As the summer approaches many people to breathe a sigh of relief. Life is easy after the last flakes of snow finally melt. Thoughts turn to going to the beach, sitting by the pool, and using the grill for cookouts. However, to truly be able to enjoy the summer season, it pays to be prepared.
Once the first signs of spring arrive, it is time to think about what the house and yard need to be ready so you don’t waste precious summer weekends having to take care of things that could have been done already.
Getting the house and yard ready is often overlooked until the heat of the summer is upon us. And the last thing you want to be doing when the temperature is already out of control is to find out that the air conditioner is not working properly. Taking the time to get things ready ahead of time is the way to go.
In this article, we will go over the steps you need to take to make sure your house is ready for summer.
1. Service The Air-Conditioner
As soon as the first warm days of spring arrive, it is time to have your HVAC serviced or if you only have an air conditioner make sure it is ready to go. Air conditioner tune-ups are necessary to have done before the season gets going to make sure the system is running at its peak.
Once the summer hits, you will need to have the A/C working harder to keep the place cool if it is not recently serviced. You may end up with a comfortable temperature and feel like it is working fine, but the cost of electricity will be higher than you would normally need to pay.
Even if you only have a box air conditioner in the window, have it serviced so the filter is cleaned out and the freon is recharged to get the most out of it.
A ductless system also needs to be cleaned out and have the filter replaced or cleaned. Make sure there is no debris in the compressor unit if it is outside on the ground where leaves, grass and more. Even during the summer, this should be checked and the filter needs to be looked at every month or so to make sure it isn’t clogged.
2. Update The Insulation
If you noticed that it was harder to warm your house over the winter then you will definitely feel like it will also be harder to cool it in the summer. This means that your insulation is not sufficient and is allowing hot air to get in and cool air to get out.
Taking the time to have the house insulated is going to save money on both heating and cooling costs. Over time, it essentially pays for itself.
The area to pay close attention to is the attic as this is usually the culprit when it comes to the house being difficult to cool. The attic heats up like an oven and then the heat seeps out into the rest of the house. If your house is old then the insulation surely is outdated. You can add more insulation to what is already there but the best bet is to have it professionally done.
You may even need to update the insulation in the walls if it has never been done since you’ve moved in.
3. Aerate The Lawn
For a green and lush lawn, there needs to be particular attention done to make sure the grass is able to get enough oxygen. The problem with a lot of grass varieties is that the roots tend to mat up under the soil. The density of the roots prevents enough oxygen from getting in and this prevents the blades of grass to thrive.
The result is a lawn that looks tired and then gets patchy when the heat of the summer hits. To keep it vibrant and healthy you should go around the lawn with an aerator tool that pokes holes in the soil to allow air to get down to the roots.
The grass will be much stronger and able to resist the heat that the summer brings.
4. Get Smart
Use smart devices to automate much of the maintenance that you would normally need to do manually. For instance, you can set up sprinklers for the lawn with smart sensors that will not only activate the water when the humidity of the soil dips below a certain amount but also that doesn’t activate if the weather calls for rain. The sensor uses the Internet of Things to connect to a local weather station and will water the lawn accordingly.
To care for your lawn and garden efficiently, you should invest in drip irrigation. This is a system of soaker hoses or drip lines that deliver water to the roots of the plants directly. Using an irrigation drip kit is much more efficient than watering with a hose and also means you can set it up on a schedule so you don’t even have to think about it.
There are also smart thermostats that do the same thing when it comes to cooling your house efficiently. It will time the activation of the A/C to the weather as well. You can control the thermostat to your smartphone that will trip the A/C to start cooling as soon as your phone goes past your geofence settings so it is cool when you get home but didn’t run all day.
5. Better Landscaping
Getting your landscape in order now will not only make your yard look great once the summer arrives but it can also help you keep your cooling costs low. This is because you can be strategic about where to plant trees and bushes that will shade your home and even give you a cool oasis to relax in.
Trees do a great job at cooling down the area around them so you have a shady and cool area to set up a hammock or outside dining area underneath. Placing some bamboo hedges around the house perimeter will also help to block the sunlight from getting in and heating the house up. This keeps things cool so you can keep a window open and not need the air conditioner to run all day long.
When you do turn it on, it will also take less energy to get the temperature to your preferred setting since the house is already cooler.