Consumer Reports: Protect your home from excessive heat

We know the toll summer’s heat can take on people and pets, but that’s not all. Consumer Reports says it can wreak havoc on your home, too.

For starters, don’t take your HVAC system for granted. It’s probably 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: Storms can be frequent and destructive, so Consumer Reports’ Paul Hope says you need to make sure you are covered.

CONSUMER REPORTS: Ultimate Heat Survival Guide | Keep Your Home Safe and Secure

“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,” Hope said.

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,” Hope suggested. “You should also consider installing a leak detector. They’re a little bit expensive upfront but they can save you tons of money in the long run.”

Consumer Reports recommends the Flo by Moen Smart Water Shutoff System 900-001 for $500.

And those high temperatures can wear down your roof, 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,” Hope said.

Consumer Reports tests dehumidifiers and says for $250, the Midea MAD50C1ZWS for larger rooms can help remove water from the air and maintain the ideal humidity in your home.

But if your problem is caused by a continuous source of water, a dehumidifier won’t be enough. Hope says that’s why regularly checking for leaks and other sources of water in and around your home is a good idea.