Summer is coming: how to prepare the house for the heat - ForumDaily
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Summer is coming: how to prepare your home for the heat

Extreme heat can be dangerous if you're not prepared. It's important to prepare your home for heat waves to avoid diseases associated with summer temperatures. Lifehacker.

Photo: IStock

Here are 5 things you should do to prepare for the heat in your area.

Insulate your windows and doors

You may be used to insulating your windows to keep warm in the winter, but in the summer, insulation matters too. To make sure you get as little heat from the outside as possible, you should cover your windows with light-colored curtains, reflective film, insulation, window reflectors, or homemade window reflectors.

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To make your own reflectors, you can buy (or reuse) the shiny cold storage bags that come with food or grocery delivery. Cut them to fit the window and secure with masking tape. This type of insulation, especially for the sunniest windows, can help bring down the temperature in your home.

Also, check the seals on windows and doors and replace any damaged seals. If you have old windows, you can also try using a window winterization kit to seal them up temporarily (although keep in mind that this will prevent you from opening them to ventilate the room at night or in the mornings when the air is cooler).

Keep the air cool

If you don't have a central air conditioner and don't want big energy bills, put a window air conditioner in one room that you can isolate from the rest of your home. According to, using fans as your only cooling device won't help you much during extreme heat events. The breeze from the fan may make you feel more comfortable, it won't lower your body temperature much, leaving you vulnerable to the heat.

If the temperature outside exceeds 36 degrees, the fan itself can increase your chances of heatstroke by making you feel colder than you really are. To make a small space more comfortable, you can also use a floor cooler to lower the temperature.

Insulate your attic

If you have an uninsulated attic, insulating it before the heat sets in can help keep you cool. While this is a larger venture that will set you back $1500, it is well worth the price given that it will save you on your energy bills in the long run.

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Improved attic insulation can save you about 15% on utility bills in both winter and summer.

Find a local cooling station

If you don't have an air conditioner or backup plan, make sure you know where the nearest cooling station is. While you may not need to use it, having an emergency plan in place will make the rescue much faster. Most municipalities or counties publish their emergency plans on their websites. Many cities are opening places like public libraries, schools and convention centers to serve as cooling centers in case of an emergency.

Check your air conditioner

If you have a central air conditioning system, you should check it out before extreme heat. Inspect the AC coils (located externally on your AC unit) to make sure they are clean and free of weeds and vegetation.

You should also check your HVAC filters located inside, often in a basement or utility room.

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Filters tend to wear out if the AC unit is operated at full power for a long period of time, so it is recommended to replace the filter now. If you're not sure which filter is right for your system, you can bring the old filter with you to the store, or search by the numbers on the side of the filter if you're buying it online.

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