Tips on getting your home ready for summer.
You know it’s Summer time when you unfold that utility bill to a whopping three-digit number. We’ve gathered a few tips together to help you prepare your home for Summer and ensure low costs in your utility bill. So sit back with a nice cool glass of lemonade, because here are five hot tips on making your home “summer proof”.
Tip 1: Air Conditioning
The air conditioning unit is salvation for us during those hot muggy days in July. Without it, we could only fear the bad repercussions of laying absolutely miserable in our own sweat. From experience, I can almost certainly tell you that maintaining your air conditioning unit should be your number one priority. Firstly please remember that your air conditioner will be working a lot harder when the humidity is at its highest. Air conditioners are designed to remove heat and moisture from the air in your homes. If the humidity in your home is too high, it cancels the cooling effect the air conditioner is trying to provide.
The signs of high humidity in your home include the following; the air in your home will feel moist and clammy, the windows will fog up due to water trapped in the air, and you may smell a musky odor in the air. It would basically feel like you are breathing through a hot, wet washcloth. If there is signs of high humidity in your home, you will need to install a dehumidifier into your HVAC system. Dehumidifiers and air conditioners work hand in hand during the hot months to rid moisture in the air and cool the home.
Another very important issue to bring up with the air conditioning unit is to remind you to change the filters at least every 2 months. In the hotter months, your air conditioner is working harder and the amount of pet hair, dust and such in the air will clog up your filters rather quickly. This can lead to a temporary setback with the air conditioner freezing over. You will find a large chunk of ice blocking the air flow between the dirty filter and the air conditioner unit. If this does happen, you will need to thaw the ice as soon as possible. You can do this by changing the setting of your thermostat to “fan”. This will thaw out the ice in about an hour or two.
In the meantime, take out the dirty filter, and place a towel under the unit to catch the melting ice residue and run an errand to the store to purchase a new filter. (Make sure the air filter is the correct fit) You can measure your filter by using a tape measurer. Measure the length and width of the area your air filter was removed from. If they are not equal in size, use the smaller measurement as your length. Then measure the depth by measuring the thickness of the filter. In the end, combine the length, width and depth as the size (L X W X D). When you return home, the ice should be melted. You should dry the area around the unit, and insert the new filter. Buying a back up air filter every month is a good way to be prepared! If the problem continues, please contact a professional service to inspect the air conditioning unit.
It is also wise to install a programmable thermostat so that when you are away from home at work, your air conditioner will be on a pre-set timer to change temperatures and keep utility costs at low. You should also invest in box fans or desk fans for the home to conserve the air conditioner use. Remember to turn them off when you leave the room!
Tip 2: Tinted Windows
Tint your windows! This is the best way to avoid black out curtains and living like vampires in the dark dungeon of your home. There’s no need to break out of the coffins when there is an easy solution such as tinting your windows! You can buy window films from your local hardware store and its so easy to install. Just measure your window LXW and by using those measurements you can apply them to the window film and cut it out yourself! Of course you can also have these window treatments professionally done, but the point of this is to keep costs low! So break out the scissors and get crafty!
Tip 3: Outdoor Comfort
Create an oasis outside of your home. The best way to enjoy the paradise of sunshine within the comfort of your own backyard is to shade it with trees and greenery. Planting trees is not only good for the environment but it also blocks out the harsh sun rays from the merciless Summer sun. Plant some trees in front of your home as well as the sun does travel throughout the day around your home. Another quick tip for you landscape and yard lovers, get yourself a big barrel for those summery rainy days. By collecting rain water, you will save yourself a hefty water bill when you need to keep those plants and that lawn hydrated during those Summer drought periods. Rain water is free, thank you Mother Nature! Just make sure you keep the barrel closed with a lid when it’s not raining. Water attracts mosquitoes! You do not need a mosquito breeding ground behind your house. Also use mulch in your garden beds. Mulch prevents water evaporation, giving your plants a longer time to absorb the water.
Tip 4: Painting Your Home
Paint your home a lighter color. If your home is a dark red, brown or even black, consider painting those walls and trimmings a lighter color such as white, light grey, or anything in pastel. You want your house’s paint to reflect the sunlight, not absorb it. You will notice the cooling costs will go down if you do this.
Tip 5: Doors and Windows
Look at your home as if it were a refrigerator. You don’t leave the fridge door open all day, right? Your food would spoil in just a few hours, and the stench of sour milk would reek throughout the house! Much like a refrigerator, your home has doors and windows and believe it or not, cold air can seep through the crooks and crannies of those doors and windows. Do yourself a favor and pick up some Weatherstrip Tape to seal up those nooks and crannies and keep your home insulated!
There you go, that’s five tips on preparing your home for the hot months of Summer! On a side note, prepare yourself as you would prepare your home. Stay hydrated, and keep yourself cool so you’re also summer proof too!