Summer is almost here, and the chances are that you’re ready for its vibe: shorts and dresses, barbeques, ice cream dates, vacations- you name it. But is your home ready for the warm weather? And do you know how to prepare your home for summer?
It’s undeniable that summer is, for the most part, the best season, thanks to its warm and long days. Unfortunately, this season also has its not-so-good side. Think of its high temperatures, which increase the potential for heatwaves, storms and outages. And don’t forget the pests and bugs.
In short, among your other preparations for the warm weather, making your home summer-ready should be a priority. Preparing beforehand can be the difference between a summer season packed with fun and one full of astronomical bills and high maintenance and repair costs.
There are plenty of things you can do today to prepare your home for summer. We came up with five, so let’s dig right in.
Tune Up Your HVAC System
More than any other home appliance, your central air conditioning system will bear the brunt of the summer season. As it works hard to keep your days and nights bearable, the HVAC unit might struggle or even fail, especially if you’ve not been so nice to it in terms of maintenance lately.
Start by checking the filter. A clogged filter leads to an annoying scenario where some parts of your spaces are cool while others are hot. This forces the HVAC system into overdrive in an attempt to create an evenly cooled space. Ultimately, the appliance becomes inefficient and starts experiencing regular shutdowns and repairs.
You’ll also want to pay attention to the condition of the air ducts and vents. To make your HVAC system more energy-efficient, make sure the ducts are clean, and the vents are not obstructed.
Something else that’s often not mentioned is ensuring your HO3 policy covers your HVAC system. With the cost of a typical HVAC system ranging between $4850 and $9400, you want to be sure that you won’t foot the entire installation cost alone in case your AC system dies.
Monitor the Thermostat
A thermostat is more than worth it when striking a balance between a comfortable home and reasonable energy bills. If you don’t have one already, purchasing a thermostat should be at the top of your considerations as you prepare your home for summer.
This handy device connects with your Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning System to keep the temperature in your residential spaces “the same.”
It turns out that every season has its ideal thermostat temperature setting. According to the US Department of Energy, setting the thermostat at 78 degrees F when you’re at home in summer will help maximize energy savings for a typical HVAC system.
Of course, this is just a general guideline, particularly if you’re putting a keen eye on your energy bills. Suppose 78 F still feels uncomfortably warm for you or some family members. In that case, you may want to experiment with other settings until you arrive at a figure your family can tolerate while maintaining reasonable energy bills. Or combine this step with the next one!
Reverse Your Ceiling Fan Blades to Rotate Counterclockwise
Our next tip to help you prepare your home for summer is the easiest on this list. But engineers and technicians affirm that it works like a charm when it comes to cooling homes.
When the mercury starts rising, inspect your ceiling fans and ensure they rotate counterclockwise. Most fans have a direction button on the motor housing to switch between clockwise and counterclockwise rotating modes. Other fans have remote or wall controls with reverse functions.
The way a fan makes the room feel cooler by rotating counterclockwise is quite simple: it pushes cool air downwards. Upon hitting your skin, the cool air displaces the warm air surrounding you, creating a wind-chill effect.
This simple trick allows you to crank the thermostat up to four degrees. That’s to say, you can set your thermostat at the recommended 78 F, but the room will feel like it’s around 74 F.
Prep Your Plumbing
Prepping your plumbing is another way you need to prepare your home for summer. There’s no best time to inspect and maintain your plumbing. But your water points and drainage get super strained in summer thanks to the influx of parties and events.
More people hanging around your home for extended periods translates to regular toilet flushes, more showers and more dishwasher and laundry loads. And we’re yet to touch on all of the outdoor water activities that make up summer staycations.
Essentially, summer is the plumbing season. An early inspection will go a long way in preventing unexpected summer plumbing emergencies and expensive repair bills.
To prepare your plumbing for summer:
- Inspect your inside and outside taps for leaks and dripping.
- Take care of sweating pipes: they can be as damaging as leaky pipes.
- Check for drippings and leaks under the sinks.
- Inspect all toilets for leaks.
- Examine your hot water system for debris and sediment deposits from the previous season.
- Clean your sump pump and ensure it’s working perfectly to reduce the risk of flooding and damage.
Bug-Proof Your Home
The warmer summer weather is not only perfect for us humans, but it’s also prime for most insects to mature. Additionally, most bugs are poikilotherms, meaning that the only way to survive their internal temperature is through basking or burrowing. This explains why insects and crawlers, such as snakes and most lizards, seem to be more annoying during the summer months.
While working to prepare your home for summer, you may want to contract the services of a professional pest control company if you live in an area with a serious bug problem. Otherwise, there are many ways of bug-proofing your home without engaging a terminator.
Keep doors and windows closed to keep unwanted visitors out. But if you need to keep them open for ventilation reasons, consider adding a 20 wire mesh screen or even finer to prevent most household freeloaders, such as roaches, from entering through open windows and doors. Speaking of these entry points, you’ll also want to check the sealing around the exterior doors and windows and replace it if necessary.
It’s also important to go around your house, filling cracks and crevices in your foundation and walls. And don’t forget the tiny gaps left around pipe penetrations. These could be letting in plenty of bugs and insects, including centipedes, ants, millipedes and bedbugs.