This is a guest post courtesy of Oz Taysun, owner of Westchase Roofing Services Inc. in sunny Tampa, Florida.
Annual temperatures have been rising in recent years, and many experts predict it is a trend that will continue. Things like heat waves, droughts, storms and floods have had and will continue to have an impact on our homes if they aren’t prepared. Whether you simply want to avoid the increased costs that the rising temperatures can cause to your everyday bills, or you want to protect your home against potential damage, it is a good idea to plan ahead. Here are a few ways that you can prepare your home to face rising temperatures.
Install Cool Roofing
The first and most obvious problem that will come from increased temperatures is the heat waves during the summer. They can make just sitting around indoors uncomfortable, and cause a major spike in your energy bill as your air conditioner works overtime to keep you cool. One of the best ways to upgrade your home to better survive heat waves is by installing a Cool Roof. A Cool Roof helps reflect the heat as it beats down on your home in order to keep it cooler. There are several types of cool roofing systems that use different materials, paints, slopes, and other designs that you can choose from. You can start by checking out the COOL Roof Color Collection from Owens Corning, these are some great options for consideration.
There are great financial benefits for installing a cool roofing system on your home, though how much depends on where you live, your house, your air conditioning unit, and so on. It can save you a lot of money on your energy bill by reducing the workload of your air conditioning, especially during a heat wave. Decreasing the temperature of the roof itself during heat waves can also help improve the lifespan of the roof itself, so you do not have to spend as much money to repair or replace it as frequently.
Prepare for Droughts
You might not realize this, but droughts can cause increased costs to homeowners — your water utility rates can increase, even if your city or state did everything they could to cut back on excess water usage. So if you want to save on your water bill, you should prepare your home for droughts ahead of time.
First, install rain barrels to harvest rain water from the gutters, downspouts or natural runoffs of your house. You can get large barrels and water catching accessories from hardware stores that can store upwards of 50 gallons each. You can use the stored water to water your plants and gardens, or even bathing water in a real emergency. If you drink it, just make sure you have the proper equipment to sterilize it and filter it first to avoid getting sick.
Next, check all your faucets, appliances and pipes that use water for any leaks that cause excess and wasted water use. Patch up, repair or replace everything as needed to cut down on as much leaking as possible. This will help you save money on your water bill at any given time, but the savings will be more pronounced during a drought.
Install Window Shutters
Window shutters can help you prepare your home for hotter weather in two ways. First, interior window shutters allow you to block sunlight from heating up your home through your windows. In fact, window shutters are one of the most effective ways of reducing heat from the sun compared to blinds or curtains. This helps you further lower your cooling energy costs, just like cool roofing does.
Second, exterior shutters help protect your windows during extreme storms and other inclement weather that are caused by higher temperatures. People in Houston and Miami experienced two of the most severe hurricanes in recorded history just last year. You might not live in an area where hurricanes are a real threat, but with rising temperatures comes heavy thunderstorms, rainfall, and winds that can still batter and damage your home. Exterior window shutters can be locked to prevent wind and debris from shattering your windows and causing costly damage to your home.
Prepare for Floods
Whether from hurricanes, storms or rising ocean levels, another effect of rising annual temperatures is an increase in flooding. Aside from doing a comprehensive and expensive retrofitting of your home, there is one simple type of upgrade you can do to save on costly damages from floods. Depending on where you live, you can evaluate the potential risk of flooding and even the expected flood level — that is, how high floodwater is likely to be in your home.
Once you know what the expected flood level is, have all your switches, sockets, electrical wiring, and circuits re-installed in your home higher by about a foot. This will help avoid damage to all of those electrical components during a flood. Depending on how much of a flood risk your area has, it might also make sense to move your furnace, boiler, and other major appliances to higher floors so they could avoid the flood waters as well.