Summer is almost here and it’s going to be a hot one. Now is the time to prepare for the summer heat with these great tips to keep you cool and reduce your water and energy use.
We are currently in La Nina and already seeing some pretty hot temperatures. And a large part of the US is already experiencing a drought. Over 75% of Oklahoma is in a drought even after severe weather the first week of May.
And it looks like La Nina will stick around with us at least through August. Current predictions from NOAA show Oklahoma and much of the US having a hot and dry summer. This will be especially true for people living in urban areas due to what is called the urban heat effect.
We often think more about preparing for weather events during the winter and spring months but we need to do some things to prepare for summer as well. Being prepared can help us prevent issues that may come up from the heat. Everything from high electric bills to heat-related illnesses can hit hard during the summer months.
With climate change, we will likely be seeing more summers like this so now is the time to learn how you can be properly prepared for summer.
Ways to Prepare for Summer Heat
Keep Your Home Cool
Keeping our homes cool during a hot summer can be tough and expensive. The first thing you want to do to be prepared is get your a/c tuned up to help it run efficiently and to reduce the risk of it breaking during a heatwave.
Another thing you can do to help keep your home cool is to keep your blinds and curtains closed during the day. This can help keep the sun from heating up your home. If you like to have natural light consider just closing the ones facing the sun.
You can also use some of our tips for staying cool to stay cool in your home or even when you are out.
Plan to Conserve Water
Since much of the state is already in a drought it’s important that we start conserving water now. As the summer months go on this will become even more important.
There are many things we can do at home to conserve water. Some things you can do now to help you use less water all summer long include.
- Use a rain barrel. Installing rain barrels can help you store up water, that would normally be wasted, for when you need it. Many home improvement stores carry rain barrels and they are easy to install and use. They also can really cut down on your water use.
- Plant smart. When planting pick native plants that are heat and drought-resistant, you will have to water less and they will make it through the hot Oklahoma summer.
- Fix leaks around your home. Have any small drips or leaks you’ve been putting off fixing because “they aren’t that bad.” Those small drips can add up so get them fixed now.
- Be smart when it comes to lawn care. When mowing keep your grass a bit longer, it will protect your lawn and it will require less water. Don’t forget to avoid mowing during an ozone alert.
- Water at the right times. If you are going to water be sure to do it in the morning or evening. Watering during the hottest part of the day wastes water as much will just evaporate.
Read up on other ways your family can be conserving water at home and make a plan for which things you want to start trying to do.
Use Energy Wisely
Electric bills can be very high during those hot summer months. There are things we can do now to prepare our homes so we will use less electricity during the summer months.
A great way to prepare for summer and use less energy is by doing an energy audit. You can do an energy audit yourself or see if your electric company offers them, often for free. This is a great way to see where you are wasting energy.
There is one way that a hot summer can help you use less energy and that’s by drying your clothes. The Oklahoma heat and wind can dry clothes faster than most dryers and for free. Installing a clothesline can be a huge energy saver!
You can also check out How to Reduce Your Electricity Bill this Summer to get some good tips to use throughout the summer months.
Hot summers can be tough but if we are prepared we can make them a little easier to get through and spend more time enjoying the fun that summer has to offer.
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