Heat Wave's Impact on Homes - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Heat Wave's Impact on Homes

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SUSSEX COUNTY, Del.- As another hot weekend approaches, some Delmarva organizations are offering tips and tricks on how to keep your household safe and cool.

Energize Delaware conducts home audits for energy efficiency. The organization says using energy efficient appliances, LED light bulbs and low flow faucets can help cut back on costs and conserve energy year-round. In this heat especially, looking at cracks and areas where your cool air escapes is critical, Energize Delaware says.

"Some of the areas we commonly see as being excessively leaky are the attic," says energy advisor Dan McBrien. "You're going to have a lot of air coming through the top plates of your attic as well as the basement around the rim joists."

McBrien and his colleagues advise homeowners to also close shades to conserve energy during the day, as well as taking an in depth look at your home.

"The auditor will give recommendations for the home, this could be for energy star appliances or it could be maybe for more insulation," says Angela Bivens. "The areas of the home where we are going to increase the value as well as decrease the energy usage."

Another home component impacted by heat is the garden. Those at Wharton's Landscaping  and Garden Center say watering plants is critical--but only in the morning and evening hours.

"When it's really sunny out if you get water on the plant's leaves or even on your grass, it'll actually create that mirror effect," says Natalie Garbutt. "It will actually burn the leaves of your plants and the grass as well."

Wharton's says water is especially needed for newer plants and flowers.

"If you have something newly planted you definitely want to make sure it's watered and it's watered deeply so that you can help the roots grow and get established," says Kelly Boyer.

If it's too hot for your plants or you, it's also probably too hot for your pet. The Brandywine Valley SPCA says if you have outdoor animals, ensure they have plenty of shade and water, and only walk them if it's not too hot for you. 

"If you are going to take your dog for a walk, we do recommend keeping the time you have them outside very brief," says Community Engagement Coordinator Carla DiGiacomo. "Put your hand on the pavement and as I've said before if that pavement is too hot for your hand, you don't want to walk your dog on that pavement. Try to stay to cooler areas or the shade or the grass." 

For more tips on how to keep your home cool, click here. 

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