If you own a home, you’re probably familiar with the process of winterizing it, which includes things like scheduling a furnace check and sealing your windows and doors against drafts. But did you know there are some things you should do before the warmer weather? Making sure your home is properly prepared for summer can help cool your space more efficiently while keeping you ahead of seasonal dust and allergies.
While you’re in town during the heatwave, you’ll want to limit your exposure to the sun and create a controlled environment, as well as ensure your windows are treated properly with insulative blinds such as roller shades. Fortunately, preventative measures and routine maintenance can keep your home in good working order. Follow these tips on preparing your home for hot weather to achieve a functional setting.
Check the valves and hoses
You probably expect leaks to occur during the winter, but did you know that flooding is also common during the summer? Hoses and valves are the most common causes of overflowing water.
Overuse can cause connections in washing machines and interior and exterior faucets to become loose or even break. Because valves and hoses are prone to failure, they can be among the first to fail. Having a professional plumber tighten them is a good place to start with your home preparation. In addition, have your plumber test the valves to see if they require any additional maintenance.
Avoid shining direct sunlight on your air conditioner
Our air conditioners, like humans, require shade from the hot sun to function properly. Planting a leafy tree next to the exposed part of the air conditioner is a clever and low-cost way to accomplish this.
While bathing, turn on the bathroom exhaust fans
When you open the door to a hot shower, steam can permeate into other rooms of the house, significantly affecting cooling. Run the exhaust fans while showering to avoid this.
Examine Your Pipes
Hot weather is frequently accompanied by a lack of rain, which is problematic for some plumbing systems. Your pipes can deteriorate and crack due to dryness or harsh UV rays, resulting in minor leaks or bursting pipes.
Because summer activities use a lot of water, stress can also damage your pipes. When you add up all the times you’ve turned on the water in a day, you’ll realize you’re putting a lot of strain on your plumbing.
Fluorescent lights should be used instead of yellow bulbs
Incandescent bulbs are excellent for ambient lighting, but the warm light they emit can significantly raise the temperature in the room. CFL bulbs emit less heat and consume less energy than yellow bulbs.
Decide on a Summer Temperature
As long as you and your family are adequately cooled, you can set your thermostat to be closer to the outdoor temperature. A temperature that bridges the gap between your home and the outside can help you adjust to warmer weather.
When you’re at home, 22-24 degrees Celsius is a reasonable temperature to save energy while meeting your needs. Remember that staying healthy is the most important thing during a heatwave.
Reinforce Weatherstripping for Doors and Windows
Weather stripping can deteriorate over time, causing your HVAC unit to work harder than it should. Sealed windows and doors prevent cooled air from escaping and hot air from entering your home. Summer is the ideal time to replace the weather stripping. Examine your weather stripping for splits or flaws that could indicate a weakness.
You could use caulking instead of weather stripping around your doors and windows, which is a viable option. It is a simple fix to have them recaulked, and it can save you energy.
Install Window Treatments
You probably believe you’ve escaped the heat once you’ve entered your home. Even if your air conditioner is turned on, sunlight can enter your home and raise the temperature. Window coverings, especially on the side of your house that receives direct sunlight, can absorb intense rays and prevent them from entering. Drapes, blinds, shutters, and shades can block out the sun and maintain a comfortable temperature. Choose window shades with enough coverage to block out sunlight and keep them closed during the heatwave.
Examine Your Water Pressure
Water pressure can fluctuate due to hot weather and usage changes. Keep an eye on your water pressure at the start of the season and when the temperature rises. The recommended house water pressure for the inlet is 60 psi or less; your plumber can measure it and tell you if it’s acceptable.
Insulation, like window coverings, is a barrier that manages how your home maintains a set temperature. If the temperature in your home does not appear to match the setting on your thermostat, you may require additional insulation. If your home lacks any insulation, adding it will likely make a significant difference.
Because they are the main surfaces on which the sun shines, your roof and walls require the most insulation. The insulation layer will protect your home throughout the year, allowing you to enjoy it beyond the summer.
Preparing Your Home for a Long Vacation
When you leave your house for a fun summer trip, you must change the settings on many things. You could face serious consequences if you’re out of town and something goes wrong. Let’s take a look at how you can prepare your living space for a long vacation.
Set the Thermostat
You can use your thermostat’s timer setting to let it reflect a warmer temperature for the duration of your trip. Because you don’t need to cater to your own preferences, a temperature comparable to the outside will suffice. You can also arrange for the temperature to be returned to your preferred setting before your arrival.
Set the temperature to keep your belongings safe while you’re away. Choose a temperature that will keep plants and delicate items in good condition.
Turn off the water heater
The water heater is another home feature you won’t need while away. Unused water heaters can cause leaks in the summer that you’ll have to deal with when you return, which is an unnecessary expense. Depending on the type, you can put the water heater in vacation mode or turn off the cold water supply for a shorter trip. You can turn off the entire water heater if your vacation lasts several weeks. Hire a professional to drain and turn off the water.
Unplug all electronic devices
Even if you’ve turned off your appliances and electronics, if they’re still plugged in, they’re still using energy. During hot weather, electric grids are stressed, and running multiple electronics contributes to blackouts, which can leave you without a working air conditioner.
Electronics also produce excess heat, which you are attempting to keep out of your home. In hot weather, you want to reduce as much heat as possible, so disconnect the cords from outlets to avoid this.
Drain and Rinse Your Garbage Disposal
Leftover food in the garbage disposal or remnants in the drains will sit in your home, and without flowing water, the residue will become lodged in the plumbing. As a result, when you return from your week-long vacation, you may encounter foul odours. The junk in your pipes can become even worse at high heat levels.
To protect your home from smelly drains, thoroughly flush out debris. Consult your plumber about the best methods for clearing out your pipes.
Wrapping it up
Nobody wants to be trapped in a hot, stuffy house when the temperature rises. Fortunately, there are many simple things that homeowners can do to prepare their homes for the impending summer heat. While these tips can help make your home feel cooler and more tolerable when the weather turns hot, don’t forget to schedule an annual air conditioner maintenance appointment.
Keep these tips in mind as the temperatures outside rise this summer to stay cool and comfortable.