Welcome to summer in Florida. It’s hot out there. July and August truly are the dog days of summer, where nights cool ‘down’ into the 80’s and daytime temps get up past 100 degree-mark with the heat index.
This has implications for your home, and this has implications for you. As a home improvement professional we see the effects of heat on the homes and people.
Our winters are mild compared to most of the country. While energy bills spike a bit during January, that’s nothing when compared to cooling the home during July and August. There are, however, some things that can be done to help control costs.
First, make sure the cold air is staying in. Check all door and windows for being properly sealed. Weather stripping doesn’t last forever. It gets compressed and stiff and needs to be replaced. The door sweep also wears out. If you can stand back and see any glimmer of light around your doors or windows, then you are losing energy.
While nobody wants to live in a cave, the hot sun blazing through your windows on these long summer days can really heat up a room, and you home. Light blocking blinds and curtains can really help. Lowering the blinds and pulling the curtains, especially on southern and westward facing windows, really helps temper the heat.
A programmable thermostat allows you to better manage the cooling process. If the home is vacant for a good part of the day while the family is out, keep the temperature setting a bit warmer. Then an hour before folks are due home, have it start cooling the place down. Cooling the home for 8-10 yours when nobody is there will cost you.
You need to manage the heat also. Working in the heat and humidity is tough on the body. If you have the opportunity to work in air-conditioned space much of the week, you may relish the opportunity to ‘get out’ to do lawn and garden work, and maintain your home. This is a nice break from the norm, but your body isn’t used to this.
Starting early, while the sun is low and it’s as cool as it’s going be during the day, will help your body acclimate. You must then stay hydrated, and pace your work based on your fitness level and how hot it is. Full strength sports drinks are very high in sodium and not as good for hydration as their advertising implies. Water works best, but your body will eventually need electrolytes.
Pace yourself and don’t be embarrassed to take breaks. Even folks that work outside all day need to pace themselves during the hottest and most humid months.
If you can’t handle the heat and need professional help around the home, give us a call and we’ll sweat while you spend time with friends and family.
Mr. Handyman – there’s simply no one like us!