Whether or not summer is your favorite season, there’s one thing we can all agree on: Your home needs to be in the right condition to handle the heat. If it’s not? Well, it might cost you (and the environment). Ahead, seven things you can do to help.
7 Ways to Ensure Your Home Can Handle the Summer Heat
1. Service Your Air Conditioner
Don’t wait for the rise in temperature to learn that your AC unit isn’t working to its full potential. Most importantly, you’re going to want to replace the filters as these trap things like bacteria, dust and pet dander. Fiberglass filters should be changed every 30 days and pleated air filters should be changed every three to six months. However, you may need to replace them more often depending on the size of your home and the air quality of where you live (and if you have a lot of pets and/or live with someone with severe allergies). If the unit still needs some fine-tuning after that, call in a professional to get the job done.
2. Utilize Programmable Thermostats
While we’re on the topic of air conditioning, don’t make the mistake of letting it run all day long. Not only will that rack up your utility bill and put a lot of strain on the unit, but you’ll be wasting a ton of energy. Instead, rely on programmable thermostats so you can control the temperature and times of function without even thinking about it. The logic is simple: Let it run cooler when you’re home and warmer when you’re not.
3. Keep Pests At Bay
Creepy crawlies in the house? No, thanks. Keep a can of Raid® Ant and Roach with Essential Oils at the ready to kill over 20 kinds of household pests. It’s the fastest plant-based roach killer on the market made with active ingredients like lemongrass extract and geraniol synthesized from pine trees*, so it’s safe for use around kids and pets (when used as directed). Simply shake the can, hold it upright and point directly toward the insect to snuff it out on contact. Easy as that.
*Ingredients found in lemongrass oil and geraniol may cause allergies for consumers with sensitive skin.
4. Check The Windows And Doors
To really keep the inside cool and free of pests, do a quick survey of window seals and door thresholds. To detect air leaks, shut a window or door on a dollar bill and see how easily it comes out: If it pulls without dragging, chances are there’s a leak. You can also hold a lit candle or incense stick up to any entryways and see if the flame/smoke wavers. If there are any spots that need attention, replace the caulking and stripping.
5. Purify The Air Naturally
In the summer, the air can feel stale and thick, which isn’t fun for anyone. Rather than spending money on expensive electronic air purifiers, go back to nature and invest in some indoor plants. In addition to looking pretty, they’ll help remove pollutants like formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene and carbon monoxide. Some of our favorite purifying plants include pothos, snake plants, ferns, spider plants, palms, aloe vera, rubber trees…we can keep going.
6. Rotate Your Ceiling Fans
To increase airflow throughout your home—especially in stuffy rooms—we recommend installing ceiling fans. The key here is to make sure it operates counterclockwise to push the air down against the walls, which will create a wind-chill effect. And remember: Only keep them on when you’re home or using that room of the house.
7. Spruce Up The Backyard
After all of your hard work prepping the house for a nice summer, make sure you’re able to actually enjoy it for yourself! Take a moment to think about how you’ll spend most of your time in the yard and go from there. If you’re keen on grilling, tend to your barbecue so it’s ready to go, or if you enjoy taking your morning cup of coffee in the sunshine, invest in a weather-resistant patio set. We’re partial to fire pits because we love a good s’mores.