6 On Your Side: Consumer Confidence, Extreme Heat Can Hurt Your Home

(ABC 6 News) – We know the toll summer’s heat takes on people and pets, but that’s not all. Consumer Reports says it can wreak havoc on your home, too.

Consumer Reports’ experts share tips on how to protect your house from the sun’s damaging rays.

For starters, don’t take your HVAC system for granted. It’s likely overtaxed from the constant high heat, which can lead to pricey repairs.

A simple DIY fix is to regularly replace the air filters and then schedule regular professional maintenance.

And it’s not just the heat; climate change is making storms more frequent and destructive …like summer storms and flooding.

“Homeowners insurance generally doesn’t cover water coming from outside your house so it’s not a bad idea to supplement your insurance with a flood policy,” says Consumer Reports’ Paul Hope.

But even without a flood, extreme heat can create water damage in other ways, specifically with your plumbing.

Metal pipes can expand and contract, and over time, leak.

“You want to inspect your plumbing routinely or have a plumber do it on a recurring basis. You could also consider installing a leak detector. They’re a little bit expensive right up front but they can save you tons of money in the long run,” says Hope.

And those high temperatures can wear down your roofing so it’s important to inspect it regularly and look for damaged shingles or tiles. Replace them before they can leak and cause more damage.

High heat and humidity can also create the ideal conditions for mold and mildew.

“You want to keep the humidity inside your home between thirty and fifty percent. Anything higher and mold and dust mites can thrive. A dehumidifier can help with that,” says Hope.

CR says a dehumidifier will remove water from the air, but if your problem is driven by a continuous source of water, a dehumidifier won’t be enough.

That’s why regularly checking for leaks and other sources of water in and around your home is a good idea!