Winter faded away very quickly this year, and summer is fast approaching, already many people have cranked up their A/C to deal with the oncoming season. Here are some friendly tips and reminders to help you navigate the season within your home!
Outside your house
- Check your roofs and gutters- the summer heat can really damage shingles, so it’s always a good idea to have a professional inspect your roof every couple of yours. Make sure the gutters are clean and ready for the spring showers, and ensure that the spouts that direct the water face away from your house’s foundations- wouldn’t want a flood in the basement.
- Seal your deck- if you have a deck, make sure to inspect the wood for stains, discoloration or warping, finding those signs may mean it’s time to reseal your deck. To see if your old application still works, pour water on to your deck and check for beading. We know your sealer said that it must be applied annually, but if there are no immediate problems, skipping a year shouldn’t cause a huge issue. This is also a good time to check and see if the wood is splintering, rotting, or has any sharp edges. During your inspection, look closely for rusted nails or nails that are coming out of the wood. Also make sure to check the railings and the stairs to make sure everything is stable and secure and nothing wobbles.
- Ready Your Soil- it’s time for new growth in our gardens. Make sure all the winter debris and leaves is gone from the plant beds. Mix up and loosen the soil and add a little compost for nutrients. If you’re growing veggies or herbs, they need soil that drains well and has a high level of nitrogen, so make sure to find compost or plant food that has plenty of that nitrogen.
- Check your foundation- those midsummer basement floods are a huge pain. Make sure to check the foundation before the rains start. Look for cracks and other imperfections and make sure to seal them (or call a contractor, if necessary). Look for dips and hills in your foundation and yard and fill them in with some compacted soil. These areas collect standing water and can be a breeding ground for nasty mosquitos and other bugs.
- Check you’re A/C- call a qualified, certified HVAC contractor to come out and tune up your air conditioning unit. Doing this annually will help you lower your energy costs and keep everything running efficiently. Ask your HVAC specialist to inspect your system’s condensate drain hose, especially if it’s humid where you live. This hose becomes clogged with algae and other sediment.
Inside your house
- Demustify your basement and attic- hate that musty smell that collects in your basement and attic? Check to make sure that your roof is free of leaks and the insulation isn’t discolored, or deteriorated. In the basement, make sure the walls, floor and trim are all free of water stains and other signs of seepage.
- Check your water heater- look around and ensure that there is no leaks. The average life span of a water heater is 8-12 years but if it’s over 5, checking monthly for signs of a leak is a great idea. Any evidence of water leaking or if any rust is found denotes that it’s time to get that water heater replaced. If you live in an area with hard water, you may need to drain your water heater because of sediment build up in the tank.
- Change those air filters- when you invite your HVAC professional to look at your A/C, ask him to check and change your filters too. Dirty filters make your unit work harder thus increasing your energy costs and maybe even damaging your equipment.
- Recaulk those cracks- seeing cracks around your doors or windows that are wider than a nickel? Get some exterior caulk and seal them in to prevent cold air escaping and making your A/C work twice as hard. You’ll save money on A/C during the summer and heating during the winter!
- Install a programmable thermostat for your HVAC system- If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, you could be losing money big time. Your HVAC specialist can install one for you- it’ll pay for itself quickly. The perks of having a programmable thermostat is that you can control your HVAC around your schedule. That means that it changes the settings for you and maintains a more balanced temperature. You can program your A/C to kick in an hour before you get home from work, so it’s not cooling the whole house while you are gone- it’s also great for when you’re on vacation! Program it to lower the temperature the day you get home so your house is comfortable when you arrive but hasn’t been cooling unnecessarily while you’ve been gone!
If you follow these HVAC tips you can easily maintain your property and run at an efficient, comfortable pace. Your house is the most expensive thing you own (unless you have kids)- so make sure to take care of it. Preventative maintenance always saves you from expensive, surprise repairs and going without A/C in the hottest months of the year! As your HVAC professionals, we would be glad to answer any questions you have about maintaining your units. Call us to schedule your spring appointment and get your questions answered before the heat is really upon us.