As temperatures continue to rise throughout the summer and schedules begin to fill up, it becomes very important to keep up with household maintenance and take necessary precautions to beat the heat.
The experts at Rescue Rooter® recognize that it can be quite difficult to simply stay cool, and understand how dangerous severe heat can be - to your health and your energy bill.
Rescue Rooter® has provided the following tips to help Cleveland area residents comfortably survive the heat this summer, while being more energy efficient.
Personal Safety First
In severe heat, be sure to limit your activity, drink plenty of fluids and do not go outside in the afternoon. Along with staying in the shade, wearing light colored clothing and hats can help keep you cool. Keep pets inside and make sure they have plenty of water to drink. Never leave pets or children in a closed car, even if for only a moment.
Little League Lament
With summer comes little league, camp, soccer and more outdoor activities that can cause your entire family to endure dirtier clothing. Because of this increased need for cleaning, be sure to check your washing machine hoses for bulges, leaks or cracks and be sure to remove drier lint regularly.
Also, move your machine at least four inches from the wall to prevent hose kinking and damage, and never leave your home while the washer is running. Don’t forget that washing machine hoses should be replaced approximately every three years.
Become A Fan Of Your Fan
Always run your ceiling fans to stay cooler in the summertime. Check your fans to ensure they are going in the correct direction. In the summer, your fan should be set on “forward,” which means the blades are rotating counter-clockwise.
There is a switch on the base where you can control this. By moving your fan setting to the forward position, you will receive a nice downward breeze keeping you cool.
Dark Is In
Keep heat out of your home by closing blinds, shades and draperies that cover windows facing the sun. This means closing coverings on east-facing windows in the morning and closing coverings on west-facing windows in the afternoon.
Also, by installing shades or blinds that are white in color, you can reflect heat away from the house. This will keep you cooler and save energy.
With more friends and family over for backyard cookouts and other get-togethers, be careful of what you are putting down your kitchen disposal. Most are not equipped to handle celery, banana peels, cornhusks and other fibrous or “stringy” foods. Some other items to stay away from are fats or cooking oils because they form clots within the pipes.
Also make sure you run cold water at full pressure for 15 seconds, before and after you put anything down the disposal, to make sure it all gets flushed through.
Any instant stuffing, potato mixes or similar “just-add-water” foods should never be put down the drain. Once water from the faucet touches these foods, they expand, become hardened and create messy clogs.
Fun In The Summertime
Many homeowners and their families plan to take vacations during the summer. When leaving for an extended period of time, be sure to turn down the temperature of your water heater to help save money and energy.
Turning up the temperature of your refrigerator can also help save energy while you’re away. If you plan to do this, be sure to remove highly perishable foods, like dairy products, produce and meat. Other less perishable items, like condiments, will still remain edible with the refrigerator temperature set to “low.”
Burning Up Inside
Don’t let your home retain any more heat than necessary. Appliances, electronic devices and lighting are all common sources of internal heat gain. To combat this excess heat, avoid putting lamps or televisions near your air conditioner’s thermostat.
These heat-exuding appliances will cause the air conditioner to think the house is warmer than it really is. This results in the system running longer than necessary and wasted energy.
Don’t Be Swindled
Unfortunately, some people take advantage of others during emergencies. Always deal with a reputable professional company. Ask if the company checks criminal records or drug tests its employees. Heating and air conditioning companies must be licensed, and any replacement work must usually be permitted and inspected by the city or county.
Sewer line backups are common this time of year due to summer rain water entering sewer pipes via cracks. New tree root growth from the spring can also cause sewer backup issues as roots are drawn toward the sewer line as a source of nutrition. Roots aren’t the only thing that block the pipe, other objects, like toilet paper, latch onto the roots causing further blockage.
Have a plumber inspect your sewer line pipes to let you know if you are susceptible to a sewer line backup problem or if damage has already occurred. In either situation, your plumber will be able to help you determine the best treatment option.
For more information about Rescue Rooter® and its services, please call (216) 749-4600 or (330) 434-9700 or visit www.RescueRooter.com.