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Dog Days: The Toll Heat and Humidity take on Your HomeAugust 22nd, 2016 by
A quick dip in a fountain—like the smart little guy is doing above—may provide temporary relief from the sun’s loving embrace, but your home doesn’t have the same luxury. It has to sit there day in and day out, baking in the heat. Heat and humidity are about as formidable a tag team as you can imagine—capable of bringing even the sturdiest of men to their knees. Though it will take longer, your home is no different—in the end, it too will succumb to the sun’s merciless onslaught.
Air Conditioning is Your First Line of Defense
The most obvious potential victims of hot weather and humidity are HVAC systems, with other appliances like refrigerators not too far behind. The hotter the home, the harder the air conditioning system will have to work to maintain a stable temperature. To be sure that your system can handle the increased workload, regular maintenance is essential. Running out of Freon when it’s 100 degrees and the humidity is approaching swamp-like levels is less than ideal, to put it mildly. If you live in a humid climate, you should never completely turn off your air conditioner in the summer. Many landlords stipulate this in leases—that tenants must have their air conditioning units on at all times—so that the temperature and humidity won’t reach catastrophic levels should they be away from home for extended periods.
Moisture is Not Your Friend
Simply put, humidity is a measure of the amount of water vapor suspended in the air, and high humidity levels can bring a multitude of moisture-related problems, not the least of which are mold and mildew growth. Areas of the home where there is no central air or relatively little air flow—like basements, crawl spaces, or attics—are going to be more susceptible to any mold or mildew looking to begin colonizing your home. Nearly everything, including paint, wooden decking and furniture, carpeting, and flooring, is vulnerable to substantial damage from heat, humidity, and sunlight exposure.
Sunlight: The Long-Term Threat
The sun is constantly bombarding the earth—and thus, your home—with tremendous amounts of energy. This energy, while essential for life as we know it, can be incredibly damaging over time, and adding heat and humidity to the mix only serves to exacerbate the degradation. Intense sunlight and heat exposure can cause materials to deteriorate more rapidly, potentially compromising the structural integrity of household materials as well as their aesthetic appeal. For instance, roofs won’t survive nearly as many Texas summers as roofs that experience milder climates—the heat and humidity can shorten the lifespan of a roof by years. In addition to the potential dangers that heat and humidity pose to your home, there are also a host of negative health consequences to consider.
Beat the Heat Through Mitigation
Sunlight, humidity, and heat damage are inevitable, unless you can figure out how to turn off the sun—in which case the Nobel Committee for Physics would like to have a word with you. With prevention not being an option, mitigation becomes the name of the game. Since so many parts of your home are at risk, there are a variety of local Best Pick companies that can help you equip your home to resist the sun’s incessant barrage:
- To control indoor humidity levels, use a dehumidifier and contact a local HVAC professional to regularly service your heating and cooling systems.
- To get as much life out of your roof as possible, contact a local roofing professional to go over the best roofing options for your climate.
- A local landscaping professional can help by planting shade trees on your property, lowering both the temperature and sun exposure of your home.
- Protect furniture, carpeting, and flooring inside your home by working with a window tinting expert to prevent damage from UV radiation.
As you’ve likely surmised by now, heat and humidity can have enormous consequences for you, your home, and your bottom line. Be vigilant and equip your home with the defenses it needs, or risk finding yourself on the losing side of this battle.