For most of us, preparing for summer means buying a new swimsuit and booking a summer vacation. However, the truth is that besides the usual deep house cleaning, it's time to prepare your home for summer. To help make your life easier during this season, we've compiled a list of what you need to do to prepare your house for the coming warm weather. Let's get started.
1. Service Your AC Unit
Nothing is worse than having your AC unit break down when summer is at its peak and most HVAC services are booked up. To prevent this from happening, inspect your air conditioner and ensure it will keep your house cool for the next few months of summer.
First off, you need to replace the air conditioner's filter. Dirty and clogged filters will make your AC unit work extra hard, stay on longer, and rack up a higher energy bill. Hopefully you're already replacing the air and heating filters every eight to twelve weeks, depending on how much pet hair and dust is in your house. By changing your AC filter, you'll avoid entering summer with a dirty, old filter.
Second, you need to turn on your AC system to see how it cools the air in your house. If your unit doesn't kick on immediately, check the fuses or circuit breakers. If the problem persists, be sure to call in the professionals. Even if everything appears to work properly, it's equally important that you call in the professionals. Seasonal maintenance, including cleaning and inspection, are crucial when approaching hot weather.
2. Safeguard Against Water Damage
With intense heat comes the occasional thunderstorm and heavy rain, so protecting your home against water damage is an important measure to take. This should begin with the foundation, where you need to check for any leaks or cracks. You could also place grates or build up dirt outside the house to direct rainwater away from your home's foundation. Grating of one inch per foot will guarantee proper runoff of rainwater.
Next, check the gutters for low spots or breaks which could result in water pooling near your house. Such leaks can eventually erode the sections below damaged gutters, resulting in water coming too close to the foundation. As you inspect the gutters, pay more attention to the downspout, since you'll want it to direct water almost three feet away from your house.
You should also inspect the doors and windows for wear, leaks, or cracks in the caulking. Replace the caulk right before the onset of summer to ensure that your house is protected from leaks that could result in wood rot and mold. Finally, keep an eye on the flashing and shingles on your roof, especially if the roof is older.
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3. Bug-Proof Your House
The last thing you want is to have your house infested by pests during summer. With the intense outside heat, most insects and pests will try to get away from the heat and seek refuge in your house - a nice cool place to hide. Summertime is the time of year they enjoy the most, since the winter months present tough thriving conditions. What can be done to prevent a situation like this? Suggests entrepreneur Steve McRae, founder of Top Reviewed Ten, "Bug-proof your house by making sure it is properly sealed. Look at your doors and windows to check whether there are any cracks or gaps that would let in roaches or rodents. You could also call pest control specialists to spray the exterior of your home with insecticide. This way, you will have gone a long way towards ensuring that your house is bug-free during summer."
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4. Touch Up Paint
For many people, paint is just for aesthetics. However, the truth is that a little touch-up can come in handy. A fresh paint job protects the wood on your attic or doors from water as well as other elements. Peeling or chipping paint on wood leaves it vulnerable to rot and mold. And of course, it's easier to keep up with small touch-ups rather than ignoring them, only to have them grow into a bigger problem later.
5. Dust and Switch the Ceiling Fans
During spring, your home's ceiling fans have probably collected a lot of dust, and the best way to prepare them for summer is to dust and wash them. This way, you'll prevent the dust they have accumulated from being blown all over your house or collecting on seats and pillowcases. After cleaning, you should also consider changing the direction of the fans. Most ceiling fans are designed to rotate in different directions, depending on the season. Set your fans to spin counterclockwise in order to promote proper air movement during summer.
6. Test for Ventilation Leaks
A perfectly functioning air conditioner will not really matter if there are leaks in your house allowing your perfectly cooled air to slowly make its way out. Start by looking for actual leaks: drafts in the doors and windows. If you find any, seal them with weatherstripping and caulk. You should also check your basement or attic insulation to make sure it is covering all the sections it should. In addition, check for any gaps in the insulation and seal them. Look around ductwork and pipes specifically, and fill any gaps with expanding foam. Moreover, you should ensure the attic floor is insulated without blocking the vents. Just be sure not to overdo the insulation, since it could end up being a messy job.
Contributed by Shaira Williams
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