How to prepare a house for bad weather before summer

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Sebastien Rubino / sebastian@thereflector.com

With summer fast approaching, it’s important to be prepared for rising temperatures, especially if a heat wave like the one Clark County experienced last year happens again.

Dameon Pesanti, media specialist at Clark Public Utilities, has some tips on how to do a weather tune-up to keep your home cooler, while saving money on energy consumption.

“The good thing is that it would probably take you an afternoon or two to do this job, and it will pay off in helping your home stay comfortable and saving you a bit of energy through the busiest time. heat of the year,” Pesanti said. “Most of the materials people will need to complete these kinds of projects are widely available at any hardware store or home improvement retailer. You don’t have to be a pro to do (a hot weather tune-up) either. »

One of the first things Pesanti suggests is to go outside and walk around the perimeter of the house to inspect the caulking, which seals doors, window frames and siding in some homes.

“This stuff doesn’t last forever, so if it peels or cracks, separates from the wall, or is missing, the best thing to do is just scrape it off, clean that surface, and replace that putty” he explained.

Pesanti said the putty is cheap, easy to apply and can last for years. He said it should make a difference because it will “seal the envelope of your home and keep that unconditioned air out but keep the air conditioned in, which is what you want because the longer you can keep that conditioned air in your home, the less energy you have to use to condition it again.

He also said people should think of their home as a cooler, which traps cool air inside. If left open even a little, cool air will escape and hot air will enter, melting whatever is stored inside.

“These leaks that you should plug will never stop. There will be air leakage 24/7,” Pesanti said. “One or two of them might not be a big deal, but if your caulking is bad all over the house, all those little holes are going to cause a lot of leaks. It’s going to affect your energy bill and also your comfort because the house isn’t going to stay at those cool temperatures as long as it could if your house was properly sealed.

When people start using their air conditioner, Pesanti said a well-sealed home will keep the air cooler longer without having to keep the machine on all day. Old putty should be scraped off completely, rather than just filling a small gap.

“You really want to completely replace the old hardware because if it cracks a little, it’s only going to crack more,” he said.

Another method of weatherproofing a home is to examine the weatherstripping and sill around exterior doors, which sometimes don’t last long because they “constantly abuse” when the doors are opened and closed.

“If it’s not in good shape, if you spot any gaps, or even if it’s coming off a bit, tear it up and replace it,” Pesanti said.

Like caulking, he said poor weatherstripping will lead to air leaks and could result in wasted energy. For people who have pets, he said it’s also a good idea to make sure animals don’t rip on the weatherstripping, as they can easily damage it. Pesanti said the shelf life of weatherstripping varies depending on the material they are made of.

Pesanti considers even the best windows to be “very poor insulators”. Although people may not be able to make many window adjustments themselves, they can invest in blinds or curtains.

“With a good pair of blinds or curtains, they will be able to keep the afternoon sun out of their house and cut off the greenhouse effect that occurs. It will also prevent sunlight from entering their house when they don’t want it to be hot,” he said.

Besides the obvious openings in a home, Pesanti said air can seep through ceilings, so people should inspect the gaps between light fixtures and drywall. Caulk can then be used to seal these gaps. Electrical outlets are no exception. This problem can be solved with foam plate packs that fit between the wall and the outlet faceplate.

“All you do is unscrew the faceplate, put this little piece of foam in and screw it back on, and that will help seal those gaps and hold in that conditioned air,” he said, noting that the foam packs are not expensive.

For more advice, people can contact Clark Public Utilities at 360-992-3000.

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