Post from MilitaryByOwner
From firing up the grill for dinner to watching the sunset from the back deck, we relish the return to our outdoor living spaces when the weather warms up. With increasingly warm weather ahead, we’re also thinking of how to maintain a pleasant temperature indoors.
Following are a few home maintenance tips to keep your home cool and all systems running during the hot summer months.
With the air conditioner in use, it’s important to keep home entry points closed to keep the cool air inside. (We’re still working on that concept at our house, since the kiddos tend to leave a door open when they run in and out!)
- To ensure you’re not paying to cool the whole neighborhood, take a little time to inspect your doors. Check the foam or rubber around the sides and frame. You’ll be able to tell if the doorway weather stripping is still efficiently preventing drafts.
- While checking the rubber seal strip along the edge of a garage door, consider doing a bit of carport maintenance. Carefully clean the garage door track of any debris and grease the moving parts with a spray lubricant.
Much like a door left ajar, a drafty window can invite in hot air while cool air escapes. No need to make your air conditioner work harder than it should!
- Start inside with a clean sweep of the window track and sill. Beyond just a seasonal household chore, completing this task can help the window close more securely.
- On the outside, try adding silicon latex caulk around the window frame to ensure it’s all sealed up.
When the sun is brightly shining, keep the heat out by closing the curtains or blinds.
- In children’s bedrooms, we opted for thermal curtains. These insulating drapes limit the warmth from the windows and somewhat darken their rooms.
- Another way to keep your home from becoming too toasty is to install sunscreens. Made to fit each window, these exterior shades protect the interior of the home from the sun’s rays and can boost the efficiency of your air conditioner.
Often overlooked but always important are the vents that transfer air around your home. Keeping these vents tidy allows the cooled air to flow more freely.
- To rid the grime, wipe the vent clean with a damp microfiber cloth. If the grate has attracted dust bunnies, soak the item briefly in a bucket of hot water with a dash of dish soap. Ensure the fixture is completely dry before reinstalling.
- For indoor air quality, our HVAC service suggests switching out the household filter every 30-60 days. Track filter changes by writing the installation date on the side of the filter itself.
- Also, in the same time frame that you change out the air filter, test the smoke alarm and carbon monoxide sensor and check the radon detector.
As we’ve learned from experience, when an air conditioner breaks down, it’s usually at an inconvenient time and also costly. With this in mind, we set up a service contract with a local HVAC company for semiannual maintenance.
- With or without a company contract, the goal is to keep your air conditioner running efficiently. Using a soft brush attachment on a shop vacuum and a moderate spray of water with a garden hose, you can rid collected debris from the exterior unit.
- On a similar note, before re-installing a window air conditioner, it’s a good idea to clean the filter, tidy up the unit, and check the condition of its power cord.
Running a fan is a hassle-free way to circulate the air in a room. As the seasons change, switch the direction that your ceiling fan operates. Changing the setting of the rotation can stir a cool breeze throughout the room.
No need to cozy up to the fireplace as the weather warms up! Now is a good time to schedule a chimney cleaning and inspection. Then, close the damper to help seal off this opening to the outside.
Often the plants and leafy trees that surround your home can help ease the amount of heat coming in by providing natural shade. Growing lush ivy or verdant Virginia creeper on the side of your home can offer a natural cooling vibe.
When looking for ways to make your home more energy efficient, start at the top!
- Adding attic insulation helps stabilize the temperature of your home and takes a load off the air conditioner.
- Setting up an attic fan circulates the air at the height of where the heat rises. Venting out the air offers a level of cooling to the home and helps keep the space high and dry.
If a side of the home has full exposure to the baking sun, adding an awning over the windows can reduce the amount of heat from the rays. Depending on the style, an exterior overhang can add aesthetically pleasing curb appeal to a home.
When away from your home, setting the thermostat around 80° will take it easy on your air conditioner and your electric bill. With the suggestions mentioned here, we hope you can keep your cool around the house when the warm weather temperatures start to soar.