ready to make the most of it? What should you be doing to prepare your home, inside and out? The right approach will help to keep it comfortable, prevent sun damage, and let you enjoy the heat without being unable to cool down.
Check your air conditioner
On the first really hot day of the year, the last thing you need is to discover that your A/C isn’t working. This isn’t just about bad luck. Dust and dirt can build up over the winter and get inside A/C units, and they can also suffer from not being used. If you don’t find out until it’s hot and you need to get a unit serviced, then you’ll have to wait in a queue with everyone else in the same situation. The smart thing to do is to test each unit you own by running it for a short time earlier in the year, listening for any odd noises, and taking note of any odd smells. If there is a problem, then you can then get it attended to in plenty of time.
Shade your windows
A lot of the reason why homes overheat is that windows are not properly managed. Hanging dark drapes can cause heat to build up behind them and come flooding in when they’re opened. They can also prevent heat from escaping at night. Fitting shutters for bay windows and other large panes lets you control heat more effectively. If you choose slatted ones, then you’ll still have plenty of light to see by on bright days if they’re fully closed, yet they’ll trap air, which acts as very effective insulation to keep out the heat. If you keep some rooms dark and cooler than others, then you can create a natural current of air through your home, which also makes it feel cooler.
Insulate your roofspace
Insulation isn’t just for keeping heat in but is also important for keeping it out. Because sunlight hits your roof first, this is the part of the house that will get hottest, and because hot air rises, upper rooms can become seriously uncomfortable even when lower ones feel alright. Fitting insulation will help to counter this. It can also prevent your water tank and pipes from heating up, helping to ensure that you can still get properly cold water out of the taps.
Consider painting your roof
In many African and European cities, roofs have traditionally been painted white. This isn’t practical with every roof type and it may conflict with regulations, depending on where you live. If you’re able to do it, however, then it can lower the temperature inside your home by as much as 4ºF simply by reflecting away heat. Studies have shown that when a lot of people do it, it can significantly lower the temperature of the air above whole towns and cities, reducing their contribution to climate change.
Protect wood from sun exposure
If there is exposed wood on the outside of your property, in beams or decking or window frames, then you’ll need to treat it in order to prevent it from getting dried out and damaged by the sun. This also makes it less vulnerable to catching light in the event of fire. The best products for this are easy to paint on and contain oils that strengthen the wood, supporting it from the inside, as well as sealing the surface with UV-repellent chemicals similar to the ones in sunblock.
Get out your solar gadgets
All the heat and light coming from the sun is free energy, and if you’re well organized, then you can harvest and use it. Solar panels and a good battery are the best way to go, but the cost of these is prohibitive for some people and not everyone has somewhere to put them. There are, however, lots of solar gadgets you can use, from toasters to nightlights, which don’t cost much to buy and can let you save on fuel for as long as the sunny weather lasts.
Get in some greenery
Bringing plants into your home is a cheap and efficient way to keep the air feeling fresh in summertime. It’s also a great way for you to enjoy the sense of natural abundance that summer brings. Many plants don’t like to be transported under stress, however, and they feel the heat like everyone else, so you should aim to do this as early in the season as possible.
With the right preparation, you’ll have a home that looks and feels beautiful throughout the summer, helping you to enjoy those long sunny days to the max.