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7 Home Prep Ideas for Summer

With the weather warming up, here are seven tips to get your home ready for the season.

1. Flush your water heater


Summer is the perfect time to service your water heater, which should be done every year to remove built-up sediment. The bonus to doing it in the summer? You can use the water to irrigate your growing garden, lawn, or plants.

2. A/C Tune-up


Whether you have central air, a hybrid system or evaporative coolers, having your comfort system professionally serviced could extend the life of your system and increase its energy efficiency. A study was performed that concluded your system’s efficiency can improve by $66-$80/month– even if you JUST had a tune-up the previous year! Annual tune-ups are definitely worth your investment every year.

3. Change Filters/ Cooling Pads


With seasonal allergies at their peak, it’s time to replace your heating and cooling system’s air filter or cooling pads. For filters, use a High-Efficiency Particle Arresting (HEPA) air filter or one rated for a MERV level of 11-12 (versus a lower number) to make sure you are capturing more airborne, allergy-inducing, asthma producing particles. The same goes for swamp cooler pads. They need to be properly moist, with enough water in the tray, and they need to be clean to avoid clogs and gunk that can drop efficiency.

4. Seal Windows and Doors


While some “breathing” of your house is inevitable and– in fact– helpful to circulate new, fresh air, you still will want to inspect doors and windows for any gaps, and then caulk and seal those leaks to keep comfort a priority along with energy costs down.

5. Upgrade Your Thermostat


Thermostats have had a leap in technology in the last few years, and they often will help you save on your energy bill. For example, the newest Ecobee thermostats will adjust to your programmed comfort levels when it senses if you are occupying a room. Otherwise, it powers down your comfort system and saves on your energy bill. 

6. Vacuum Refrigerator Coils


A thick coating of dust and grime impairs the efficiency of your fridge. Give its cooling coils a thorough cleaning each spring with a vacuum or brush.

7. Control Sunshine and/or Use Fans


Bright, natural light is awesome for our moods, but it’s less than favorable for keeping cool. The radiant heat of an unblinded window can increase the ambient temperature in your home by up to ten degrees. According to the EPA “… about 76% of sunlight that falls on standard double-pane windows enters to become heat.” If you can’t do without light or don’t like blackout curtains, opt for energy-efficient window covers that let the light in but reflect the heat out. You can also master your fans. Install ceiling fans and set them to turn counter-clockwise so they create a wind chill effect. This means sweat is wicked away and the relative temperature of your home feels cooler, which helps you reduce how much you need to run your cooling system. 

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