June 11th, 2019 10:35 AM by Katelyn Mountjoy
Every season brings along its own difficulties and obstacles pertaining to keeping your house in good shape… especially summer. In NC the humidity is INSANE. I mean seriously, sometimes I feel like the outside is the equivalent of taking a shower. This heat, humidity & sun can lead to some drastic damage to your home and yard. Check out these few useful tips to keep your home in shape during the hottest time of the year.
1) Reverse Your Ceiling Fan(s)
In the winter & fall, your ceiling fan is supposed to turn clockwise –
in order to pull the cool air up to mix with the warm air above (because heat rises). When this happens, then the fan pushes that new warm air out of the sides of the blades keeping the temperature stable. In the summer, remember to reverse the direction of your fan (there should be a button on the side of the motor above the blades) - When you do this, the fan blades should then turn counter-clockwise, pushing the cool air back down creating a nice breeze.
2) Clean/Replace The AC Filter
This is a very crucial tip, not only to help keep your home cool, but keep your air clean. Every house with an Air Conditioner has a filter that should be replaced every month at the LEAST – especially if it is running at an all-time high. This is a super simple chore! All you have to do is purchase the new filter (around $6), then replace the old one with the new clean one. If you are lucky enough to have the nice filters that last longer, you may only need to replace it around every 3 months. Remember - replacing these filters in a timely manner not only keeps your house more clean but provides you with better quality air!
3) Examine The Washing Machine
I know what you’re thinking… yes, even your washing machine needs maintenance every now and then. When you have a break between loads of laundry or when your washer is not in use, do yourself a huge favor to your clothes and nose by inspecting the seal between the drum and door opening. In this area, it is super common for soil buildup and stains to spread without being seen. This gunk can start to smell really stinky and can even create dirty marks on your clothes from the dirt deposits. If you see any buildup of this sort, you can easily clean it with a gallon of warm water mixed with ¾ cup of chlorine bleach. Wipe the area with the solution after mixing & let it sit for about 5 minutes. After this, wipe dry with a paper towel or cloth, & let it air dry (leaving the washer door open for awhile). I can already smell the freshness!
4) Insect Prevention 101
Insects are COLD blooded. This means they can’t regulate their body temperatures on their own – that is why you don’t see many bugs out during the fall & winter. Some of the most common pests that thrive during the summer months are flies, mosquitos, bees, wasps & hornets.
There are actually many ways to prevent each of these pests, but I won’t go into too much detail – ill stick with the basics!
First things first, do the small things (to your actual home) to prevent the bugs from getting inside. These include:
Starting out with these 3 steps will help more than you know. When you inspect your house with the mind of an insect, you will be surprised at how many ways they are actually able to get inside!
Next, take these measures to bring prevention to the next level:Obvioulsy you can buy bug reppellents at a store that are targeted for specific pests, but here are some natural solutions which can be useful inside & outside the home. Pungent-smelling plants can ward off insects, like mint & rosemary. Also, lemongrass and geraniums contain Citronella Oil, which bugs despise! Use it to your advantage!
Have you ever heard of integrated pest management?! This concept refers to fighting insects with their natural enemies. Birds, spiders, bats & geckos are all natural enemies of insects. So keep this in mind next time you are trying to ‘shoo’ that songbird away from your flowers.
Last tip - insects thrive in dark, warm, damp areas - especially mosquitos. When you are trying to keep the bugs away, be sure to keep the moisture down as much as you can inside your home. This means keeping the counters wiped down, making sure leaks are fixed & clogged gutters are cleared. Also, make sure spare food particles are scarce by taking out the trash more frequently, cleaning dirty dishes right away & sweeping leftover crumbs off the floors to prevent bugs from finding food sources inside.
It is typically best to water in the early evening. This is the time when the plants & grass most likely are not in direct sunlight, and also allows enough time for the plants to soak up the water before nightfall. Also, less water is able to evaporate than during mid-day when it’s the hottest it will be outside. Plants can sufficiently be supplied with plenty of water before the next day’s heat. If you would rather water early in the morning, that is perfectly fine too - just make sure it is before sunrise or around that time because as soon as the sun goes up the water will start to evaporate in these hot summer days!http://theconversation.com/the-best-time-to-water-your-plants-during-a-heatwave-99244
6) Avoid Too Much Humidity
Humidity isn’t just outside, its inside too. Make it minimal by remembering to keep surfaces dry. For example, make sure to dry your sink & counter after washing dishes, brushing your teeth & showering. When left to ‘dry out’ sometimes this doesn’t happen and water droplets can turn to mold or residue which leaves nasty buildup between tiles and shower corners. If you already do this, but the buildup is still happening, there may be a problem with your AC unit. Typically AC units in homes have features to eliminate humidiy, but it could be possible these features are not working properly or even broken. If this is the case, call Palmetto and we can refer you for the best maintenance you can get!
Hoping these tips help keep your home dry and bug free during the summer. Many hot days are still to come!