In today’s world, everyone tends to look at everything they do through a lens of safety and protection from any resurging effects of the pandemic. Of course, Americans have their own views about what constitutes safety best practices out in public. But what about in your home?
As we head into summer, you’ll likely need to gear up for some house prep and maintenance to make sure you and your family stay cool, comfortable, and safe. We’ll help by offering three key areas to consider. Tap into these suggestions to protect yourself, your family, and your home through the summer season.
1. Starting with the Mechanical
To protect your home throughout the impending summer heat, it might be a good idea to start with the mechanical components. Consider bringing in any appropriate service technicians to ensure your home’s equipment is operating soundly. And some of these tips can help reduce the risks of airborne contaminants, as well.
Air Conditioner Service
Regardless of how old or new the air conditioning unit is, it’s best to have it serviced twice each year. Before the summer gets too hot, have a professional inspect it to ensure everything works. Changing filters, cleaning components, and checking ductwork will help you determine any areas of repair or replacement. You don’t want to wait until you have a unit failure and a costly service call over the weekend. Instead, be proactive and keep your AC units healthy to keep your family cool.
Airflow throughout your home can be a complex system. Pumping cool air into your house will be a priority during the summer. But proper ventilation also means having clear paths for moisture to be removed from the air to help avoid unnecessary condensation or fungal growth. Consider checking the airflow throughout your home and look for key areas of moisture intrusion or concern. Bathroom exhaust fans, kitchen range fans, obstructed return vents can all contribute to the ventilation quality. And remember, too much moisture circulating around the house can become a magnet for airborne contaminants.
It’s a good time to clean the blades of any ceiling fans and wipe away any lingering winter dust. There are fan blade filters you can affix to the blades, as well, to help capture dust, allergens, and germs. You’ll be surprised how quickly they collect debris. It’s also recommended that for the most comfort during the summer, fans should switch to spin counter-clockwise, pushing cold air downward into the living spaces.
2. Energy Efficiency & Insulation Efforts
Before the mercury rises, consider any energy efficiency efforts and insulation conditions. Look for ways to keep the cool air inside and prevent heat intrusion. You’ll find these suggestions can be helpful for your health and your wallet, too.
Check your attic spaces to inspect the condition of your insulation. During the winter, critters and insects can sometimes find nooks and crannies to call home, disrupting your insulation coverage. Also, check any basements and crawl spaces to identify gaps that might need filling. Insulating your home will keep all that air-conditioned air from leaving. And it will prevent the summer humidity from penetrating.
Window Treatments & Seals
You can have all the insulation you want. But if your door jams or windows are improperly sealed, you’ll be losing all that valuable, cool air. Weatherstripping can be an easy DIY project. And there are many types of doorway draft guards at your local retailer or on Amazon. Be sure to take whatever steps necessary, including replacement, to ensure your home safely keeps the summer breezes from penetrating your cool, dry home.
Curtains & Daylighting
Another quick and simple way to keep your home cool and comfortable involves learning how to use and block the sunlight to improve your space. For example, consider darkening curtains for those rooms facing the intense afternoon sun. Use lighter, more transparent fabrics in more shaded areas to make use of the natural light. But don’t forget. Throughout the summer, you’ll want to wash drapes and curtains since they can trap airborne allergens.
3. COVID-19 Specific Safety Steps
Protecting your home from the sun’s deadly rays is one thing. But there are also some safety considerations this summer related to ongoing mitigation due to the pandemic. Here are some ideas homeowners suggest applying to reduce the risks of any resurging virus threats.
Social Distancing with Guests and Visitors
What you do in your own home is your business. But be mindful of any guests, either acquaintances or close family. You might have a surprise visit from someone that makes you feel uncertain. Keep your furniture spaced apart, in case you have to sit down and visit with someone unexpected, and still be socially distanced.
Offering Sanitizers & Masks Whenever Needed
To better prepare yourself and your family, it can be helpful to keep hand sanitizers and extra masks handy. Keep full reserves of sanitizers in the foyer for those first returning home. Bathroom and kitchen common areas are all great spaces, too. And have extra masks handy should you get unexpected guests who may require additional protections.
Routine Cleaning of High Traffic Surfaces
Part of keeping your home safe involves cleaning high traffic surfaces. While no one really has the time or wants to embark on additional cleaning, surface cleansing doesn’t have to be a chore. Keep disinfectant products on hand for quick use on door handles and countertops. Encourage everyone in the family to disinfect after themselves or on a daily schedule. It’s easy to forget sometimes about washing hands or disinfecting. Cleansing surfaces routinely throughout the home will help reduce the risks of viral or bacterial contact.
This home safety list is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of protecting your home and family this summer. Hopefully, you’ll be inspired to take whatever steps you deem necessary to reduce any risks from COVID-19, as well as explore new ways to keep cool over the next few months. And as always, W3LL can be your trusted partner in wellness with the help you need to enroll and understand health insurance in the Marketplace.