Kyrene Orrantia

Though big pools and water parks were closed all summer, Glendale kids are able to chill out at the Heroes Regional Park splash pad. Kyrene Orrantia, 4, pictured, cools off during one of the record-hot days in August.

Most will have two words for August: Good riddance.

A sizzling month—the hottest in Glendale history—fizzled out, as weekend showers brought high temperatures below 100 for the first time in weeks.

August 2020 will be remembered as the most excruciatingly hot month Glendale has endured.

An Aug. 24 National Weather Service tweet: “Just tied the record high for Phoenix today at 115 degrees! It’s also the 13th day of 115-plus of the year.”

Before August ended, the NWS proclaimed a record 50 days of 110 degrees or hotter in Phoenix. Glendale is just as hot as Phoenix—and on some days warmer.

The record highs were not the only thing making this summer so uncomfortable. According to the NWS, this summer had 28 days where the temperature failed to go below 90.

Normally, Glendale residents who don’t have pools at home are able to cool off at the public pool.

But 2020 is about as far from a “normal” year as imaginable.

After Gov. Doug Ducey’s executive order to combat the surge of COVID-19 cases, the city of Glendale closed the Foothills Recreation and Aquatics Center for most of the steaming summer.

Hot kids cooled off at the Glendale Heroes Regional Park splash pad, open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The splash pad will be open Labor Day.

According to the city’s website, “Splash pad users, and all those visiting Glendale parks, are encouraged to continue following all CDC guidelines, including maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet of space between individuals and washing hands and/or using hand sanitizer. In addition, those who are sick or who may have been exposed to COVID-19 are asked to avoid public spaces.”

After a few blissfully cool days, Glendale highs will near or exceed 110 degrees this weekend.

Curiously, the record heat didn’t mean more business for Linda Moran-Whittley, owner of Papa Ed’s Ice Cream in the historic district of Downtown Glendale.

“Summertime is always very slow for our ice cream parlor, believe it or not,” she said. “The reason is we have a beautiful property including garden and outdoor seating—but when we have summer heat advisories, people don’t really want to get out of their houses or their cars.”

Restrictions due to the pandemic haven’t helped either.

Like many Glendale businesses, Papa Ed’s first felt the crunch when spring training closed early.

Since then, the ice cream shop has adjusted from a quaint place for families to hang out to a pickup-only service.

“We’re only letting people inside for takeout,” the ice cream parlor owner said.

“With the heat, it’s not fun to have our customers wait outside—but that’s what we have to do to be safe.”

She said she has been able to utilize an alley behind Papa Ed’s for pickup orders: “We’ve been encouraging customers to call in orders in advance and then we meet them in the alley.”

 

A/C units cranking

With many sheltering in place, both from the heat and for social distancing, air conditioning units have been humming for months.

And, not rarely, clattering to a stop.

The record summer translates to big business for air conditioning repair people like Bryce Heffelfinger, owner of ACExpertek Service. His service area covers the West Valley from Avondale, Buckeye and Goodyear to Glendale and Peoria.

“Our business did increase this year,” he said. “Many homeowners don’t realize their A/C needs to be serviced until it gets very hot outside and then they have a problem.”

His tips  to save money on electric bills:

• Check your attic insulation and make sure there is enough of it.

• Update windows or install heat-reducing window film.

• Purchase a programmable thermostat so the temperature will adjust when you’re not at home.

• Keep the blinds closed when the sun is hitting the windows.

• Change filters every 30 days.

• Maintain your A/C unit by having yearly checkups/tuneups.