Summer is a fun time where most of us can enjoy the outdoors. When it comes to your home, you want to keep the hot summer days out. There are several things you can do to help keep cooling costs down and prevent hot-weather mishaps. Getting your home ready for the hot, humid summer days is a task every homeowner should do. According to the Good Housekeeping Institute and Trane Residential, there is a must-do summer checklist.
“Between the soaring temperatures and uptick in extreme weather, your home might have to work a lot harder this summer,” says Rachel Rothman, the institute’s chief technologist. “Plus, you want to make sure all major systems are in order before heading off on any long holidays.”
Take Care of Cooling Equipment
Many homeowners forget these important tasks, in order for your central system to work efficiently a homeowner should change the HVAC filter every 90 days. A dirty filter can send dust and dander back into your home. Worst of all a dirty filter can add stress to your HVAC system.
Your central AC system should be serviced at least once a year, preferably every season. A professional will run a range of maintenance duties that a homeowner is not able to do. Annual tune-ups will extend the life of your equipment by several years or more. A typical service will run between $100 to $300 per service.
Check the Temperature
Having a thermostat that will adjust the indoor temperature throughout the day can save tons on your utility bill. In fact, Wi-Fi-connected devices can lower cooling costs by as much as ten percent according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Keep Humidity and Air Pollutants in Check
Bugs and other pests love humidity. Moist air creates a perfect environment for dust mites, mold, and other allergens in your home. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a homeowner should keep humidity levels below 60%. The study concludes that ideally, a home should have a humidity level between 30 and 50 percent.
A stand-alone dehumidifier is a perfect tool to lower moisture levels in a small space such as a basement. If you live in a drier climate, then a humidifier can help put moisture back into your home’s air.
Be Prepared for Extreme Weather
Summer means unpredictable weather and is a high time for storms in many areas. Storms mean power outages and for this, a homeowner should look into getting a backup generator. Storms can also wreak havoc on your gutter system so make sure they are in good working order. Clean them out and make sure the water drains properly away from your home.
FEMA suggests every homeowner have an emergency kit with 72 hours worth of supplies. Each kit should include (3 gallons per person), non-perishable food, a battery-powered or hand crank radio, a flashlight with extra batteries, a first-aid kit, dust masks, a whistle to signal for help, and a wrench or pliers to turn off utilities.
Be on the Lookout for Pests
Summer is the season for ticks, termites and carpenter ants. These insects love moist soil and rotting wood so make sure your gutter system is cleaned out and working properly. Keep things like mulch, firewood and dense shrubbery away from the foundation.
A good way to determine if you have any pests is to look for piles of sawdust along baseboards—a telltale sign of carpenter ants. Termites, meanwhile, like to shed their wings along windowsills, walls, and other entry points.
Make your home and its surroundings a negative space for insects such as mosquitoes and ticks. Remove all standing water from birdbaths, gardening pots or any other container around the outside of your home. Keep your grass mowed. Ticks love tall grass in shady parts of the yard.
Being a homeowner is a lot of work but well worth it. If you are in the market for a new home, contact your local Realtor.