It’s here. There is no escaping it.
Summer time wreaks havoc on everything in the Phoenix area. When it gets so hot here, we all lose the desire to do any sort of house maintenance- inside or out! But is imperative as the Monsoons can arrive, seemingly without warning. These, of course, bring high winds, lots of dust, and torrential downpours. These and the even more sporadic micro-bursts can wreak havoc in any neighborhood and to any home. So to help avoid any issues with downed power lines, flooded yards, and destroyed vegetation, here are some basic tips to do at the beginning and occasionally during the summer months.
1. Landscaping – Trim trees that are near any structure. If they are young trees, secure them with some form of support. As a general rule, trim any vegetation away from the roof so that limbs do not fall and cause damage. Additionally, you do not want debris to settle on the roof, for it may prevent proper drainage.
2. Roof – Inspect your roof for any cracks, broken tiles, and condition of foam roof coating. Often during home inspections I see neglected roof maintenance. Neglecting simple upkeep can cause leaks especially in the severe rains and winds similar to what we experienced last week.
3. AC System – Have a local HVAC service company inspect your system to check the compressor refrigerant, coils, and the necessary components. In addition, changing the AC filter regularly will help keep the temperatures down. If your central air conditioner is more than 10 years old, your unit may not be functioning as efficiently as today’s standard SEER rating is 14 or higher. Today’s best air conditioners use 30% to 50% less energy to produce the same amount of cooling as air conditioners made in the mid-1970s. Even if your air conditioner is only 10 years old, you may save 20% to 40% of your cooling energy costs by replacing it with a newer, more efficient model.
4. Pool – Make sure to keep your pool chemicals balanced. In severe rain or wind, it is recommended to clean baskets, filters, backwash, and shock the pool if necessary. Also, make sure to wipe/clean the pool walls. In addition, keep large vegetation away so that debris does not drop into the pool. Make sure to test the chemicals every few days for Chlorine, PH, and Alkalinity levels. According to many pool maintenance experts, draining your swimming pool every 3-5 years is recommended due to TDS (total dissolved solids) and build up in the pool. This makes it difficult to hold the proper chemical balance and the pool water may appear cloudy. It is not recommended to drain the pool until cooler temperatures as a plaster pool can crack above 80 degrees.
5. Other considerations – Useful steps to help keep cool during the triple digit temperatures.
a. Use ceiling fans to keep the temperature cooler. Using ceiling fans will help with overall energy costs.
b. Solar Panels can last up to 30 years and may even protect your roof during severe weather. Lighting is most dangerous to the inverter, but this can be protected by a lighting arrester. Lightning arrestors and surge protectors are specifically designed to protect electronics. Solar panels are typically covered as part of the dwelling. For instance, if a roof is damaged by a storm or monsoon the home insurance provider may calculate the cost to repair the roof and the reconstruction of the existing panels.
c. Plant trees on a south facing portion of your home to provide shade cover. Both APS and SRP offers its customers FREE shade trees.
d. Use awnings or energy efficient solar window screens on both the south and west facing windows.
e. Use a programmable or a smart thermostat. These are great energy saving products which learns your behavior and can adjust temperatures throughout the day. In addition, while away on vacation it is easy to program from a remote location via phone app or web browser.
Did you know?
According to Energy Star, The average household spends more than $2,000 a year on energy bills – nearly half of which goes to heating and cooling. Homeowners can save about $180 a year by properly setting their programmable thermostats and maintaining those settings.
Be sure to contact Home Hazard Prevention for any of your personal or family safety needs. From mobile CPR training to car seat education to infant safety (and much more!), HHP is here to help! Remember, a complete safety program does not have to be expensive or time-consuming. As a group of professional firefighters, there is no one more qualified than us to help keep your family safe! (480) 719-1551 or BeSafe@HomeHazardPrevention.com