Summer road check: tips to survive – and even thrive – in the summer
THE WOODLANDS, TX – Today marks the first day of summer, 2023, even though the high temperatures and blazing skies have buried that lede for a few weeks now. From now until September 23, we’re in the throes of the season. Woodlands Online has put together a handy list of things you can do to help pass the sweltering months.
Count the hours
One bright point to this day is that it’s the longest day of the year; starting tomorrow, each day will get shorter by about two minutes and eight seconds until we hit the winder solstice in December and start the cycle all over again. Bit by bit, we’ll be able to enjoy evenings in slightly dimmer circumstances, which works well on the psyche as it’s always felt odd having a post-dinner snack in bright sunlight.
For car and home, typically little attention is paid to filters, those small but mighty fighters of dust and other detritus entering the airflow. They’re cheap, easy to replace, and vital in preventing additional wear and tear on your air conditioning systems whether they be in your home or vehicle. If you haven’t already, purchase some home AC filters from practically any grocery story or home needs retailer; additionally, if you have mechanic skills, grab a new air filter and cabin filter from your local automotive needs retailer, or take advantage of any number of coupons that local mechanics and dealerships are sending out or promoting.
The calm before the storm
Besides it being the onset of summer, we’re also three weeks in to the 2023 hurricane season, which is here to stay until November 30. There is literally no way to tell with certainty if we’re going to be on the receiving end of some flood-level storms, or how many there may be if we do. Homeowners, business owners, and renters alike should take advantage of flood insurance for their properties and belongings. As with any insurance, sometimes it’s considered a luxury to be gambled against; however, incidents like the Tax Day Floods and Harvey throw it into sharp relief the importance of having repair funds available. Fair warning that policies have a 30-day moratorium, so set up your policy now and hope that it’s at least five weeks before any floods hit the area.
I can see clearly now
The importance of drinking water during the summer can’t be stressed enough. According to CDC guidelines, you should drink one cup (8 ounces) of water every 15 - 20 minutes when working in the heat – translating to about a quart an hour (but don’t exceed more than 1½ quarts per hour; drinking too much water can increase the pressure inside the skull, causing a buildup of fluid in the brain called cerebral edema, which can affect the brain stem and cause central nervous system dysfunction that can cause seizures, brain damage, a coma, and even death). Also, be careful about keeping your water in plastic bottles in hot areas like parked cars; too much heat breaks down the polymers of plastic water bottles and alters the composition of the water. Try to use class or metal cups whenever possible.
Get a charge out of this
The summer heat is also merciless on your car battery. Excessive heat can cause the water in your battery’s fluid system to evaporate and the resulting composition to crystallize. Get your battery to a mechanic, auto repair place, or dealership for a checkup; additionally, you can check out the fluid levels yourself in most cases; be sure to follow instructions on how to top off the fluid system. Additionally, try to park in a covered area or shade wherever possible – direct sunlight heats up the hood, heating up the battery – and take at least one longer trip (at least 30 minutes’ worth) a week to keep the battery properly charged.
Weed ‘n’ feed
One surefire victim of the summer heat and sun is your lawn. Not only is proper watering essential to keep your grass alive, but you can also take some other easy steps to help keep things green. First off, during summer months cut your grass a little higher than usual; this provides more soil shading and lessens evaporation. Next, be sure to kill off any weeds that would otherwise be throttling off the grass by hogging the water. Also keep an eye out on Township water restrictions and guidelines for maximum usage and conservation of your water.
By following these few simple pointers, you can massively up your chances of having a happy and healthy summer for your person and property during the summer. Woodlands Online would love to hear your feedback in the comments below for any other tips and pointers.