Take a look at the calendar. Summer is just about here! While warm temperatures and sunshine make for fun times, it’s important to adequately prepare your home for the season.
Charter our Community and Rebuilding Together are committed to ensuring you can enjoy this summer to the fullest. Here are some safe summer tips to make sure your home is a healthy one:
Safe Summer Tip #1: Keep your cool
You may want to hop indoors and turn on the air conditioning to escape summer heat. But are you cooling your house as efficiently as possible?
- Use a ceiling fan in conjunction with air conditioning. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no real change in room comfort.
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency adds that increasing the temperature of your home by just two degrees can lower cooling costs by up to 14 percent over the course of the cooling season.
- Also consider bumping up your thermostat when you leave the house. Even better, programmable thermostats can be purchased for as little as $20. This can turn into long-term savings on your energy bill.
- Clean or replace your air conditioning filter for greater efficiency and cleaner indoor air.
Safe Summer Tip #2: Mind the gutter
Autumn shouldn’t be the only time you check your gutters. With summer rain, regular gutter maintenance is important.
- Heavy downpours can cause clogs from debris such as twigs and leaves. Installing gutter guards can be a cost-effective and simple way to keep gutters working properly.
- For clogs near the downspout, a powerful blast from your garden hose could be a quick fix.
Safe Summer Tip #3: Maintain your roof
Your roof can take a beating in the rainy spring and summer months. Proper roof maintenance can save you from costly leaks that may contribute to mold growth or pest infestations.
- Replace missing or damaged shingles. Repairing or replacing just a few shingles can be relatively simple and inexpensive.
- Trim overhanging tree branches to help keep your roof free of excess debris.
When dealing with roof maintenance, remember: SAFETY FIRST. If you have doubts about roof repair, hire a professional contractor.
Safe Summer Tip #4: Let your attic breathe
Poorly ventilated attics turn into saunas during the dog days of summer. Hot air trapped in attics reduces overall air quality and makes cooling systems less efficient. Also, attic fires peak during the hottest part of summer.
- Add insulation to your attic to help dissipate heat that builds up in the summer. Consider installing fiberglass batts to ceilings in your attic.
- Remember, excess heat can damage and warp personal items stored in attics. Proper ventilation techniques can save you both money and memories.
Safe Summer Tip #5: Bug off!
Spring and summer are prime times for pests to creep into your home. Here are some indoor and outdoor tips that will quickly and easily ensure that you’re not rolling out the red carpet for these unwanted guests:
- Wipe up all spills quickly with soap and water—ants in particular love the sticky residue leftover from set-in spills.
- Make sure leftover food is promptly sealed and properly stored.
- Be sure to vacuum and sweep your floors often – and even clean your pets, as they are likely to carry in bugs from the outdoors.
- Pick up some caulk and be sure that baseboards, moldings, and cupboards are sealed properly.
- Garbage cans are a hotspot for bugs, so leave a slight buffer between your home and your outdoor garbage and recycling bins. Also, rinse cans prior to putting them in your recycling bins to minimize residue that can attract bugs.
- Still, standing water in your yard will attract mosquitoes. It’s also where they lay their eggs, so be sure to drain any pools of water.