Preparing Your Home for Heatwaves
While you’re in town and experiencing the thick of the heatwave, you want to minimize exposure to the heat and set up a controlled environment. Fortunately, preventative steps and maintenance can keep your home running smoothly. To reach a setting that remains functional, you can follow these tips on how to prepare your home for hot weather.
1. Examine Valves and Hoses
You probably expect leaks to happen during the wintertime, but did you know that it’s common for flooding to occur when it’s hot outside too? The main culprits of overflowing water are hoses and valves.
Washing machines and interior and exterior faucets have connections that can become loose or even break from overuse. Because valves and hoses are vulnerable, they can be one of the first mishaps you encounter. Bringing in a professional plumber to tighten them is a solid start to your home preparation. Also, ask your plumber to test the valves and see if they need additional upkeep.
2. Inspect Your Pipes
Hot weather is frequently accompanied by a lack of rain, which isn’t good news for some plumbing setups. Whether due to dryness or harsh UV rays, your pipes can deteriorate and crack, which can lead to minor leaks or bursting pipes.
Stress can also threaten your pipes because summer activities take considerable amounts of water. When you add up all the times you’ve flipped on the water within a day, you’ll realize it’s putting a lot of force on your plumbing — just think about how often you water your flowers or help your kids fill up water balloons.
Get your plumber to look over your pipes after they’ve covered your valves and hoses. If they find a leak, they may have to install a new section of pipe.
3. Set a Summertime Temperature
You might be wondering, “What temperature should I set my air conditioner to in the summer?” While you’re bound to blast the air conditioner when you start to sweat this summer, you also don’t want your electricity bill to surge.
You can adjust your thermostat to be closer to the outdoor temperature as long as you and your family are sufficiently cooled. A temperature that closes the gap between the inside of your house and the outdoors can help you get accustomed to warmer weather.
About 78 degrees Fahrenheit is a reasonable temperature to save energy and meet your needs when you’re at home. Remember — what’s most important during a heatwave is staying healthy.
4. Change the HVAC Filters
You rely on your air conditioning unit throughout the summer months, so you don’t want it to falter. You want it to run at full capacity and provide as much cold air as possible. Switching out old filters can extend its lifespan and maximize its power.
Particles from the air build up in the filters, and as you crank them up in the heat, they collect even more residue. Clean air filters can decrease an air conditioner’s energy consumption by five to 15 percent.
Make sure you’re sticking to a routine for replacing old filters. Consult an experienced maintenance professional to understand the best time to cycle out filters.
5. Reinforce Door and Window Weather Stripping
Weatherstripping can wear away after the elements take a toll, causing your HVAC unit to work harder than it should. Sealed windows and doors keep cooled air from escaping, and they also block hot air from entering your home. Summertime is the perfect opportunity to update the weather stripping. Study your weather stripping to detect splits or flaws that could be a weakness.
You may have caulking instead of weather stripping around your doors and windows, which is an effective alternative. It’s an easy fix to get them recaulked, and it can prevent you from wasting energy.
6. Install Window Shades
Once you’re inside your house, you probably think you’ve dodged the heat. However, even with the AC running, sunlight can come through your windows and drive the temperature up.
Especially with the side of your house that gets direct sunlight, window coverings can soak up intense beams and keep them from making their way inside. Drapes, blinds, shutters, and shades can avert sunrays and sustain an ideal temperature.
Pick out window shades that offer enough coverage to shut out sunlight, and keep them fastened during the heatwave.
7. Get Circulation Going
It’s crucial to have steady airflow when you’re fighting a heatwave. Heatwaves can affect the air quality inside and outside your place, but proper circulation resolves this issue.
Circulation can be handy as a support to your air conditioner, so turn on your overhead fan and let it regulate the air in your home. Doing so will allow you to distribute cool air to all the rooms in your house.
Ventilation is another important consideration, but you have to balance it with your sealed entryways. With the help of a professional, check to make sure you’re exchanging hot, stale air with fresh, cool air.
8. Check Your Water Pressure
Hot weather and shifts in use can make your water pressure fluctuate. Keep tabs on your water pressure at the beginning of the season and when the temperature skyrockets.
The recommended house water pressure is 60 psi or less for the inlet, and your plumber can measure the pressure and tell you if it’s acceptable.
9. Incorporate Insulation
Similar to window covers, insulation is a useful barrier that manages how your home retains a set temperature. If your place doesn’t seem to match the level on your thermostat, you could need additional insulation. If your home doesn’t currently have any insulation at all, you’re likely to feel a huge difference when you add it.
Your roof and walls need insulation the most because they’re the main surfaces the sun beats down on. The layer of insulation will protect your home no matter the season too, so you can enjoy it beyond the summer.