May has given us an extended Spring this year, but summer temperatures are right around the corner. While those scorching temperatures are great for lounging around the pool, they can be rough on your home and outdoor equipment, not to mention raise your power bill.
The good news is that homeowners can help combat some of that by preparing their home in advance of the summer heat.
SERVICE YOUR A/C UNIT
This is one of the most important things you can do in preparation for summer. Schedule an appointment with a professional air company. They will check refrigerant levels, electrical components, motors, evaporator coils, condenser belts, and more. These maintenance checks can uncover potential issues early when they are still easy and cheap to repair. It will also give you peace of mind to know your unit is ready to get you through the triple digit temps.
REGULARLY REPLACE AIR FILTER
The single most important bit of A/C maintenance you can do yourself to extend the life of your unit and keep it running efficiently is changing the air filter. During the summer, it needs to be replaced every month since the unit runs for hours every day.
FIX AIR DUCT LEAKS
You pay a premium for cool air during the summer, so don’t let it escape through leaks before it has a chance to cool your home. If you have rooms that seem to feel stuffy or never really cool all the way, it could be a sign you have a leaky duct. Other signs include increased energy bills without increased usage, faster dust buildup, and dirty ducts. Making repairs can save you hundreds of dollars every year and extends the life of your unit by not overworking it.
Insulation tends to compact over time which results in less coverage. This is particularly important around ductwork and pipes. Adding insulation is a messy job! If you decide to do it yourself, be sure to use a respirator, not just a dust mask.
INSTALL CEILING FANS
Ceiling fans help you to feel cooler without turning the thermostat down by distributing the cool air. Bedrooms and living rooms are important areas to add ceiling fans and will help cut down the cost of your electric bill.
ADD A PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT
Programming a thermostat for the way you live in your home can make a big difference on your electric bill. If you are gone for several hours every day, program those hours to raise the temperature by a few degrees, then have it return to your favorite temperature right before you’re due to be home. There is no sense in cooling an empty house all day. If you have pets, be sure to take them into consideration when setting your programs.
PREP WINDOWS AND DOORS
Windows and doors are your home’s greatest weakness. Check for leaks by feeling for drafty air both inside and out. Fill gaps with caulking or new weather stripping. Shade windows with reflective film, roller shades, window screens, or sunscreen curtains.
ADD A PATIO MISTING SYSTEM
A little spray of water can go a long way in turning a patio into a backyard oasis in the summer. With a misting system, you can enjoy more outdoor entertainment throughout the hottest parts of the year.
The summer heat and sun are harsh on our homes and power bill, but with some advance preparation, you won’t have to sweat it.