The number of summer days that far exceed 30°C are on the rise in Edmonton and summer days and nights are starting to feel a lot more tropical.
Not only is heat uncomfortable, but it can amplify existing health conditions. That's why when the summer heat hits, it’s important to properly prepare your home - both to ensure your family’s health as well as the condition of your home.
Keep reading to find out how you can prepare your home for Edmonton's hot summer weather.
8 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Hot Weather
1. Adjust Your Ceiling Fans
Your ceiling fans are designed to rotate in different directions depending on the season. In the winter months, a clockwise rotation will help distribute risen heat. In the summer, you should run your fan counter-clockwise to draw heat away from the room.
If you don’t already have ceiling fans, they are cost very little to run compared to an air conditioning unit and may be enough to keep your home sufficiently cool.
2. Do Some Air Conditioner Maintenance
For those who do have an air conditioner, now is the time to do some maintenance and make sure everything is in working order. The last thing you want is for your AC to stop working in the middle of a hot summer! If you have a preventative home maintenance contract, this may be included in your package.
Replace your air filters, clear any debris on or around your vents or exhausts, and clean off any dirt from the main unit outside. Dust and debris clogs put extra strain on your AC system and prevent it from cooling as well as it should.
3. Install a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats are designed to allow you to set automatic temperature controls to ensure your home stays at a comfortable temperature while being more energy-efficient (and saving you money). Some “smart” programmable thermostats will automatically adjust the temperature for you while others you do have to program manually.
Instead of putting strain on your HVAC unit by turning it off when you’re not home, you can program it to maintain a higher temperature when you’re gone but kick in and cool down your space right before you get home.
4. Don’t Use Heat Generating Appliances
When Edmonton's weather becomes particularly hot and unbearable, try to avoid using your oven and stove. These appliances will only contribute to the temperature in your home. Instead, opt to use a microwave, air fryer, or barbecue. These appliances generate less heat and still allow you to cook up tasty summer dishes!
You can further reduce the heat in your home by replacing any standard incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs that produce less heat. Also, keep your computer, TV, and other electrical devices off when they are not in use.
5. Install Heat-Resistant Window Coverings
About 76% of the sunlight that falls on your standard double-pane windows enters your home as heat. Window coverings can decrease the temperature in your home as well as reduce the cost of running your air conditioning unit.
There are many interior options when it comes to heat-resistant window coverings such as insulated cellular shades, window quilts, roller shades, slat-type blinds, curtains/drapes, and window films.
6. Check Your Attic’s Insulation
Your attic is one area in which summer heat can increase drastically and impact your entire house. This is why it’s important that your attic is properly insulated.
Take a look at the insulation in your attic or have a professional conduct an inspection. It’s possible that extra insulation can simply be added on top of the exiting material.
7. Prevent Pests From Moving In
Many pests, such as bugs and insects, hibernate or migrate during the colder months - some even decide that your home is a great place to hunker down for the winter. You may not notice they are there since they tend to camp out inside your walls and attic. Once the weather starts to warm up, they will start to make their presence known.
To prevent pests from moving in, make sure your home is properly sealed. Check the caulking around your windows and doors and fix any drafts or gaps with caulking or new weather stripping.
You can also spray the perimeters of your home, both inside and out, with a pesticide. Just read the warning labels to ensure that the product is safe around kids and pets - or make your own natural DIY repellant.
8. Protect Your Home From Water Damage
Edmonton summers aren't all about sun and heat - they also bring the dreaded and sometimes dangerous summer storm. With wet weather comes the potential for flooding and water damage to your home.
Make sure your home doesn’t suffer water damage by checking your basement for cracks or leaks. You can also check your ceiling for early signs of leaking such as dark water stains or peeling paint.
Build up dirt or grates outside your home to direct water away from the foundation. Cleaning out your gutters is a good idea, as this will help rainwater drain away from your home.
Home insurance policies may cover water damage from rain due to perils such as an ice dam causing your roof to collapse, but it's important to consult your broker and ensure you have the right coverage. Rainwater that results in a flood is typically not covered, so it’s important to take proactive measures to ensure that your home is sealed up tight.
Protect Your Home This Summer
Summer should be a time to enjoy the beautiful weather and not worry about the potential risks the heat can pose to your home.
Follow the above tips to ensure that your home is safe and sound in Edmonton this summer!
If you have any questions about seasonal damages that may be covered under your home insurance policy, don’t hesitate to contact ARC Insurance today!