It’s that time of year again. The Arizona summer is quickly approaching, and now is the time to start preparing your home for Summer in Tucson. By taking steps to prepare your home before the heat wave arrives, you can save yourself from costly repairs and suffering.
Here are some of our top tips for preparing for summer
Living in the Sonoran Desert means constant use of the air conditioner during the summer. Since emergency air conditioning repair can cost a fortune when the heat is its worst, precautionary steps is extremely helpful.
Early spring is a great time to have your air conditioner inspected and repaired (if necessary) in Tucson. Have a professional come out and inspect the refrigerant levels, thoroughly clean the coils, and heck for any worn hoses or leaks.
Debris and untamed grass, shrubbery, or weeds around the outside condensing unit can cause it to malfunction. Many Tucson HVAC companies offer annual service plans that cover tune-ups and filter change. Most of these companies offer a discount to members for any repairs on the unit as well.
You may easily believe everything is working properly with your unit because the temperature is comfortable. By taking these extra precautions, you are well on your way to preparing your home for the summer in Tucson AZ.
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Ceiling Fans Are Your Best Friend
When July and August arrive, Tucson is not a city where we can get away with only using ceiling fans to cool our homes down. However, ceiling fans can certainly help save energy costs by limiting air conditioning use in the morning.
Setting the blades to revolve counterclockwise forces the hot air near the ceiling to mix with the cooler air below therefore leveling out the room temperature. Using ceiling fans allow Tucson residents to reduce the use of their A/C unit without sacrificing comfort.
Proper Plant Care
Not only is it important to take special care of your plants’ health throughout the brutal summer, but some may also become fire hazards if not dealt with properly. To keep your lawn or garden in tip-top shape, be sure to water early in the morning, giving your plants a good supply of water before they face the deadly heat.
Applying mulch to the plants in your flower bed will keep them cooler when the sun is shining directly on them. There are quite a few plants that thrive in the Arizona summer: Sunflowers, Summer Snapdragons, and Lantanas are great choices to plant for your summer yard. Check your drip system to make sure none of the drippers have popped out of place, and be sure to have any desert growth trimmed away from structures, as this can be a horrible fire hazard.
How Old are Your Windows?
Spring is the time to inspect the seals of your windows. Look for signs of dry rot or damage and re-caulk or replace damaged weather stripping if necessary. This will keep cool air from slipping out and hot air from slipping in your home.
Windows are your home’s greatest opportunity for improving energy efficiency. By fixing drafts and gaps (even the tiny ones let air in and out) you will reduce the heat flowing into your house. Energy-efficient windows, such as Dual Pane windows, go a long way in cutting down your power bill during the summer.
Other ways to cool your home are: reflective film, roller shades, and sun-blocking window screens. If your windows face west, switch to double or triple-layered curtains backed with insulation. Efficacious window coverings have been shown to reduce heat up to 77% according to the Department of Energy. Plus, strategically planting trees or large bushes outside of windows can go a long way in keeping your home at a comfortable temperature.
Check Your Roof
Whether you hire a professional or do it yourself, Be sure to check out the condition of your roof before the summer heat takes over. A simple look at your roof can disclose minor problems. Inspect your shingles and flashing, as misaligned, cracked, and missing shingles easily allow water to seep into your home.
Roof flashing is the metal pieces, typically galvanized steel that directs water away from areas of the roof where the roof plane meets surfaces such as a dormer, effectively keeping water from exuding in your house. Also, inspect for cracks in the caulk around skylights and pipes.
Although chimneys are not very common in Tucson, for those with one be sure to inspect the joints between bricks and stones to ensure that no pieces have come loose or fallen out. Plus, you should check for any growth of vegetation as these can all be signs of water issues.
One of the best energy savers is painting your roof white. Energy costs drop drastically when roofs are painted white due to the light color essentially bouncing heat and light back into the atmosphere versus into your home.
Keep Out Unwanted Guests
Unfortunately, because of the unbearable temperatures outside, during the summer many critters choose your cool, comfortable house to call their home. With temperatures well over 100 degrees, everything from ants to rats are searching for a break from the merciless Southern Arizona summer.
Protect your home against unwanted guests by covering any holes that are larger than a quarter-inch wide. Closely examine the caulking around windows and doors. By re-caulking your windows and doors you can prevent insects from crawling into your home. Be sure your outside trash bins are tightly sealed to prevent raccoons and other pests from sneaking in and making a huge mess while they graze on your trash.
In addition to sealing in the holes, it is also beneficial to hire a reputable pest control company to spray the inside and outside to protect from insects, scorpions, and spiders.
Arizona summers can be agonizing. During the summer Tucsonians spend the majority of the time in their home, so it is very important to make sure everything is running properly and dealt with before the blazing heat arrives.