Now that summer is almost here, your thoughts may have turned to how you can keep your kids entertained while they’re out of school, and where you’d like to take your family for a much-needed vacation after being stuck at home the last couple years. While these are high-priority items, don’t overlook the important home maintenance to-dos that need to happen now that a new season is almost here.
Check out our task list below to find out what every homeowner should know to keep their home in tip-top shape this season.
#1. Schedule cooling maintenance
If you haven’t already done so this year, make an appointment for a tune-up for your home’s air conditioning system. Your family depends on your AC for cool comfort when the temperature outside starts to rise. Air conditioner maintenance performed by professionals will help keep your system running efficiently all summer long. This means fewer unexpected breakdowns and expensive repairs to deal with while you’re strategically budgeting for your family’s vacation!
During your tune-up, a skilled and experienced technician will inspect and clean all working components inside your unit to be sure things are operating as they should. If any parts need to be repaired or replaced, the technician will recommend the best course of action for resolving the issue — maybe even during the same appointment.
Additionally, the technician will perform tests to check if your cooling system is running safely. If the operation of your AC could potentially put your family in harm’s way — e.g., because old and worn-out wiring could potentially be a fire hazard — your technician will inform you and recommend the required repair(s) or replacement(s) needed.
#2. Replace your air filter often
The air filter in your home is likely installed as part of your heating system. Many homeowners mistakenly believe that since they are not using their furnace now that the cooling season has arrived, they don’t need to worry about replacing their air filter. This is not true! ALL air passing through the vents in your home will travel through this same filter. If it’s full of dirt and dust, they will get swept along with the conditioned air from your AC as it travels through your ducts and out through the vents in your home.
A dirty filter could jeopardize your home’s indoor air quality. This could potentially cause health problems for anyone in your home who suffers from respiratory issues or allergies.
Professionals recommended changing the air filter monthly, more often if you have smokers or pets in your home, as these could cause your filter to get dirty much quicker. If you aren’t sure what size replacement filter you need, write down or take a picture of the size and specifications listed on the existing filter’s frame.
#3. Turn your dehumidifier on
You likely ran your humidifier during the fall and winter to help balance the humidity levels in your family’s home. These units are essential during the cooler times of the year when your home can get very dry and uncomfortable with your heating system running often.
Now that warmer weather is here and the summer season is upon us, it’s time to turn your humidifier off and your dehumidifier ON! This unit will help prevent a build-up of moisture in the air — which is the definition of humidity. High humidity levels in a home can make you feel uncomfortable, warm, and clammy, and this can also cause issues for wooden flooring and furniture. A home with high humidity levels can also be the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew spores. This nasty fungus can make your home smell musty, and it can also cause indoor air quality issues.
Don’t have a dehumidifier? There are many different systems available today. Consult with an HVAC pro for information on the best system for your home’s needs.
#4. Keep your windows and curtains closed
During the fall and winter, open your curtains and window blinds to let in sunlight during the day — to help keep things warm and toasty. However, the opposite is true during the summer, when you’ll keep windows and curtains closed so that the sun’s hot rays can’t get inside during the day. Homeowners are often amazed by how much the sun can raise the temperature inside their home during daylight hours.
Craving fresh air? On cooler nights, you can switch your AC off and open your windows to let in a nice outdoor breeze. What better way to fall asleep — knowing that you’re getting cool, fresh air and you’re also helping save on your energy bills with your AC turned off for the night?
#5. Be sure the outside of your home is also properly maintained
There’s more to home maintenance than taking care of inside your home. Check the exterior vent for your dryer to be sure that it’s clean and clear of any build-up. Any obstruction to air flow here could potentially cause a fire, so it’s important to keep up with making sure this vent is always clear.
Additionally, check your driveway for cracks. These will get worse in the summer as the sun’s hot rays beat down on the pavement. If you notice any issues, contact a driveway professional to get the cracks resealed before the damage gets worse.
Finally, check around window and door frames for damage or openings. These areas could potentially cause issues with air loss from inside your home — cool air from your AC could escape, causing your cooling system to work harder than needed to keep your family comfortable. If you detect any problem areas, reseal with the proper weatherstripping materials.
Make sure that the vents in your home are clear of any type of obstruction that could restrict air flow. Walk through each room and make sure there aren’t any rugs, curtains, or furniture in front of or on top of your vents. This will prevent cool air from your AC from reaching all of your home. As a result, this could lead to uneven temperatures and even higher than normal energy bills since your AC has to work overtime to try and push cool air throughout your home.
Also be sure to clean your vents often to prevent a buildup of dirt and grime, which could restrict airflow and cause indoor air quality issues.