Spring is almost upon us and while we are all accustomed to winterizing our homes, there’s just as much to do before the warmer months arrive. Here are some ways to ensure that your home is ready for summer.
Check your AC: Inspecting for leaks and damage before it heats up will get you ready for summer. Ensuring that your AC is working effectively will also reduce its running costs. If your AC is old, switch to an ENERGY STAR appliance and save on summer cooling costs. Also check that all AC vents inside the home are unobstructed.
Caulk any gaps and holes and check the weather stripping around doors so that your AC won’t have to work harder to keep your home cool. According to ENERGY STAR, you can save up to 10% on your summer cooling bills by preventing air leakage and ensuring an efficient building envelope.
Check your filters: Ensure that all your air filters are clean and in good working order. Filters help to keep your air clean and prevent particles from outside getting in. The primary function of these filters is to protect your mechanical equipment from premature failure. This is a low-cost way of ensuring that your system will perform at optimal levels.
With the heating season coming to a close, have your heating system inspected so that you can use the summer to make necessary repairs at your leisure. Waiting until next fall could lead to a couple of cold days or higher prices as technicians struggle to keep up with increased demand.
Install a programmable thermostat: This will reduce your energy consumption and it means you can program it to work less during the day when you are at work.
Creating shade: If you love the winter sun coming in your south-facing windows, but find the summer sun too hot, consider planting deciduous trees and plants. These will provide shade in the summer, but they lose their leaves in the fall to let the warm winter sunshine in.
You can also use blinds to keep summer sun out during the day when you are not home. This will help to significantly reduce your summer cooling costs.
Clean out your gutters: Remove all the fall leaves and other debris that has gathered in your gutters over the winter. Keeping them clean will help you to move rainwater away from the home which will prevent damage and flooding. Add downspout extensions to direct rainwater into your garden or onto your lawn. This will reduce your summer water usage.
Rainwater Barrels: Collecting rainwater in a rainwater barrel can really help to reduce your water consumption. Rainwater can be utilized in your landscaping or in your home to flush toilets.
Check your sprinkler systems: Ensure that there are no holes in hoses and pipes and that your sprinkler heads are properly aligned.
Remove foundation vent plugs you may have installed to keep your pipes from freezing in the winter. Check your roof too; during the winter, roof shingles can be damaged or lifted by ice dams. Ice dams form in areas where your roof insulation is thinnest. Here the snow is melted but, with the gutters full, there’s nowhere for the water to go. Overnight, this water freezes into ice dams that can expand and push up under the shingles. This can produce leaks in the rainy summer months. Give your home a good once-over to make sure that you are summer ready.