It’s summer and we’re in the South, Y’all! It’s hot and getting hotter. We all love the Carolina sunshine, but the summer creates unique stresses on your home. Heat can really take a toll!
So here are a few ways to protect your home from the elements.Sun isn’t the only condition of summer that creates a problem for your home but that’s where I’m going to start.
Don’t air condition the outside! (how many times do you yell that at your kids when they leave the door open?) Actually, 30% of a home’s cool air is lost through drafty windows. If replacing old windows isn’t in your budget, help them out a little by sealing them up with caulk. While we are on the subject of windows, black-out curtains or roman shades are great for keeping temperatures low. This is especially helpful in rooms that have large windows which typically heat up quicker during the day.
Install energy star certified ceiling fans. Thank you, Duke Energy, for the tip! Keep the fans at a low speed throughout the day to help move cool air throughout the house and make a little breeze. Breezes are hard to come by around here during the middle of summer!
Install a programmable thermostat to save energy by adjusting temperatures based on your schedule. For instance, you might want to power your AC down when you are sleeping, or raise it a little while you are at work. This will conserve energy and prolong the life of your AC (which by the way, you should have checked to make sure it’s running at peak efficiency.)
Turn on the grill and off the stove. Using the stovetop or oven heats up the kitchen at least and the rest of the house at worst. The AC can have a hard time keeping up under normal hot temps… don’t add to its stress. Besides, no one wants a stuffy house! Try dinner outside– (preferrably on a shaded or covered patio with cute patio furniture.)
Bugs are another problem in the summer… ants, flies and beetles are a summer annoyance.
Traps near windows work if you can hide them. Exterminators can be expensive. Before you go that route, check that your window screens are well-attached and in good condition. Bugs can get in through rips in the screen or through cracks where it is not fully attached to the window pane.
Splinters. Yes, splinters are a summer hazard. Walking barefoot on a worn deck can bring a nice day outside to a screeching halt. Give your deck a good power washing every few years and make sure it’s treated with a quality wood stain and sealant.
With a little bit of care, you and your home can weather another Carolina summer. And don’t forget about your 4 legged family members. Toss a few ice cubes into your dog’s bowl when you leave the house to make sure they stay hydrated and cool too!