With warmer temperatures here, staying cool and safe while keeping home energy costs down is a top priority for Alberta homeowners. To enhance the safety of your home, spend some timeÌýpreparing for the summerÌýwith our suggestedÌýsummer home safety tips.Ìý
These include preparing your home for heavy rainfall and flooding, adding insulation and weather stripping, replacing or sealing windows and performing regular maintenance on your air conditioning system.ÌýUse ourÌýhome maintenance tips for summerÌýto keep your family safe throughout the season and beyond.
Floods are Canada's most frequent natural hazard and can cause extensive damage to your home, according toÌý. In Alberta,ÌýÌýand therefore face the possibility of floods. As an Albertan, preparing for summer should include prepping your home and family in case of flooding.
To prepare your home for potential flooding before it happens, consider the following summer home safety tips:
Develop a family emergency plan to ensure your familyâ€™s safety during a flood. To prepare your family for potential flooding:
You should also prepare aÌýÌýif your family needs to evacuate immediately and cannot access everyday necessities. Minimally, the kit should include:
After a flood, youâ€™ll need to restore your home as soon as possible to protect your family fromÌýÌýand prevent further damage to the interior and exterior of your home.
Do not return to your home until authorities allow re-entry. When itâ€™s safe to return, make sure your home is structurally sound, and leave immediately if you see buckles in the walls or floors. Do not useÌýgas-powered or electrical appliances or drink water from a faucet until a professional inspect the premises.
Before moving back in, follow these steps provided byÌýÌýto prepare and restore your home:
Because of its topography, in Canada.ÌýÌýHail can impact at dangerous speedsâ€”a shockingÌýâ€”and can be life-threatening and cause severe damage to your home, property and vehicles. If hail is in the summer forecast, follow these emergency tips for preparing and securing your family and home from the storm.
Get ahead of the storm with these summer home safety tips:
Follow these guidelines provided byÌýÌýand theÌýÌýfor protecting your family and home during a hail storm:
Regarding summer home tips, your familyâ€™s safety and comfort are the two biggest priorities. While Alberta summers generally arenâ€™t scorching hot, the temperatures can get high enough to warrant caution. Make sure your family stays cool by taking steps to regulate your homeâ€™s indoor temperatures.
To maintain lower indoor temperatures, keep your daytime appliance use to a minimum. Fire up the barbeque and enjoy extra outdoor cooking with your family this summer. If you need to use the oven or range in your kitchen, try to wait until the sun is lower in the sky and temperatures are cooler before cranking the heat on those appliances.
Similarly, you should try to use your dishwasher and clothes dryer when outdoor temperatures are at their lowest. When it comes to lighting throughout your home, reduce heat andÌýÌýby replacing high-wattage light bulbs with LEDs.
This summer home safety tip could help your family avoidÌý. Warmer temperatures and excess moisture create ideal conditions for mould growth in your home. To make your home more breathable and less susceptible to mould growth during summer, use exhaust fans and dehumidifiers to reduce the effects of excess humidity.
Make sure to turn on the bathroom exhaust fan after bathing or showering. When using the stove, turn on a fan to vent warm air out of your home and keep the temperatures down. Finally, youÌýcan reduce the humidity in your basement by ensuring your gutters can move rain and water away from your home. If moisture problems persist, consider hiring a contractor to landscape your lawn to slope water away from your home.
Air conditioner maintenanceÌýis crucial when preparing your home for the summer.Ìý Natural Resources Canada saysÌýyou should clean your air conditioner filter at least once each season. In addition to helping your unit run efficiently, a clean air filter will ensure the air your family breathes is as clean as possible.
Check your air conditionerâ€™s coils, connectors and other components on a regular basis to increase your system's performance and keep your home safe. Without regular maintenance, your unit may malfunction and become aÌý. Overworked and overheated air conditioners can cause electrical issues and catch nearby flammable items on fire.
For optimal comfort and safety, consider investing in central air conditioning. Although the initial investment might be higher, you could potentially save on your monthly electric bill by opting for an ENERGY STARÂ®-verified model.ÌýAccording to Natural Resources Canada, central air conditioners with ENERGY STARÂ® ratings .
In addition, portable A/C units may poseÌýÌýthan central air conditioning units. Portable units are typically smaller and have more difficulty keeping up with cooling demands. Air conditioners that are portable may be more dangerous than central air because they have a greater chance of overheating and short-circuiting, which can potentially cause house fires.
Open the windows in the evenings to bring in the cool air at night. Airing out the house can improve air quality and reduce humidity in your home. Don't forget to turn off your air conditioner when you open the windows at night. In the morning, shut the windows and close drapes or blinds to keep in the cool temperatures and block sunlight.
Consider installingÌýhigh-efficiency windows with low-e (low-emission) glass coatings, which reduce the amount of radiant infrared energy and heat entering your home. This filtering can decrease the demands on your air conditioning andÌýÌýfrom harmful ultraviolet rays. You can also install window coverings to keep sunlight from further heating your home.
For added protection against the summer heat, consider planting trees and shrubs near windows to shade your home from the sun. In the summer, leafy foliage can shield sunlight from your windows, ultimately keeping your family cooler and reducing stress on your air conditioning unit. Plant trees and shrubs around your house in areas that provide the best coverage, but make sure to keep them away from drainage areas and gutters.
Check windows and doors for gaps and cracks when preparing your home for the summer. Seal any openings with caulk or weather stripping to prevent warm air from coming into your home and air-conditioned air from leaving your home.ÌýWeather-protectant sealants and caulking around windows and doors can also help safeguard your home and family from potential flooding and heavy rainfall.
You can and should perform our final summer home safety tipÌýevery season. Grab a pack of batteries and check all the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in your home. You should have workingÌýnatural gas and carbon monoxideÌýdetectors near the kitchen and gas-powered appliances like furnaces and water heaters. Your home should have functionalÌý, inside and leading into bedrooms, common areas and the kitchen, at the very least.
As your Alberta energy provider and neighbour, we hope our guidance helps your home run efficiently and safely.Ìý