It’s officially summer! Summer prep your home so you will be more prepared for the season. You’ll have much more fun knowing that your home is doing its best for you. And the more fun you’ll have!
Preparing for summer, however, goes beyond bringing out your sunscreen and summer hats. It’s also important to get your home ready for the season.
An all-around approach when preparing for the hot season not only ensures energy efficiency but also saves you from seasonal allergies and dust. Additionally, it guarantees the safety of everyone on the property.
Some of the things you should do to summer prep your home include:
1. Changing Air Filters
You’ll be cranking up the AC all summer hence the need to ensure it’s working efficiently before the temperatures get insanely high. However, the AC won’t be efficient if the air filters are dirty.
Clogged air filters not only increase the work of the AC in maintaining ideal indoor temperatures but also affect the air quality. Consequently, the harder the AC has to work in maintaining the set temperature, the higher the energy consumption. Therefore, change air filters at the beginning of summer and clean the coils too.
Seasonal allergies are also common in summer. Clean air filters can keep them at bay. Ideally, air filters should be changed every 90 days but this will also depend on the kind of filter you have.
2. Smart Landscaping
A lush green yard in summer and a garden bursting with vibrant colors beckon you to spend time outdoors. Such a landscape won’t appear magically though. On the other hand, it doesn’t take much to achieve that.
Do your summer prep with smart landscaping is the best option in this case. It focuses on more than just making sure your yard looks spectacular. The emphasis is on utilizing the components of the property to achieve the desired goals.
Planting enough leafy trees near the windows to limit the amount of heat that is transferred into the house is a good example of smart landscaping. Also, the strategic planting of green shrubs on the property achieves the same goal.
There are several types of landscaping that are considered “smart.”
Fire-smart landscaping includes two important features:
Planning involves creating defensible spaces which are areas intentionally planned and maintained to reduce the danger of fire. Defensible space also allows firefighters plenty of room to stop embers and spot fires before they catch on and spread.
When you’re maintaining your new landscape it will be important to keep it trimmed and orderly. Be sure to hydrate and mulch as well. Your goal will be to grow an earth-friendly garden while increasing the odds that your garden will survive a wildfire to protect your home.
Doing summer prep to keep fires from ruining your life are a good way to spend some time this season.
Water-smart landscaping is another important focus in any areas plagued by prolonged drought. The more grass that is replaced with water-smart landscaping, the more secure we can make our water supply.
3. Seal any leaks
Summer prep can rejuvenate your house after a harsh winter. It can easily cause various parts of your house to deteriorate. A detailed inspection of the house for leaks after winter is important. Any leaks found should be sealed off immediately.
In addition, routine home maintenance and assessments are highly recommended also in case some leaks were missed in spring. Cracks or crevices around the windows/doors allow leakage of hot air from outside into the house. Caulking these areas prevents such a scenario. Consequently, it also ensures there is no loss of cold air to the outside environment which would make the air conditioner work even harder in maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature.
4. Clean gutters
Gutters are likely to clog after the windy, stormy weather of winter. If you didn’t clean your gutters in spring ensure that you do it in summer. The dry, bright days of summer allow you to see the nooks and crannies of your gutters to get all the dust and debris out. Additionally, days are longer in summer giving you more than enough time to clean up. The longer you let mud and debris sit in the gutters the harder it is to get it off. Also, clogged gutters will eventually cause water damage to the roof and walls. So add this to your summer prep list!
5. Check the thermostat
This is one of the most important components of your house in summer. However, you don’t want to realize that it isn’t working in the middle of a heat wave. Thus, check its efficiency before summer begins. You can test your thermostat by putting it in AC mode and then adjusting the temperature to five degrees lower than your ideal temperature on the hottest summer days. If it works effectively you don’t have to worry about surviving heat waves in summer. However, replace or repair the thermostat if the desired temperature isn’t achieved. In case you want to change or upgrade then get a smart thermostat. If your budget is flexible, that is. Not only is it easier to operate but also energy efficient. You can save up to 15% of your energy bills in summer by having a smart thermostat.
6. Rotate your ceiling fans in an anti-clockwise direction
Ceilings fans can push more cool air down if they are rotating in a counterclockwise direction. Thus, this should be the default all summer. Additionally, this direction enables the fan to draw moisture from the air which is crucial for people living in humid regions. The outcome is even better when you set the ceiling fans to run counterclockwise while the AC is on. Ceiling fans run at a slower speed hence providing a comfortable downdraft to redistribute cool air in the room.
7. Adjust the return registers
These are the return heating/cooling vents that are usually found near the floor of the house or the ceiling. Due to their large size, you shouldn’t have a difficult time distinguishing them from the normal vents. During summer, you want these return registers drawing in warm air and leaving the cool air inside the house. You can easily achieve this by closing the floor registers and opening the ceiling ones. This optimizes airflow in all parts of the home to keep the temperatures lower.
8. Test your detectors
Fire hazards are common in summer due to the hot and dry climate. Thus, you want to make sure your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are working properly before it’s too late. Besides changing the batteries, ensure they are not covered in dust because this will affect their efficiency too. Consequently, don’t forget to test the alarms.
9. HVAC maintenance
The HVAC is one of the most expensive appliances in any household hence the need for regular maintenance. Since its usage goes down in summer, it is the best time to have it checked by a professional. This should include a detailed assessment of the outdoor and indoor HVAC components for clutter or debris that would interfere with its efficiency.
10. Ceiling fans in high-traffic areas
Maintaining ideal temperatures inside your house is crucial in summer but the energy bill can get out of hand if you are not careful. The lower the set temperature the harder the AC has to work. However, ceiling fans can supplement the work of the AC in high-traffic areas to keep everyone comfortable while ensuring energy efficiency. Ceiling fans pull up warm air and push down already chilled air to keep the room temperature down. However, this only works if they are running in a counter-clockwise direction.
11. Clean the refrigerator
Clean your refrigerator at the beginning of summer to make it ready for chilling drinks and storing your favorite summer snacks/foods. Refrigerator condensing coils full of ice or dust increase energy usage which translates to high energy bills. Additionally, this affects the efficiency of your refrigerator. It only takes a few hours to half a day to clean a refrigerator if not less.
12. Smart door techniques
If you have children there is a high possibility that you are always yelling at them to keep doors and windows closed to prevent cold air from escaping outside when the AC is on.
Open doors or windows leak out a big percentage of cold air making the AC work extra hard to maintain the set temperature. Nevertheless, it is more efficient to install smart doors that automatically close the doors after a couple of seconds of no activity. Given the number of hours the AC runs in summer, smart doors are a great energy-saving technique.
13. Deep clean
Spring cleaning is highly recommended after a cold and gray winter but not everyone manages to tick it off their to-do list in spring. If you are one of these people then summer is your second chance to get it done.
Sunny and bright summer days bring to light the dusty areas that remained hidden in cold weather. Thus, it is the best time to vacuum every part of the house as well as wash your curtains and blinds. Additionally dust off the light fixtures, windows, and the dryer vent. Don’t forget to disinfect surfaces and hardware like doorknobs around the house as well.
Don’t fret if you haven’t done much in preparing your home for summer just yet. However, set aside two to three days to get everything done as soon as possible. Finishing the tasks early gives you ample time to have fun in the summer. Additionally, you are less likely to deal with major repairs or inconveniences if you take preventative measures early in the season.
Welcome to the Pacifica Locals Real Estate Blog! This real estate website, as the name suggests, is all about generating the dominating the online exposure that your home deserves.
Vicki Moore of Compass has been working in the local market since 1998. She is a veteran to the real estate industry with expertise in technology, marketing, and social media.
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