What’s not to love about Houston?  A low cost of living, robust job market, lively social scene and friendly people are just a few reasons why more than 6.8 million people call Houston home.  However, if you are planning on moving to Houston this summer from a milder, cooler climate, you will need to be prepared for what some may consider the “down side” of living in the Bayou City: the heat and humidity.

Houston’s climate is classified as humid subtropical, typically heating up around May and not cooling off until September. During the summer months, the normal daily high temperature peaks at 93 degrees on average.  Summer is still a good time to move for most people – the kids are out of school; the weather is nice and the home buying season is at its peak.  There are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind as you plan your move this summer if you want to keep your cool and beat the Texas heat:

Rise and Shine.  Start your move first thing in the morning so that you’re not doing the most physical part of your move during peak heat hours (11 a.m-4 p.m.).  Moving in the mid-afternoon exposes you and your fellow movers to the full force of the Texas heat.  Take a break when the sun is at its peak and resume once the sun starts to set.

Dress the Part. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Dark colors absorb the sun and make you feel hotter. When it comes to shoes, however, put on a good pair of cushioned socks and closed-toe footwear.

Spread It On Thick.  Sunscreen, that is.  Protect yourself from a nasty sunburn that will be painful hours after moving day is over.  Also wear a hat to protect your head from the sun’s heat and rays.

Essentials Are Essential. Make sure you have plenty of water, light snacks and refreshments on hand to keep you and your moving crew hydrated and energized.  It is extremely easy to get dehydrated when the sun is beating down and you are constantly moving and lifting heavy furniture and boxes. Look for signs of dehydration, including headache, dizziness, extreme thirst, fatigue, failure to sweat and muscle weakness or spasms.

Secure Your Boxes. Houston heat can create unwanted moisture around your boxes, causing the tape to peel away, and putting your items at risk of spilling out. You can protect against accidents and damage by reinforcing your boxes with a second or third layer of tape to create the stability your items deserve. If you want to skip the multiple layers, purchase moisture-resistant, heavy-duty packaging tape to protect your boxes from the heat.

Cool Electronics. Protect your electrical gadgets by wrapping them in blankets or bubble wrap to shield them from the sun and provide a cushion against the bumps and slides of the move.  If you can, pack these separately and transport them inside an air-conditioned vehicle.

UV Protection for Wood. Moisture or sun exposure may cause wooden furniture to crack or peel. Protect it by layering each piece in a coat of varnish or simply covering the surfaces to shield them from the sun. Like your electronics, wrapping your furniture in blankets will also keep them safe during the move.

Family First.  Young children, the elderly and those with serious medical conditions are the most vulnerable to extreme heat.  Keep these loved ones in an air-conditioned environment during the move. Also make sure that pets have access to water and access to a cool, shady area at all times – and never leave them in the car without ventilation for even a short period of time.

Power Up.  You’ll want to have electricity services activated by moving day so that you can cool your home during the move.  Choose an electricity provider in your area and contact them two to three weeks prior to your move date to set up services.  If possible, arrange to have the electricity turned on in your new home a day or so before you move in. This will allow you to cool your home when you arrive, providing a more comfortable environment for workers helping with the move and family members who need to stay inside.

When considering electricity options, Houston residents have a variety of energy companies to choose from, thanks to the state’s law on energy regulation. This not only encourages competitive rates and added incentives, but gives Houstonians the opportunity to select the best energy company to suit their specific needs.

To transfer your electricity services quickly and easily, visit Direct Energy.  With multiple options with attractive benefits  aimed at helping you save on Texas electricity, like Free Weekends and Live Brighter 12 , you can select the one that is best for you and your family. Direct Energy also provides the tools to track your usage by appliance to help you save more money and use less energy. For more tips on how to keep your new home energy-efficient, check out Direct Energy’s Learning Center.

Home Sweet Home. Pack your essential items for the first night in your new home separately.  After a day of moving in the heat, the last thing you want to do is waste time hunting down the things you need before bedtime.  Along with items like toiletries and medications, pack towels, changes of clothes and bedding so that you can freshen up and get ready for bed without any stress. If it’s particularly hot, consider purchasing some fans to set up in each bedroom once you’re settled in to ensure a good night’s sleep!

Welcome to Houston!