Whether you’re a first-timer with a fresh set of keys or a veteran with a paid-down mortgage, summer home problems are guaranteed to dim the glow of the hottest season of the year. That is, unless you’re prepared to handle every curve ball the scorching days and nights are sending your way. One great and easy way to handle heat getting into your house is to limit the natural lighting through the windows. Amazing options from Factory Direct Blinds makes it easy to install, and they look great in every room.
Here are seven common summer household problems and exactly what you should do about them.
High Humidity Both Inside and Out
Humidity, or moisture in the air, is created every time we take a bath, cook dinner and exhale. You want your home to be a little humid—think: 45 percent. Humidity becomes a problem when it exceeds 50 percent inside your home. It can create moisture and condensation issues, cause mold and mildew growth and a host of other issues.
Fix it! Adding a dehumidifier to steamy interior spaces is a relatively inexpensive way to tackle this summer household problem without going on a spending spree. While you can have a whole-home dehumidifier system installed, that’s a pricey solution that you probably don’t need if your high humidity situation is limited to a room or two.
Massive Utility Bills
Running air conditioners, filling pools, watering yards and cooking up a storm from Memorial Day to Labor Day can wreak havoc on your utility bills. With costs tending to skyrocket when the temperature soars, this can be a serious problem in many different areas of the country.
Fix it! Improving your home’s energy efficiency will pay dividends down the road. One easy way to lower your utility bills without spending boat loads of money is to add more insulation to areas like an attic or garage. You can also insulate your windows using caulk, weather stripping and even energy-efficient window coverings, like cellular shades.
Too-Hot Dog Day Afternoons
Solar gain is caused by radiation—yikes—that enters your home through open or uncovered windows and causes the interior temperature to rise. It’s most prevalent in the afternoons in rooms with western and southern exposure. And, while it can be a year-round problem, it’s most noticeable in the summer because that’s when the sun is closest to the Earth.
Fix it! Window shades for sunny rooms are a great, cost-effective way to nearly eliminate solar gain. Best of all, you don’t have to sacrifice aesthetics or natural lighting to achieve it. Solar shades are engineered to filter out the short-wave radiation that heats your rooms. You can even buy automatic shades that can be programmed to raise or lower at different times of day according to the movement of the sun.
Overtaxed Air Conditioning Systems
Your HVAC system is tasked with keeping you and your family cool and comfortable. It’s built for it, after all, but there are some conditions that can make it nearly impossible for your AC unit to keep up with your cooling needs. These include high humidity inside your house, extreme heat waves, solar gain and turning thermostats way, way down.
Fix it! If you notice that your air conditioning unit is having trouble cooling your home to the temperature you set it, resist the urge to fiddle with the thermostat. Instead, have a repair person who specializes in HVACs come out to service it and make sure everything is working properly.
From teeny ants on kitchen counters to cockroaches sneaking their way around your baseboards, the summer months are awash with six-legged creatures we’d really rather not encounter. Why? Most bugs tend to hibernate when it’s cold outside. So, when summer hits, they’re ready to rock ‘n’ roll—sigh.
Fix it! The best preemptive strike against insects is keeping your house spic and span. Ants are attracted to sweet and greasy foods, so keep these wrapped up tightly and refrigerated and be sure to scrub your countertops to rid them of enticing crumbs. Roaches like to hang out in cluttered spaces. A daily tidy can keep them (mostly) out of your hair.
Clicking Ceiling Fans
Even though ceiling fans can help your home feel warmer during the winter months, most of us tend to hit the “off” switch when we make the leap from AC to heat. Once we turn them back on come spring or summer, they can sound a little…different. A knocking sound, a constant click—these fan noises are headache-inducing and, luckily, a cinch to solve.
Fix it! For this fix, all you need is a step ladder and a screwdriver. Ceiling fan noises are most often caused by loose fan blades or rattling screws. Turn your fan off (and put a piece of tape over the switch so no one accidentally turns it back on while you’re tinkering). Then, systematically work your way around the fan, tightening screws as you go. While you’re up there, take a damp rag to the blade. You’ll be surprised by how much dust accumulates on a fan!
Scorched Grass in the Front Yard
Itching to own the home with the greenest lawn on the block? It’s important to care for your grass just as you would any other plant in or around your home. Depending on the type of grass you’re growing and the climate you live in, you will need to meet certain nutrition requirements for it to look as lush as possible. This TLC includes your weekly mowing. Cutting your grass too short can kill it dead faster than anything else.
Fix it! Like damaged hair, there’s no way to bring sunburnt grass back to life. With fresh seeds, fertilizer and water, though, you can encourage new blades to grow. Take care of them during the summer by raising the blades of your lawn mower. Yes, your grass will be a little bit longer, but it will also be alive.
Sure, your summer days won’t be all popsicles and pool parties. And, yep, the steamiest time of the year can bring a slew of household problems that are anything but fun to deal with. But if you go in prepared, you’ll know exactly how to handle any issue that crops up without losing your cool.