Summer Home Maintenance Tips
Keeping a beautiful, functional home can seem like a lot of work sometimes. However, a little proactive maintenance can help you avoid the bigger and more expensive problems that arise from neglect.
Preparing your home for the high temperatures of summer is especially important – and it all begins with your home cooling system.
Summer HVAC Maintenance Tips
If you want to stay cool and comfortable all summer long, give your AC a little TLC:
- Schedule a professional air conditioner tuneup. A licensed HVAC professional should inspect and maintain your system every year, ideally before the hottest days of summer arrive. This service usually includes lubrication of moving parts, coolant check and top-off, system cleaning and a thorough inspection that can help you catch small problems before they become expensive breakdowns.
- Stock up on HVAC filters. Depending on the type of filters you use, you may need to change the filter monthly or every three months. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's recommendations, and don't forget this simple maintenance! A clogged air filter forces your system to work harder, which costs you money and accelerates the wear-and-tear on your equipment.
- Clean and clear your HVAC vents. Dusty vents are unsightly and can trap odors that circulate throughout your home. Give each vent a good cleaning and make sure it's not blocked by furniture, rugs, drapes or wall hangings.
- Keep your outdoor AC condenser free of leaves and debris. These obstructions can reduce airflow into your system, which is bad for both efficiency and the condition of your equipment.
Summer Home Prep Checklist
With your air conditioner squared away for the season, there are a few other important tasks to help keep your home comfortable, efficient and safe during the warmest months:
- Check your ceiling fan direction. In warm weather, your ceiling fans should spin counterclockwise to create a cooling downdraft. This can allow you to set your thermostat about four degrees higher without any reduction in comfort. Fans only cool people, though – not the air – so only use fans in occupied rooms.
- Prepare your window treatments. One of the greatest sources of unwanted heat in your home is the sunlight streaming through your windows. By installing and using blinds, shades or heavy drapes during the heat of the day, you can give your air conditioner a big break.
- Clean your exhaust fans. Just like your HVAC vents, the exhaust fans in your bathrooms and above your oven range can collect dust and dirt. Left unchecked, this can significantly inhibit airflow. After a good cleaning, be sure to use them whenever necessary to quickly remove hot, steamy air from your home.
- Switch to LED light bulbs if you haven't already. LED bulbs might have cost you an arm and a leg a few years ago, but prices have come down substantially, and a new LED bulb should last for years. They'll also help you save on electricity, and – most importantly for summer – they don't give off unwanted heat.
- Check the weather stripping around doors and windows. If you find cracked, brittle or loose weather stripping, it may be letting cool air escape and warm air flow in. Pick up a replacement weather stripping kit at your local hardware store to freshen up any stripping that isn't doing its job.
- Clean your gutters. Spring storms may send lots of leaves, twigs and debris flying into your gutters, and clogs can quickly cause damage to your roof and home exterior. Ensure that your downspouts are also flowing freely and directed away from your home.
- Eliminate sources of stagnant water near your home. Undisturbed puddles are literally breeding grounds for mosquitoes, so it pays to keep things dry around your home. Fountains and other circulating water sources are fine, as the agitation destroys fragile mosquito eggs.
- Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace the batteries if they're more than six months old, and be sure to check the expiration date on the detectors themselves. They don't last forever, and replacing them on a timely basis can help avert a dangerous disaster.
Get more home care tips in our Learning Center.
Helping You Care for Your Home
Our protection plan options include routine maintenance, repairs, and even replacement coverage. We offer you flexible options and a nationwide network of service providers to give you the support you need, when you need it.View Plans