Isn’t the internet amazing? The answer to just about any question you may have can be found with just a few key strokes. When we turned to the experts for advice on summer home maintenance, we were inundated with information – some of it downright silly.
We agree with the contractor who reminded us that the heavy home maintenance comes in fall and that pre-summer tasks should deal only with those systems and areas in and around the home that get the most use during the warmer months.
So, let’s dive in and do a quick tour around your house.
Start with the air conditioning system
If it’s been awhile since you’ve changed your HVAC system filters, do that first. You’ll find an easy-to-follow walk-through at YouTube.com.
While you’re at the hardware store buying the filter, why not stock up and buy several? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests changing the HVAC filter once a month during periods of heavy use. Check out this information on how to choose the right filter for your needs at Gardenologist.org.
Finally, consider having the system tuned up by a professional. Fancy yourself more of a hands-on type? The EPA offers a list of tasks to help you do it yourself.
Ceiling fans and fuzz
All that fuzz that gathers on the blades of a ceiling fan is a lot more than ugly. It can actually slow down the blades’ rotation speed, “… cause the blades to wobble, and put some strain on the fan’s motor,” according to Alan J. Heavens at The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Since fans are located in the ceiling, keep safety in mind during the cleaning process. You’ll find lots of tips and advice in videos at YouTube.com
If you hope to throw open those windows
Do a tour of the home, checking the windows for cracked glass and to ensure that the screens don’t contain rips.
Winter and spring can be brutal on the home’s exterior components. Windy days can hurl all manner of projectiles at the home and it doesn’t take much to tear a hole in a window screen.
You’ll want to throw open the windows on that first gloriously warm summer day, so fix windows and screens to ensure they let the fresh air in and keep the pests out.
Ensure safe summer entertaining
According to the U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission, nearly 225,000 injuries occur each year as the result of either a structural failure or collapse of a deck.
It’s not enough to check the deck’s surface; you will need to investigate the condition of the underneath as well. Find tips on what to look for and how to fix, here.
Prevent water waste
Landscape irrigation systems get quite the workout over the summer months so ensure yours is up to the task.
Next, check all the faucets to ensure that there are no leaks there and then check your hoses for holes and other problems that may cause them to malfunction.
Summer pool care
Swimming pool maintenance is often left to professionals, but it doesn’t have to be. Check and perform the following tasks (we’ve linked to some handy information and tips for each one).
- Pump and filter
- Clean out the skimmer basket
- Skim debris from the surface of the water
- Test the water
The wise homeowner will call out a professional at least once a year for a thorough check of the swimming pool. Summer is the ideal time to do this.
Gardens need maintenance too
Get rid of plants that didn’t make it through winter and spring. Then, deadhead spring annuals. Deadheading is the process of snipping off dead flowers, prompting the plant to bloom again.
Seek out garden pests and get rid of them. Then, turn your attention to weeds and get rid of those as well.
Give your lawn a late-spring fertilization and aerate and dethatch if necessary.
Finally, clean up all debris and install a fresh layer of mulch. This helps discourage weed growth, insulates the soil from hot summer sun and helps it retain moisture.
Kick off grilling season
Deep clean your outdoor grill so that it’s ready for grilling season. Whether it’s a gas or charcoal grill, you’ll find tips on giving it a thorough cleaning from Home Depot. They offer advice for cleaning a gas grill, here and charcoal grill owners are covered here.