Essential summer home maintenance tasks
Summer has finally arrived! Your home may need a little TLC before inviting friends and family over for the summer. Take advantage of warm summer temperatures by completing these essential home maintenance tasks.
- Service the air conditioner
There is nothing worse than a broken air conditioner on the hottest day of the summer. To prevent a sweaty nightmare, consider having your air conditioner serviced at least once per year. Units that receive regular upkeep last longer and are less likely to break down.
In addition to having the air conditioner professionally serviced, remove plants, dust, and debris from vents and coils to keep the unit running efficiently. Air filters should also be regularly changed; homes with no pets should change filters about every 90 days, and homes with a dog or cat should change their filter every 60 days. Homes with more than one pet or with allergy sufferers should change filters every 20-45 days.
- Reverse the fans
During the spring and summer, turn ceiling fans to spin counter clockwise to push air straight down and create a cooling breeze in your home. To do this, turn off the fan, and wait for it to stop spinning. Use the ladder and check for the direction switch on the side of the fan. While up on the ladder, wipe down fan blades with a damp cloth to remove dusty buildup.
- Change smoke detector batteries
The batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be checked and changed every six months according to Consumer Reports [http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2015/04/smoke-alarm-battery-change/index.htm]. To make it easier to remember, do it on the same day every year – such as January 1st and July 1st – and set a reminder using your phone’s calendar.
- Touch up exterior paint
Touching up exterior paint can keep your home looking fresh year-round. Painting trim or inspecting siding also gives you the opportunity to find – and repair – small areas of damage or decay before they progress into major deterioration.
- Check the fence
If your home has a fenced yard, summer is the perfect time to inspect it for damage. Chain link fences should be checked for broken sections or missing links, particularly if the fence is used to keep small pets or young children in the yard. Inspect wood fences for cracked or damaged boards; wood fences should also be stained or painted every few years to protect the wood and keep them looking fresh.