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How to Protect Your Home from Heat and Sun (Inside and Out)
Blue sky with white clouds on a sunny day

Your home is not only your greatest investment; it’s also your refuge. Maintaining both the value of your investment and the comfort it can provide requires complete commitment to your homeowning responsibilities. During seasons with extreme weather patterns, that means regulating internal temperature (for comfort) and protecting the exterior and interior from exposure to harsh elements (for value and safety).

Whether you’ve just purchased your property, are a longtime homeowner, or are in the process of making your current home perfect for potential buyers, spring is the time to consider how you’ll protect it from summer heat and sunshine. Excess heat can make your home feel miserable, while strong, uninhibited solar exposure can damage everything from outdoor wood paneling, paint, and roofing to indoor upholstery, carpets, furniture, and wall color.

Thankfully, with a few simple preparations, you can mitigate UV ray damage, stay comfortable, and avoid a world of home issues — no matter the season.

Insulation is key

Floor, ceiling, and wall Insulation is critical to your home’s thermal retention. Older, thinner insulation with a low rating won’t do much to protect your home from heat or contain the cool air produced by fans and air conditioning systems. Investing in better insulation can reduce your heating and cooling costs, reduce noise from nearby streets and neighbors, and maintain optimal indoor conditions.

Better insulation in your attic, just under your roof, can have a dramatic impact on your home’s heat loss. Also ensure the door or attic entryway are properly insulated. However you access the attic, whether it’s a floor hatch or a stairwell, take the time to insulate it well and keep it closed when not in use.

Make sure windows and doors do their part

If your home has older doors or windows, consider insulating these. Many people have insulation in mind during the cold winter months, but its role is just as important in maintaining cool conditions and sealing out heat as it is in containing heat and keeping out the cold.

Replace old entryways with newer, more thermally resistant models. You can also have special window films installed to reduce the amount of heat and UV light that passes through. If now is not an ideal time for this investment, at minimum, consider caulking the edges of the windows to create a better seal and install weatherstripping around your doors.  

Generally, the right paint or siding will help protect your home’s exterior. Keeping everything clean and checking for signs of wear or damage can help reduce thermal loss and keep your home’s exterior and interior safe and beautiful.

Don’t forget to adjust your appliances

When people think of preparing their homes for winter or summer, appliances may not be first to come to mind. However, changing seasons place a variety of strains on the appliances in your home. Make sure the seals on your fridges and freezers are in good condition. Fixing a seal is cheaper than coming home to a fridge full of spoiled food. Set your refrigerator temperature between 35 and 38F, and make sure there is adequate ventilation space behind each unit. This will help prevent overheating during summer months.

You can also turn down the operating temperature of your hot water heater to 120F. The sun and ambient warmth will heat pipes, and you don’t need to add to the overall internal temperature of your home by running the hot water heater more than necessary.

Protect fabric items by moving them often

Even the most modern synthetic fabrics are still susceptible to fading due to prolonged solar exposure. The best way to reduce this issue is to take time every few weeks to move your furniture or rotate your rugs so that other furniture or sections of rugs are exposed, reducing overall fading. If there is an area in your home soaked in southern exposure sunlight, you may consider investing in outdoor furniture for these indoor spaces. The fabrics and components of outdoor furniture are carefully crafted to resist the fading power of constant solar exposure.

Wood furniture should be treated with a sealant to reduce heat and light exposure degradation. Depending on the uses, age and appearance of the wood furniture, you may choose varnish, lacquer or several other options to keep wood furniture and outdoor components, such as decks, looking beautiful despite ongoing solar exposure.

About the Author

John Pittman
John Pittman