Yes, you asked for warmth when it was cold outside, but faith decided to be cruel and what you got was nothing short of hellishly hot. The scorching summer is well under way, and no matter where you are on our beautiful island, you’re probably wondering if there is any way you can make your home a bit cooler. Luckily, there are plenty of DIY projects you can take on this season to battle the heat and make everyday life a breeze until autumn strikes and brings fairer weather with it.
The summertime home maintenance projects we’ll cover today are not only meant to elevate your quality of life while the roads are melting outside, but also help you save pounds on your electricity bills – because energy and water consumption tend to go way up during summer. Here are the maintenance projects that will help you beat the summer heat.
The windows and their treatments
First things first, let’s try to prevent the environmental heat from penetrating into your home before you reach for your AC remote. You can try to cool your home with air conditioners and fans all day long, but as long as the window insulation is not there, these appliances will have to work overtime to maintain a certain “liveable” temperature in the interior. Needless to say, this is not a good way to minimise energy consumption.
If you’re on a budget, you can simply install window treatments that will block direct sunlight and prevent excess heat from seeping in. Ideally, though, you would replace your old windows with modern models, such as double-glazed windows, in order to prevent heat from reaching in and to retain the coolness of the interior throughout the day.
Dust and clean your AC
The next quick and easy project you can do on a lazy afternoon is to dust and clean all of your air conditioners. In all of the months that you haven’t used your AC systems, dust has accumulated on the inside and has probably cluttered the filters, making the AC quite unprepared to battle the summer heatwave efficiently and effectively. Of course, there are two ways to approach this task.
First, you can clean the AC on your own if you know what you’re doing. Open up the AC, take the filter out, and clean it. Don’t forget to dust inside the unit before putting the filter back. On the other hand, you can always call your AC technicians and have them take a look – they might discover problems with the unit that hinder its performance.
Pay special attention to the plumbing system
In all of your attempts and efforts to keep the interior and exterior of your home cool, maintaining your plumbing system might be the last thing on your mind. However, this is one of the most important projects, especially when summertime hits, as you tend to use more water on a daily basis. Whether you’re watering the lawn or filling up the pool, or if you’re taking longer showers, it’s imperative that your plumbing system is up to the task.
Start with the bathroom and fix every pending issue. Be sure to prevent and fix a blocked toilet as well in order to avoid over-flushing and needless water expenditure, especially now that water conservation is so important. Install a low-flow showerhead and put tap aerators throughout the household. In the back garden, have a professional take a look at your sprinkler system to ensure adequate water consumption.
Use landscaping to create a natural shade
Speaking of the back garden, one of the most rewarding things you can do to cool the exterior of your home (and by extension, the interior) is to tend to some smart landscaping. The key is to raise as much greenery as possible in order to create a natural shade that will cover the exterior of your home throughout the day, keep the environmental temperature down, and prevent heat accumulation. This is one of the best ways to support your home’s insulation. Now, most of the heat comes from the roof, so if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, consider raising a green roof as well!
Pest control and mould inspection
On a final note, keep in mind that there are two dangers that summer brings every year: pests and mould. Both can affect your quality of life significantly, so make sure to inspect your household for excess moisture and mould, and be sure to call the pest control for a thorough inspection as well.
Summer used to be fun. Nowadays though, with the rise of global warming, summers have become unbearable without the use of modern technology, and needless to say, families are struggling to stay cool. By taking these projects on, though, you should have no problem making everyday life a breeze no matter how hot it gets.
About the author: Mike Johnston is an avid freelance writer and blogger. He is a regular contributor to Smooth Decorator, and numerous other blogs and online magazines, where he writes about interior design, real estate, family, green living and other related and unrelated topics. Mike’s goal is to create insightful and compelling content that will help readers navigate through these vast and ever-changing fields.