’s will”


Huh! I was in Phoenix nearly the entire summer of 1974 and I remember it well. We all spent a lot of time in the hotel’s pool and we got terrific suntans.


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