How to endure extreme temperatures and protect your investments at the same time.
Whether you live in the property you own or rent it out, as a property owner you have the responsibility to ensure that the extremes of weather do not create problems. In this case, we’re talking about the oppressive, ‘dog days’ of summer, and not necessarily limited to Texas and the South.
With 2023 providing some of the hottest temperatures in history—worldwide—hot weather has captured the attention of most everyone. It’s uncomfortable and dangerous. The question is, what can you do to protect your home and/or rental properties (and yourself) from the debilitating hot temperatures of summer.
As a property management company, Cousin James Management has experience with weather extremes, so here are some good reminders to help you cope.
The seams between windows, walls, and floorboards allow cold air to escape and hot air to come in, making it challenging to deal with a heat wave. Proper insulation prevents heat transfer by keeping hot and cold atmospheres isolated from one another. Seal your windows, using double-glazed windows to prevent heat transfer, or install transparent window coverings that add to insulation. Maximize the effectiveness of your insulation and the efficiency of your home by ensuring attics are properly sealed and that you are using EPA or Energy Star-certified insulation.
Block Sunlight from Your Windows
In moderate weather it’s nice to have sunlight shining in, but sunlight beaming through windows is a major source of heat during summer. An affordable way to keep the home cool is with insulated or black-out curtains and blinds. Consider awnings or shutters if your property is in a warmer area and more frequently exposed to direct sunlight. Installing awnings or shutters over windows on the exterior of the home will shade windows to keep sunlight out during the hottest parts of the day.
A cool roof is made of materials or coatings that reflect sunlight and heat away from your home, reducing roof temperatures. Roofing materials that reflect more sunlight can stay more than 50°F cooler than conventional roofs. This makes your home cooler, increasing your comfort, reducing the amount of air conditioning needed during hot days, and saving on energy costs.
Home Cooling Systems
All homes generate heat from the inside which can radiate and worsen the effects of heat if not counteracted. The heat from human bodies, heat from cooking, and heat from appliances and devices all add to the heat in the home. Air conditioners or HVAC systems are great options to keep a home cool. Energy-efficient a/c units such as an inverter air conditioner or anything that has an Energy Star certification will work well.
Heat Removal (HVAC)Systems
Remember the importance of moving heat away from the occupants of your home, especially during extremely hot temperatures. A ‘heat pump’ is part of an HVAC system and works to remove hot air as it cools. To increase energy efficiency, consider installing an HVAC system if your home is equipped with the necessary duct work for a central cooling system.
Consider installing ceiling fans as part of your home cooling system, however, these should not be your primary source of cooling during an extreme heat event. It’s good to know that running ceiling fans counterclockwise pulls hot air away from the occupants of a room.
For Personal Safety: Stay Hydrated
Prolonged physical activity and heat exposure will increase water losses, so the amount of daily fluid needed to stay hydrated increases. The average person needs to drink about 115 ounces of fluid daily. However, the amount of water a specific individual needs depends on age, gender, health, level of activity, and climate.
The National Academy of Medicine generally recommends healthy women intake 72 ounces daily and healthy men 104 ounces. Higher amounts may be needed for those who are physically active or exposed to extreme heat. Lower amounts may be needed for those with smaller body sizes. Keep plenty of water on hand during days of prolonged heat.
More Cool Tips for Your Home
- Tinting Seals (with certified product seals and warranties, preferably_
- Double glazed windows with two layers of glass
- Internal and external louvres
- Strategically placed bushes and trees
- Creeper vines on west-facing walls
- Thermal insulation for walls and roof, depending on sun orientation
Creative Lighting Alternatives
- Solar tube lights
- Clerestory windows with external overhang
If you’re in need of quality property management services, contact Cousin James Management. Our family-owned business has been helping property owners for more than 25 years, so we have the expertise to take care of your property needs. To help you know what to look for in selecting the best property manager, download this handy checklist: How to Select the Best Property Management Company.