Summer Home Maintenance
The heat and humidity outdoors is telling us that summer has arrived. A shady area, and a cool beverage are great, but the ultimate comfort is air-conditioning. Nothing beats coming home to a crisp, cool home after a long day in the sun, but can you imagine if your HVAC broke down when you needed it the most? The summer maintenance list below will keep your home systems, specially your air conditioning, in good working order and running as efficiently as possible during the hot summer months.
- Perform routine maintenance on your HVAC unit. This can be as simple as changing your HVAC filters. If your unit is older or not working optimally, get your unit inspected by a professional.
- Clean and adjust ceiling fans, you will use them more in the summer months.
- Walk around your home’s exterior. The scorching heat can cause damage. Inspect any decks, and steps for wood rot and other damage. Repair as needed and don’t forget to weatherproof all wooden surfaces if it has been two year or longer since the last weatherproofing.
- Also inspect driveways, sidewalks, patios, and other concrete surfaces for cracks. Repair all cracks as needed.
- Check around your home’s roof and chimneys for any insect (like bees) nests. If you find any remove them if you dare and can do it safely, otherwise call a professional pest remover.
- Check your sprinkler system in different areas. Make sure everything is working correctly.
- Remove lint from the dryer exhaust vent. You can use a long, flexible brush.
- Inspect outdoor water hoses. Make sure that there are no leaks.
- Check all your windows and doors. Make sure they shut tightly and that the weather stripping is in good condition. You don’t want the cool air escaping.
In addition to these tips, the Department of Energy recommends keeping your house warmer than normal when you are away, and setting the thermostat to 78°F only when you are at home and need cooling. This may not sound like the coolest temperature, but it is the most efficient and money saving setting for your central air conditioning unit. Programmable thermostats, like the Nest, that remember your settings make it easy to keep ideal temperatures.
(Originally published for 12th&Broad: 7/1/15)