5 Things to Do Now to Prepare Your Home for Summer


With the summer season approaching, your mind may be on family vacations, lounging at the beach, hosting barbecues, and soaking up the sun as often as your day job will allow. But summer weather can be pretty extreme in many locations all over the country, and the world. Is your home ready for the heat? Get your home into tiptop shape before summer's arrival by following these five tips.

1. Tune up your air conditioner

Before the heat arrives, take time now to ensure that your air conditioner is in perfect working condition. You can start by replacing your air filter and cleaning the area around the air conditioning unit and vents. Try running your air conditioner to see if it is cooling your home effectively. If it isn't working efficiently, you will probably want to call in an HVAC professional. They can do a detailed check to look for any leaks or defects in your A/C unit.

Now is also a great time to consider installing a programmable or smart thermostat. Not only do they help you save energy, but also they can save you significant money down the road since you can program the A/C to run only when you want it to. (See also: 34 Smart Ways to Cut Your Electric Bill)

2. Safeguard against water damage

Along with the heat comes rain, and occasionally, rainstorms can turn dangerous and disastrous.

Be sure to protect your home against flooding and storm damage by checking your home's foundation. Specifically, you'll want to check out your basement. Look for cracks or holes and seal accordingly. Make sure that your gutters are cleaned and that water is flowing away from your home, not to it. Finally, don't forget to inspect your roof to check for broken shingles, cracks, and warping. If you suspect your roof needs some repair, it's a good idea to call in the professionals and get quotes on how much it'll cost to fix the damage before it gets worse. (See also: 8 Easy Home Maintenance To-Dos for Spring)

3. Bug-proof your home

Nothing is worse than having a house infested with insects come summertime. Since bugs are trying to escape the heat themselves (or they're after the crumbs you leave on the counter), they often find comfort in your nice, cool home. It's also the time of year they enjoy the most, as many insects are unable to thrive during the cold winter months.

You can work to prevent this by ensuring that your home is properly sealed. Take a look at your windows and doors to see if there are any gaps or cracks and caulk closed if necessary.

You may also want to consider bringing in a pest control specialist to spray the outside of your home with insecticide. Many pest control companies offer natural solutions to safeguard your home against unwanted visitors. There are also many pest control products that you can use on your home, without having to hire a professional. (See also: 6 Cheap Ways to Get Rid of Household Pests)

4. Dust and switch your ceiling fans

After winter, your ceiling fans have likely collected a considerable amount of dust. Take the time to dust and wash them. One trick to prevent dust from getting everywhere is to use an old pillowcase to clean the ceiling fan blades, which allows you to collect the dust inside the pillowcase.

Further, consider switching the direction of your ceiling fans. Ceiling fans are actually created to spin in different directions depending on the season. During the summertime, ceiling fans should rotate counterclockwise to promote air movement.

5. Create a storm emergency kit

No matter where you live, you're probably at some risk for severe weather. Prepare yourself now by creating a storm emergency kit to have on hand in the event of dangerous conditions.

Creating a storm kit doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. Put a small plastic container together containing emergency items, such as a small first aid kit, a flashlight and batteries, bottles of water, canned food and a can opener, duct tape, cellphone chargers, and a hand-held radio. (See also: 13 Essentials Every Emergency Bag Should Have)

Hopefully, you won't have to use much of your kit, but the peace of mind it provides makes it worth every penny.

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