Just a few days ago, the National Weather Service issued a statement warning residents in the US to be vigilant for symptoms of heat illness and reminded everyone to take breaks indoors and stay hydrated. That is because this summer is predicted to have “above-average temperatures” in most of the lower 48 states from the months of June to August.
If you’re a homeowner and live in an area that receives a good amount of snow, winterizing your home is probably on your to-do list before the frigid season steps in. But did you know that there are also essential tasks you can do to protect your house and your loved ones from the scorching summer days? Doing some routine HVAC maintenance, rotating your ceiling fans counterclockwise, and checking your gutters and roof are some of the things to get your home ready for summer – and we’ll cover all of that in this article. In addition, we’ll also provide some home improvement ideas that you can start this season, so continue reading!
How can I prepare my home for summer?
Summer is a favorite time of the year for many. Whether it’s going to the beach, having a barbecue, or jumping in the pool, the weather simply invites people to be more active and be outdoors. And while most of us welcome the summer season, it’s also during these months when you want to give extra attention to your home to make it more energy-efficient and keep you comfortable indoors during extreme temperatures. Here are 10 ways to make your home summer-ready.
Accomplish your spring cleaning list
Spring may be almost over, but have you completed your spring cleaning list yet? If you haven’t, don’t worry, you still have time. Before we reach unbearable temperatures, make sure that you’ve ticked off every item on your list.
Some things that you don’t want to miss are: having your curtains or wiped your blinds vacummed, windows washed, furniture and other fixtures dusted, surfaces disinfected, and also had your furnace cleaned.
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Schedule an HVAC/air conditioning system checkup
As temperatures begin to get warmer, you know that your HVAC or air conditioning systems will again work double-time. If you don’t want to get caught in the middle of the hot months with a malfunctioning cooling unit, you want to make sure that it is running efficiently.
Some ways you can do to keep your HVAC or AC in top shape are to change or clean the filters every month, keep the coils clean, check the drain line and fins, and also get a professional maintenance service twice a year (during autumn and spring).
Schedule an AC tune-up from expert cooling services near you – click here.
Check your thermostat
Besides your cooling system, you should also test if the thermostat is working fine. To check, adjust the thermostat around five degrees lower than the temperature in your home. You should notice your AC kick into gear and you should feel cold air coming from the vents.
If you haven’t yet, consider getting a smart thermostat for your home. Smart thermostats can learn your usage on your heating and cooling units, and will automatically adjust the settings of your HVAC/AC systems for optimal performance. These devices can make your home more energy-efficient and help lower your utility bills.
Install home window tinting
Closing your drapes or blinds on windows that receive direct sunlight can help lower heat gain in your home and keep you comfortable during hot summer days. In addition, you can invest in tinting your home windows to help prevent your cooling costs from increasing this season.
Tinted windows can reject the sun’s heat coming through your windows by up to 84%, so your AC won’t need to work as hard to keep your home cool. In addition, some window films can block harmful UV light, which is a known cause of sunburn and skin cancer.
As you know, summer also brings in violent weather conditions like heavy rains, thunderstorms, and hurricanes. Even before these summer storms begin, make sure that you do a close inspection of your home’s gutter system. Keep an eye out for clogs and any signs of corrosion on your gutter. Also, check if there are parts that are pulling away from the house.
If you spot any issues, have your home gutter repaired right away before it blows up into a major problem such as interior water damage.
Check your roof
Another area that your should inspect is your roof. You probably didn’t notice, but your roof may have sustained some damage during winter. Have a quick look at your roof, and see if there are damaged or missing shingles that could allow water to seep in. Also, inspect the flashings, and if you have skylights check that the caulk around it hasn’t cracked. Your roofing system should be working properly before summer thunderstorms and hurricanes hit your area.
Have a professional roofer inspect and repair your roof before it becomes a much more expensive issue.
Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Did you know that according to the National Fire Protection Association, over 25% of fires that were reported from 2015 to 2019 involved residential homes? And in those reported cases, the leading cause is cooking.
To prevent this incident, make it a point to inspect and test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as you prepare your home for summer. It’s a good idea to replace batteries with new ones and dust off any dirt build-up that could prevent the detectors to work properly.
As people become more active during this season, so are pests. Some pests that thrive in summer are ants, mosquitoes, flies, fleas, and ticks. You also want to look out for termites, which is bad news for your home’s structural integrity. Besides that, termites can also trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks in residents living in homes that are infested by these pests.
If you spot any of these pests on your property, call a professional pest control company immediately.
Rotate ceiling fans counterclockwise
One of the best ways to keep your home cool and prevent your energy costs from skyrocketing in summer is to take advantage of your ceiling fans. During hot days, set your fan blades to spin counterclockwise. Turning the fans in this direction will push the cool air down, which helps keep the room’s temperature remain consistent throughout. This also means you can increase the temperature by a few degrees so your AC won’t have to run on full blast all the time It is estimated that homeowners can save as much as 40% on their AC bills when they use their cooling systems with ceiling fans.
Update your home’s insulation
Another technique that will cut your energy costs and help keep your house cool during a hot summer is proper insulation. A home with good insulation has a barrier that helps decrease the amount of heat that comes in during the summer months and prevents heat from leaving in winter.
Before the temperature increases, check if there are spaces in your home that are under-insulated. Some areas in your house that will require insulation are your attic, walls, ceilings, crawl space, HVAC ducts, and floors.
Note that each home has different requirements to have sufficient insulation, so you will definitely benefit from the help of a professional insulation contractor to get the job right.
Popular Home Improvement Projects this Summer
Besides getting your home summer-ready, you can also take advantage of this time to spruce things up and upgrade areas in your house. As promised, here are some top home improvement projects you can consider this season.
- Give your home’s exterior a fresh coat of paint – There are plenty of benefits to re-painting the exterior of a home, such as better aesthetics and curb appeal, added protection against the elements, plus it also increases the value of your home (estimated ROI of 55%).
- Enhance the landscaping of your property – As summer days encourage us to spend more time outdoors, might take as well start a landscaping project. You can take some weekends off to add plants to your garden or tend to your lawn, or hire a professional landscaper to save time and get high-quality service.
- Get a home window replacement – One home improvement project that will give you a 100% ROI is getting a home window replacement. Switching to modern windows will increase the airflow in your space, provide natural light and improve your home’s energy efficiency.
- Replace/repair your fence – Another project to start in the summer is fence maintenance. If your fence has seen better days, now is the time to replace or repair it. A good fence provides you privacy and security, plus it also contributes to your home’s curb appeal.
- Making small improvements in the home – Your summer home improvement project doesn’t have to be huge. You can give your space an upgrade with mini makeovers such as replacing the mirror in your bathroom, adding a vanity top, or repainting kitchen cabinets. You can easily do these things on your own or call a handyman service for help.
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