Help your home survive the heat!
It’s Texas and it’s July—almost August—of course it’s hot. What else do we expect? This week, though, the weather promises to be HOT.
Ouch. I’m tired of it and I know anyone who works outdoors is worn out by it. Plus our yards, plants, and animals are suffering, too. Here’s a tall glass of iced tea—do you want sugar with that? Come on in and enjoy the breeze from the ceiling fan and read a few of these tips on how to help your home survive the heat…
Install a programmable thermostat. If your home is empty most of the day, program the A/C system to run at a higher temp…say 80 or 82 degrees. Set the program to drop to a lower temp about a half hour before anyone arrives home. If you can, keep the temperature in the upper 70s. If you get too warm, step outside for fifteen minutes or so…the house will be infinitely cooler when you come back in.
To further help your A/C system, run a ceiling fan on a moderate speed in whatever room you will be in. The fan stirs air over your skin making you cooler, so you A/C system doesn’t have to work as hard to keep you cool.
By the way, when was the last time you cleaned the air filter on your system? Help it run more smoothly by making that a regular part of home maintenance.
Keep watering the foundation of your home. If you don’t have an automatic sprinkler system, lay soaker hoses about six inches from the foundation. Each week soak each side of the house for several hours at night. If you do have a sprinkler system make sure the heads are working near the foundation. The clay soils most of us are ‘blessed’ with shrink and crack as they dry causing your foundation to shift. Foundation issues are no fun.
Inside, keep windows covered. This is one I can’t seem to do because I love watching the birds and plants from my office. We do invest in good blinds to keep out direct sunlight.
When fall finally rolls around, plant some tall shrubs or trees in strategic places to shield your home from the sun.. We planted Natchez crepe myrtles along our home’s west side several years ago. It took three or so years for them to truly shade the brick, but when they did, we noticed how much cooler that end of the house was. Great for our electric bill and pretty, too. Plus, crepe myrtles lose their leaves in the fall so the sun can warm that brick wall. A double win for our heating and cooling costs.
As the weather cools, consider whether a new exterior paint job is in order. Light colors reflect heat. If your home has a dark, dark roof and dark trim, consider lightening up the color scheme before next summer.
You can survive the heat. You can also help your home survive the heat, too. In the meantime, do you need a refill on that iced tea? Just keep remembering…October will be here before we know it.