As August drones on in McKinney, and we continue to look for ways to beat the heat, it’s important to remember to do the same for your hot property. Our homes and pools take a beating from unrelenting heat, just like we do. Read on to learn a few tips from the experts on how to cool your hot property down.
“When it gets this hot outside for this long, there is a lot of movement going on around your home’s foundation,” says Home Inspector, Lee Warren, of Prospect Inspectors, “It’s important to water around your foundation, 18 inches away from the house with a soaker hose for 15 to 20 minutes, 3 days a week. Make sure you regulate the moisture content, and water around, not under, which can cause bigger problems.”
Warren also notes that during unrelenting heat waves, a home’s central heat and air may have difficulty cooling the house. “My number one tip is to check and change your air conditioner’s filter on a regular basis. It’s the least expensive option, and I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep your air conditioner clean when the weather is like this.”
He also recommends, checking and correcting sealants and weather-stripping. “Various energy providers, such as TXU and Encore offer free programs where they will come out to check your home, then do the weather-stripping and sealing for you. I recommend you contact your utility company and see if they offer such a program. It is a federal government program that pays for this service.”For do-it-yourselfers, a tube of caulk and weather-stripping will certainly help.
Installing additional insulation into your attic space, will help as well, however, you might want to leave that to the professionals, or wait for a break in the weather to tackle this type of job, as attic spaces reach a dangerous 150 to 160 degrees. Attic space will also benefit from radiant barrier. The best radiant barrier, according to Warren, is a film nailed directly into the attic’s interior. Also available is a spray lining, which is applied directly to the roof decking and rafters.
“You will make up the difference monetarily in the first year alone,” says Warren of these energy saving, home cooling home improvements.
Another temperature dropping tip from Warren is to install solar screens. “When it gets this hot, thermal seals on windows may pop and fog and lose their energy efficiency. It may cost 80.00 to 100.00 per pane to replace. It might be more cost effective to go with solar screens.”
Tom Evans, owner of swimming pool service company Pegasus Pools offers a few tips to help your pool weather the heat:
• Check water level daily, even if you have an auto-fill. You can lose more than two inches a week in 100 degree weather.
• Don’t allow chlorine to drop to zero, even for one day. Keep chlorine level higher than normal, as algae can bloom quickly warm water. If you see algae, treat it right away.
• If equipment breaks, fix it promptly to keep pool running.
• The general rule of thumb is to run pool at least one hour a day for every 10 degrees of water temperature. That means 9-10 hours a day, during the daytime, to keep it sparkling clean.
• Help protect your pool retaining walls and deck from cracks by keeping the moisture content of the soil around your pool as consistent as possible. Dried soil will recede and can cause these structures to crack. Water enough to keep the soil moist – even if it means using a soaker hose.
• Unfortunately, there is little you can do to cool off your pool. You may drop the temperature slightly by running any water features for an hour or two during the coolest part of the day just before dawn. Just don’t hope for a miracle.
To learn more about how to help your pool beat the heat, contact Tom Evans of Pegasus Pools at 972-943-9946. To learn more about how to help your home beat the heat, contact Lee Warren of Propect Inspectors at 469-682-0341.
Story by Michele Stevens Bernard and Cindy Evans - TSB Staff Writers
Photos courtesy of Andy Newsom & Ideago