If you have an elderly neighbor that seems to be alone most of the time, you should make sure you keep an eye on him or her. Now that summer is on the way, the temperatures are going to rise, which can be deadly for him or her if they cannot stay cool.
You should make sure your elderly neighbor has air conditioning, and that their air conditioning unit is working properly. Hire a contractor to come to their home and check it out, and pay for this service call yourself. This call can save your neighbor's life, because their air conditioner may have problems that will cause it to go down in the hottest part of summer. Some common problems include:
- Air conditioner will not turn on: This may be a problem with the thermostat inside the house, or the breaker could be turned off.
- Air conditioner not cooling: If your neighbor's home does not feel very cool, there is likely a problem with the airflow in his or her home. Check the floor vents to make sure nothing is sitting on top of them to restrict the airflow, and if the filter needs to be changed. Go outside and see if there are things blocking the vent holes on the unit, such as leaves, branches, etc.
- Air conditioner is noisy: If there are weird noises coming from the air conditioner when it turns on or off, it could be something simple like a loose screw somewhere. If not, it could be a problem with the blower.
- Energy bills too high: If your neighbor's energy bills have gone up drastically, it is time to call a service repair person from a company like Smith Air Conditioning Inc to service his or her unit.
Cool air can escape out of windows if they do not close right, or they are not sealed properly. Check the outside windows of their home to see if any caulking is falling off around the edges. If so, replace it with new caulking. On the inside, check the weather stripping around the windows, and replace any that is worn down.
Check around each window and provide weather stripping and/or caulking if you notice any gaps. If your neighbor has single pane windows in his or her home, see if it is in their budget to replace them with double-pane windows.
Using heavier curtains on the windows can keep the sun from shining in and heating up the house, or use a blind under a curtain so he or she can raise it when sunlight is needed or wanted.
Check in periodically with your neighbor throughout the year, and simply visit them to give them some company.