Surviving the McAllen Heat: A Homeowners’ Guide

Man enjoying air flow from fan on bed in room. Summer heat

McAllen remains one of the nation’s least expensive places to live, with Kiplinger ranking McAllen as the nation’s third most-affordable city. So it’s unsurprising to see why many people are moving into McAllen. It will be among the fastest-growing cities by 2060.

If you plan to move to McAllen, you should know about the unforgiving McAllen heat. This article explains all you need to know about living in McAllen weather.

Understanding the McAllen climate

young man athlete received sun and heat stroke and headache. guy holds his head with his hands and protects himself from the sun in outdoors. copy space, place for text

Let’s start with a brief understanding of the climate in McAllen. With this information, you can improvise and take things into your own hands if and when the situation demands.


McAllen has a subtropical climate, with high temperatures throughout the year. In line with the subtropical climate, summers are particularly scorching. June to September are the hottest months, with average highs reaching above 100°F (38°C). Winters are mild, with average highs ranging from the mid-60s°F (18°C) to the low 70s°F (23°C). You should prepare for extreme changes in temperature between months.


McAllen sees a higher humidity level than the nearby cities because of its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico. The evaporating water contributes to the high humidity levels. Relative humidity often exceeds 70% during the summer months. This can make days feel more intense and uncomfortable.


McAllen experiences a moderate amount of rainfall. The wettest months are between May and October. The annual average precipitation is around 23 inches (58 cm). At times, thunderstorms and hurricanes also contribute to the rainfall in the region.


McAllen boasts ample sunshine throughout the year. Summer months from June through September see the most sunshine, with clear skies and minimal cloud cover. The city has about 223 sunny days, 18 days more than the US average.


McAllen is at risk of heatwaves because of the subtropical climate, latitude, exposure to sunlight, and elevation. Heatwaves are prolonged periods of excessively hot weather seen primarily during summer. These can last several days or even weeks, and the temperatures go well above 100°F (38°C). It’s important to take extra precautions to stay safe and cool during these periods.

Optimizing your home to survive the McAllen heat

Hvac tech working on installing a new condensing unit on a roof top.

Now that you understand McAllen’s weather and climate conditions, it’s time to look at the survival strategy. You need to optimize your home to survive the McAllen heat. Then take personal measures for yourself. Here are the recommended tips for McAllen homeowners:

Proper landscaping

How you design your landscape has a significant impact on home temperature. The landscape should have enough trees, plants, and sunlight-obstructing structures in place.

As already mentioned, exposure to sunlight is one reason for increased temperature. By reducing the exposure, you reduce the sun rays falling on your home, thereby reducing the overall temperature.

Plant a few trees around the house. Plant tall trees and trees that have leaves in abundance. This will not only reduce temperature but enhance the look and greenery.

Along with that, you can also consider installing solar panels. PVC rolling sun shades are also another option.

For the backyard, you can incorporate shaded seating areas, outdoor kitchens, fire pits, and so on. This will create functional and inviting spaces for outdoor gatherings.

Orientation and layout

Along with landscaping, appropriate orientation can also reduce sun exposure. It’s wise to survey the land and track the sun’s direction. You should know at what angles the sun’s rays are falling on your house. How and where the rays hit the house can help you orient it in a way that minimizes exposure.

The layout is just as important. Look for properties with open floor plans that promote a flow of natural light and air movement throughout the living spaces.

Choose building materials with low thermal mass

In construction, thermal mass is described as the material’s capacity to absorb, retain, and release heat. For areas with warmer climates like McAllen, you should ideally opt for building materials with low thermal mass.

Water is considered a high thermal mass material. The same applies to materials like concrete, brick, and marble. Insulation foam, on the other hand, is of low thermal mass. You may not be able to avoid concrete or brick, but it makes to install insulation foam wherever necessary to reduce heat retention on sunny days.

Autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC), cellular glass, fiberglass, and timber are other options to consider.

Proper ventilation is necessary

Heat can build up quickly within closed spaces and create unfavorable living conditions. That’s why ventilation is necessary. The hot air that builds up must be discarded.

As per physics, warm air rises, and cool air enters the building from the bottom. That’s why you need to have high-level windows near the ceiling. The warm air can escape out of the house through these windows. You can also create internal atriums or voids that are placed at a taller height than the space.

Along with that, it’s necessary to have an appropriate number of doors and windows for every room. For cross-ventilation, the windows can be larger than usual. But make sure to have the necessary shade using awnings and louvers for bigger windows.

Install a functioning HVAC system

HVAC systems are necessary for regions like McAllen that experience unbearable heat in certain months. Air condition systems will ventilate the air much better than windows and atriums.

Only a functioning HVAC unit will provide respite, especially during the hottest days when the temperature is at its peak. Along with temperature, such units also improve air quality. In McAllen/Reynosa International Metro, there are many industrial manufacturing plants. These often pollute the air. If you live closer to such areas, investing some capital and installing an HVAC system makes sense.

Colorful house with peak roof large windows in autumn fall sunny blue sky and vivid landscaping

Living in McAllen weather made simple

McAllen, TX, is a welcoming place. By adjusting to the heat, you can have an excellent time in this beautiful Texan city and lead a rewarding life. Thus, choosing a custom home builder is important. RGV home builders help you tick all the right boxes to optimize your home for the McAllen heat and personal preferences. Looking for one? Talk with us today.

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