With summer now well and truly upon us, it’s time to start preparing your home for the heat if you haven’t already done so.
Here are eight ways to ensure your home is best set up for a comfortable and safe summer.
Update your bedding
It’s time to get rid of the heavy lumpy doona and replace it with lighter layers of breathable sheets.
Avoid synthetic materials and try to stick to natural fibres which breathe easier and make for more comfortable sleeping.
You should also try to wash your linens more frequently than you would over the cooler months – once a week is a good rule of thumb.
Check your air conditioning
Ensure the filters and vents of your air conditioning unit are clean so it’s not circulating polluted air throughout your home. Also ensure lamps, TVs and other heat producing appliances are kept away from the unit.
This will interfere with the thermostat, making it believe it’s hotter than it actually is. The air conditioner will then work harder for longer, giving you a bigger electricity bill.
Also check for cracks or leaks in your walls where hot air could be entering from outside – this will make your house harder to cool.
It’s a good idea to get your air conditioning unit checked out by a professional every year or so to ensure it’s in top condition and won’t break on you mid-summer. As per Murphy’s Law, you can guarantee that if your unit is going to fail it will be during a heatwave.
Prepare the pool
Before Christmas hits and all your relatives come over to cool off with afternoon by the pool ensure it’s ready to go.
Make sure the pool is clean, filters are functioning properly, chemicals and PH levels are in balance and you have enough chemicals in stock to keep it going. And don’t be caught out – there are quite a lot of regulations every pool owner must follow, and for fair enough reasons.
Ensure your pool is compliant, brush up on water safety and enjoy your pool worry free this summer.
Learn more about pool compliance.
Clean your BBQ
One of the best parts of living in Australia is a barbeque with loved ones on a balmy evening. Prepare for entertaining season by giving your barbeque a good clean and making sure it’s working properly.
Also make sure there’s enough gas in your tank so you’re not caught out half way through cooking your snags.
To clean your barbeque, disconnect the gas and disassemble the barbeque according to manufacturer instructions. Clean it thoroughly with soapy water. Pay special attention to the grill using a hard-wire brush to get rid of any grime and build up. Rinse with hot water and dry with cloth or paper towel.
Once it’s clean, dry and reassembled, heat the barbeque up and let it run for about 30 minutes. Let it cool fully and wipe the grates with a thin layer of cooking oil. Wipe off with paper towel until there is no grime coming off. Heat again for another 30 minutes and then leave to cool.
Keep critters at bay
Living in Australia, we’re used to finding the odd creepy crawly in our home. But those scorching summer days seem to stir them and coax them out of their hiding places, especially cockroaches who thrive in hot conditions.
Ensuring your house is clean is a good way to prevent pests, but also consider getting your home professionally sprayed if you’re having issues. Repair any cracks or gaps where they could be entering.
One of the biggest nuisances over summer are mosquitos. Stock up on citronella candles to keep them at bay, ensure the insect screens on your doors and windows are intact and clear away underbrush around trees and shrubs, where they like to hang out.
Prepare your home for bushfires
If there’s one thing you should do religiously every summer, it is making your home bush fire ready.
The NSW Rural Fire Service recommends cleaning your gutters so they’re leaf and debris free, repairing damaged or missing roof tiles, enclosing any areas under your house, clearing up fallen leaves and debris around your property, keeping lawns short and gardens maintained, and fitting seals around windows and doors to eliminate any gaps.
These precautions will help your home better resist embers, or if your house does fall victim to a bushfire, they will help fire fighters control the fire better and impose less risk to neighbouring homes.
Finally make sure your insurance is up to date and covers your home and its contents in the case of a fire. Also check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure they are fully functional.
Give plants extra TLC
Most plants will require more water in summer and if you live further up north, they’ll need some extra care and attention to get through the heat. Some varieties will also need to be fertilised over the summer months.
Check your watering/ sprinkler system to ensure you can maintain your plants sufficiently without wasting water.
Make the most of ceiling fans
If you have ceiling fans in your home, a simple trick to maximise their efficiency is to set the blades to rotate counter clockwise.
This will force air downwards and create a stronger draught. It also forces the hot air near the ceiling to mix with the cooler air below, which levels the overall temperature to make your house cooler sooner.