School is out, and while summertime for kids means relaxing and having fun, for parents, it’s a different story. Summer is the perfect season to take care of repairs, doing maintenance and beautifying the house. The warm temperatures of summer make it ideal for taking a closer look at the HVAC system, cleaning the exterior of the house and refreshing or replacing the windows.
To make things easier, this guide can serve as your starting point. When you have these expert tips and insights for improving your home this summer, it will soon be operating at peak performance. Plus, you’ll still have plenty of time left over to enjoy the lazy days of summer with your family and friends.
Over time, siding can begin to suffer from the elements just like anything else left outside all year round. If your home’s siding is dull looking, has peeling paint and grime, now is the time to address the issue.
First, do a walk around the house to inspect the situation. Look for structural deformities such as cracks, warping, discoloration, chips or insect infestation.
Next, to determine the best solution, confirm the siding material and proper cleansing techniques. For this, consult the original manufacturer or installer for information. Some chemicals and solvents could do more harm than good, while other combinations will make light work of cleaning.
For example, a simple bleach and water solution could take care of coarse brick siding, while old-fashioned soap and water may be sufficient to refresh wood. Vinyl is one of the easiest siding materials to clean, hands down. This is one of the primary reasons why vinyl siding is the most popular kind in the U.S. Vinyl siding is practically maintenance-free, with minimal upkeep. In summer, a quick spray with a garden hose will usually suffice to make it new looking again.
This summer, your HVAC system will be working overtime to keep you and your family cool. Before they swing into high gear, invest in a comprehensive professional duct cleaning. Pet dander, household dust and pollen can accumulate inside ducts. The warm, dark and moist environment inside the ducts can be a breeding ground for bacteria. In addition, dirty HVAC ducts can contribute to allergy symptoms and respiratory infections.
Remove vent covers and wash them well in hot, soapy water. Remember to change out your furnace filter, too. You should already be doing that once a month, or more if you have pets.
Have a professional measure your furnace and AC unit for efficiency. Newer models have optimized efficiency that might make it more cost effective for you to replace rather than repair your furnace. Your HVAC technician can help you crunch the numbers.
Cracked or ill-fitting windows can be a major source of energy loss in your home. Replace cracked windows and caulk around sills for an air-tight fit that will keep you and your family cool all summer long. There are a couple issues to address when it concerns your windows and possibly other issues with your home.
Drafts or Mold: If you feel a draft from your window or see mold forming don’t brush it off. Not only will your energy costs skyrocket, but also if the mold is not addressed it will continue to grow and cause further problems. Have a professional evaluate if your windows were installed properlyand use windows that protect against moisture damage, UV glare, and energy efficient.
Security: Take the extra step to install windows that impact resistant. You can even go the extra mile and add dual-cam locks or steel reinforcements.
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