How to prep your home for the summer

The long days, hot temperatures, and blazing sun of summer are just around the corner! Make sure your home is ready to handle the warmer weather; the following five tips can help prep your home for the summer.

1. Have the air conditioner serviced

It seems as if air conditioning units only go out during heat waves – or when the HVAC repair companies are booked solid for weeks on end. Avoid this type of mid-summer panic by having your air conditioner serviced at the beginning of the season.

An annual professional tune-up can help extend the lifespan of an air conditioning unit. Seasonal upkeep typically includes services such as cleaning and inspecting the unit, servicing parts, and changing filters. In addition, make sure to change filters every two to four months throughout the year; how often filters are changed can depend on the age of the HVAC system and the amount of dust or pet dander that is in the home.

2. Make room for popsicles

Before summer treats start filling up your freezer, take the time to empty the freezer and fully defrost it. In addition to melting any icy build-up in the freezer, this also gives you the chance to get rid of anything past its prime. Food begins to lose textures and flavor after being frozen for a long time; pre-packaged frozen foods can be stored up to a year, while meats and leftovers can be frozen for about six months.  

3. Bring out the barbecue

Give the barbecue a deep clean before grilling season starts. Begin by disconnecting the gas and wiping down the barbecue from roof to tray with clean, soapy water. Grill grates should be cleaned separately with a hard-wire brush. For particularly tough build-up, use an oven or barbecue cleaner. After cleaning, run the barbecue for around ten minutes, cool fully, and apply a thin layer of cooking oil to grates.  

4. Clean gutters and downspouts

Winter can be tough on downspouts and gutters; leaks or blockages can cause water to overflow onto the roof or pool around the foundation. If you’re cleaning gutters yourself, you’ll need a sturdy ladder, a hose, and a trowel. The trowel can be used to scrape large chunks of debris out of the gutters, while the hose can help force out clogs.

5. Extend living space to the outdoors

Make the deck your favorite room in the house by creating an outdoor living space. Clean existing outdoor upholstery with warm, soapy water and a soft scrub brush; this can help revive colors as well as removing built up dirt and grime. Make your outdoor living space pop by adding colorful annuals to planters or hanging up solar powered lights.

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