Summer officially started on June 20th but depending on where you live, you may have already been feeling the heat for a while. Although this is the season to kick back with a cold drink, there are still a few home maintenance chores you don’t want to neglect.
Some tasks are obvious – get the pool ready for swimming, give the grill a good wipe down, and give your plants a little extra love with the water hose. But there are other important items homeowners want to attend to at the beginning of summer.
Here are Responsible Contractors’ 6 Summer Projects you should consider completing before heading for the beach:
- Check Those Windows
You already pay a lot for air conditioning, and you’re going to pay more than you need to if the sealants around your windows are cracked or damaged. Inspect the inside and outside frames and caulk any holes.
Finally, if you have a basement, ensure that your window wells are clear of leaves, animals, and litter.
- Test Your AC
You definitely want to check if your air conditioner is cooling efficiently. When the outside temperature is 80 degrees or higher, turn it on for a simple test. Replace the HVAC filters if necessary and let it run for 30 minutes, before leaving a thermometer on the supply register nearest the internal cooling equipment. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes, and then move the thermometer to the return vent for another 5-10 minutes. The difference between temperatures should be between 14-20 degrees. Less than 14 degrees suggests a leak and more than 20 indicates a blockage.
Note: if your home has a high efficiency AC system, you can simply press the status button on your thermostat to find out if it needs to be serviced. The thermometer test will not give accurate feedback since high efficiency systems cool more slowly and only when necessary.
- Vacuum Your Refrigerator Coils
Another simple way to save money is to vacuum your refrigerator’s coils. Your fridge is an energy suck, comprising 10-15 percent of your home’s total electricity consumption. Dirty coils make it work overtime, driving up your energy bill.
- Remove Excess Lint from Your Laundry Room
The other place you want to hit with the vacuum is your laundry room. Excess lint, particularly in your dryer, is a fire hazard. First, remove the lint trap and vacuum any errant lint or dirt that has built up over time. Then, hit the dryer hose (both the dryer and wall ports). Finally, run the vacuum over the back of the dryer, washer, and the wall to capture any other lint.
- Get a Fire Extinguisher Already!
Speaking of fire hazards, summer is full of ‘em, including grilling, campfires, and fireworks. If you don’t own a fire extinguisher, get one and learn how to use it in the event of a fire. If you already one an extinguisher, inspect it to ensure it is working properly.
- Assess Your Yard for Safety Hazards
We tend to equate cleaning out gutters as a fall or spring chore, but you might want to double-check you don’t have any clogs from fallen leaves and blossoms. Many parts of the country also experience severe weather during summer, including thunderstorms, hail, and tornados. Make sure to clear any branches, yard debris, or trees that pose a hazard to your home in the event of strong winds.
Any of these home projects can be accomplished with a little time and effort. However, if you want to outsource these chores while you get back to enjoying the sun, check out Responsible Contractors for a full directory of responsible, reliable contractors.