The winter months require preparation for the home in the form of not letting the heat escape but how does one prepare their home for the summer? If you answered “Keep that heat out!”, bingo, you’ve got it! Here’s a list of things you can do to keep your home safe, cool and dry during those dog days of summer.
1. Drapes. Shades. Shutters. Yes, you like to let in the light, but that sun isn’t doing you any favors on those 90 degree days. Keep it out!
2. Attic ventilation. Do you have an attic? Got an attic fan? As you learned in elementary school, heat rises. This means the attic is the hottest part of your house and you don’t want the heat to get trapped up there. If you don’t have a fan and it’s not in the plans to install one, at least make sure you have a vent. Ok, opening windows will do. Don’t forget the screens! And beware the rain if you’re going the window route.
3. Rain…Ugh! If you have leaks anywhere around your home, you may have discovered them during the freakish downpours we’ve been having as of late. Good news for you! You know exactly what to fix. For us, sadly, we may need a new roof. It’s always a good idea during any season to check your rain gutters and make sure they are clear of leaves. Also, go around your home, even if it means climbing on ladders or hanging out your window, and check the caulking, flashing or whatever other rain barrier you have.
4. Light bulbs. Since you’re a reader of this green blog, you must have already switched to compact fluorescent bulbs years ago, right? Perhaps there are certain antique light fixtures that don’t look good with those squiggly bulbs (guilty). But you know how much heat an incandescent bulb gives off, so you know that switching to CFL will keep it cooler, right?
5. Clean your air conditioner filters. Whether you use window units or a whole house system, clean those damn filters!
6. Bathroom exhaust fan. Not sure why I’m seeing this pop up on other “summer prep” lists as you should ALWAYS run your exhaust fan during a shower, not just in warm weather. Moisture in the air will cause paint to peel in any season.
7. Insulation. Well, you should have done this in winter to keep the cold out. If you didn’t, then take care of it now to keep the heat out. Insulate, weather strip. Close it up, baby!
8. Check your screens. Those little mozzie bastards (or bitches) can get through the tiniest hole. Buy yourself a screen repair patch. No need to go all out, just fix those holes!
9. Speaking of insects. Those tiny ants always seem to show up out of nowhere in the summer when one crumb is left on the floor. Gotta keep clean, people!
10. The pool. Got one? When can we come over?