Home maintenance tips to help your home beat the heat

    The Queensland summer is notorious for its scorching temperatures and high humidity. Everyone needs to take special care in extreme weather, and it’s a good idea to stay indoors on hot days.

    Get your daily dose of vitamin D in the early morning cool sunshine and then head inside to catch up on a movie or enjoy a good book. Remember to drink lots of water to stay hydrated!

    How to keep your home cooler

    The summer months provide a perfect opportunity to identify and address common maintenance tasks - by doing so, your home will continue to be an enjoyable place to live.

    If you’re unsure how to safely carry out a project and for specialist jobs, it’s always a good idea to call in the experts.

    Our Home Care maintenance team has suggested some simple measures to help keep your home cooler and make summer more enjoyable:

    1. Service your air conditioner

    No one wants their air conditioner to malfunction when it’s most needed!

    If your air conditioner is in good working order it can cope better with high summer temperatures. Regularly cleaning or replacing air filters, removing any debris around the vents and wiping away dirt from the unit can help it work more effectively and last longer, keeping you cooler and helping you save money. Your user’s manual will include instructions on how to maintain your unit.

    2. Adjust and clean your fans

    Like air conditioners, ceiling and pedestal fans benefit from regular maintenance, especially during the summer months. This can be as simple as wiping clean the fan blades, and checking there are no wobbles or loose parts.

    Did you know many ceiling fans are designed to rotate differently depending on the season? If it feels like your fans are pushing hot air around your home rather than cooling it down, it could be that they are set to winter mode (which helps circulate heat in colder months).

    Switching fans to the regular summer mode will rotate the blades counter-clockwise. This will push air downwards and create a cooling breeze, and also draw heat away. Please get assistance to reach and clean ceiling fans.

    3.  Keep the cool air in and the heat out

    When you’ve cooled the air in your home, you don’t want it to escape. Seal gaps around doors and windows, and use draught excluders and weather strips to ensure the cool air can’t escape.

    Sometimes draught excluders, like the ‘snake’ type that are made from fabric filled with sand or rice, can be trip hazards; the ones that don’t come off the doors are ideal (although they may not be suitable for every door).

    Draft sealing is also an effective measure to block out heat flowing through gaps into your home, and prevents unwanted guests such as bugs and mosquitos. If you have unused fireplaces or pet doors, consider closing these to avoid draughts of hot air.

    4. Change your lightbulbs

    Incandescent lightbulbs produce a lot of heat, making it harder to cool down a home. If you’re still using them, replacing them with energy-saving bulbs could make you feel more comfortable (and save on energy costs!).

    5. Block out the sun

    To stop the sun’s heat from getting inside, consider installing external window coverings, such as awnings and roller shades, and block direct sunlight. Block out curtains can also effectively cut down the amount of sun coming in through your windows.

    If you have a green thumb, trees and shrubs in your outdoor space are both an attractive and effective longer-term solution to reducing the temperature inside your home.

    Afast-growing deciduous tree on the east and west sides will reduce solar heat being in direct contact with windows and roofs during summer, while letting in winter sun to warm your home.

    Shrubs planted or placed in pots under north facing windows can also absorb some of the heat and keep your home cooler.

    6. Consider covering, replacing or moving your clothesline

    On really hot days, you could use a drying rack on a veranda or patio. This will keep you out of the sun and still get the breeze through the washing. Clotheslines with covers are also available, and can be installed in an easy-access area.

    If you have identified any ‘beat the heat’ tasks that are applicable to your home, you may be able to access assistance through a program such as Home Assist Secure or Commonwealth Home Support Programme, or a Home Care Package. Get more information about home care support.

    If you rent your home, please check with your landlord first as some home maintenance tasks are the responsibility of the property owner.
      Posted 13/01/2021 in Seniors blog