Summer is just around the corner, and that means long days of hot sun beating down on your home will be here before you know it. Instead of waiting, it’s important to properly prepare your home now, before summer hits.
To keep things manageable, it’s best to break up your summer preparations into a few key areas. Here’s how to get started after your spring cleaning is done.
Your Checklist for Energy Efficiency
While preparing your home to maximize energy efficiency during the winter is mostly about inspecting insulation and sealing drafty cracks, summertime energy efficiency is all about your home’s heating and air conditioning system itself.
One of the best things you can do to boost your home’s energy efficiency during the hot months is to change the filters in your climate control system. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, air filters that are dirty and clogged can increase your energy usage by as much as 15 percent. To save your wallet from taking an unnecessary hit, make sure to switch your old filters for new ones at the start of summer. It’s also a good idea to continue checking the filters again at least once toward the middle of summer, especially if you live in a dusty climate.
Make sure to test your climate control system to verify its operation. For the best results, wait until a day when you’ve been out of the house for at least eight hours, so the structure will have time to reach the maximum temperature it’s likely to hit on hot days. Once you’re home, turn your thermostat way down (60 degrees is a good target), and then monitor your air conditioning system to make sure it turns on and heads toward the target temperature in under an hour. If it doesn’t turn on, or takes more than an hour to start nearing the target temperature, it’s probably time for a visit from a maintenance technician.
It’s also a good idea to consider installing a whole house ventilation system. In contrast to standard air conditioning, a whole house ventilation system reduces humidity to ensure you stay dry and comfortable. Since it takes much less energy to cool drier air than humid air, your cooling bills and energy usage will drop.
Your Checklist for Comfort
If you live in an area that experiences cold winters, now’s the time to do a tour around your home and switch out all of your winter linens with more seasonally appropriate options. Change out heavy flannel sheets for thinner, more breathable bedding.
Since summer usually brings a wider swing between the coldest nighttime temperature and the hottest daytime temperature, you’ve probably grown used to constantly fiddling with your thermostat. To avoid the hassle, consider installing a programmable thermostat. The latest models allow you to quickly and easily create temperature profiles for different seasons, different times of day or even different hours. This ensures you’ll be just as comfortable at midnight as you are at noon, and the reduced energy usage saves money at the same time.
Your Checklist for Your Home’s Aesthetics
While wintertime is all about keeping the outdoors out, summertime calls for a more inviting atmosphere in your home, and that means it’s time to pay attention to your windows.
Update your windows to reflect the light and airy mood of summer by swapping out heavy, dark wintertime curtains with alternatives made from lighter cloth. For the most attractive results, choose a material that’s thin enough to let in light when the shades are drawn so you’ll always have a bit of that summertime sun brightening up the room.
While you should have checked window seams for gaps and cracks before winter started, now’s a good time to do it again—especially since winter temperatures can cause new damage.
It’s also a good idea to thoroughly inspect your window screens and make sure they won’t let pests or bugs in when you want to open the windows for a cool evening breeze. Check for tears or gaps between the screen threads, replace damaged screens or purchase a window screen repair kit and apply a patch to screens needing minor repairs.
Your Checklist for Health
Summer air is filled with dust, car pollution, pollen and a number of other potentially harmful particles. This can lead to asthma attacks, allergies or worse. Accordingly, one of the best things you can do to maintain good health in the summertime is to use a UV air purifier. UV air purifiers help maintain clean, healthy air, even when you have the windows open more often, and the best models, like the WAVE Air Purifier, remove 99 percent of everyday indoor air pollutants.
When the mercury climbs, you’ll need to start drinking more to stay properly hydrated, and that means you need to ensure your tap water is as clean and pure as it can be. Make sure to inspect all faucets in your home for proper function, and check closely for any stains, smells or other irregularities.
If you find any irregularities in your water, or if you simply want to ensure your family is enjoying the purest water it can, check out some of our helpful blog posts, where we’ve got a variety of tips to address common issues like hard water. Or give us a call to discuss how our water filtration systems can keep your water clean and tasty, all summer long!