A change in seasons is your cue to prep your home for the weather ahead. Whether leaves are falling, or humidity is ramping up, seasonal-specific tasks should be on every home maintenance plan.
No matter where you live, when weather warms up, it’s time to prepare your house to keep cool air in, and heat and pests out. These tips should help keep your house comfortable all summer.
Keeping it cool inside
- Check your HVAC filter. Air conditioner filters collect dust easily and a dirty filter can limit cool air.
- Clean your AC’s condenser. Shut down the power on the electric panel, then clear any leaves or sticks lodged in the unit. Hose it down thoroughly, but if you find frayed wires or any other issues, call in the pros for repair.
- Rotate your fan. If you have ceiling fans, rotate them counterclockwise to create a downdraft, which will deliver a direct, cool breeze.
Keeping it tidy outside
- Clean your gutters. Spring rains can overload gutters so clean out debris and make sure they’re tightly secured.
- Check for pests. Termites and carpenter ants love warm weather and moist soil (another reason to make sure your gutters are working). Keep mulch, firewood, and shrubbery away from the foundation since pests like to burrow inside.
- Power wash your deck, driveway, siding, and sidewalk. Spring rains can breed mildew and mold, so a strong power wash on a hot, sunny day may help immensely.
Finally, mark your calendar for mid-September so you can get your home ready for cooler weather.
As temperatures cool and trees turn, it’s time to prepare your house for cozier weather. These tips will get your house ready for fall and lay the groundwork for winter.
Keeping it comfortable inside
- Check for drafts. Close a door or window on a piece of paper. If it slides easily, it may be time to change the weatherstripping. The S. Department of Energy reports that heat gain and loss through windows are responsible for 25 to 30 percent of residential heating and cooling energy use.
- Hire a chimney sweep. If you have a fireplace, schedule a cleaning, or check for gas leaks. You don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to spend chilly evenings around a fire.
- Before temperatures really drop, have your furnace inspected. This should keep your home safe and energy costs down.
Cleaning up the outside
- Fix any cracks. Once a year, it’s a good idea to fill cracks in your driveway, sidewalks, or patio. Whether or not you have snow, moisture seeps into cracks and can freeze, causing little cracks to become big problems.
- Clean the gutters. More than once. Debris and leaves will build up and can cause wood rot, pest infestations, and/or ruin your gutters.
- Roots grow deep this time of year to prepare for the cold ahead, so it’s the best time to fertilize and seed your lawn.
As you enjoy the cozy days and nights of fall, mark your calendar for early December so you can get your house ready for winter.
Whether you live where snow makes a regular appearance or winter just means jackets at night, you’ll want to prepare your home for the drop in temperatures.
Keeping the cold out
- Check your roof. Winter may not seem like the ideal time for a roof replacement, but you want to make sure it’s not in need of repair before the first snow. Inspect it for cracked caulk, rust spots on flashing, broken or missing shingles, and moss and lichen (these may show signs of decay).
- Protect your pipes. Insulate any pipes that could be susceptible to freezing (think garage or basement). When the temperature drops below 32°F, keep a stream of water running in a few faucets to guard against freezing and bursting. To protect plumbing under kitchen and bathroom sinks, consider opening the cabinet doors so warm air can surround the pipes.
Keeping your home safe
- Trim tree branches. Winter storms can weaken tree branches, causing limbs to fall. Overhanging limbs can cause water to seep into cracks in your home’s roof. Trimming branches before the first storm will minimize headaches and help keep your home safe.
- Stop slips and falls. Stock up on de-icing supplies and a shovel.
- Test your detectors. Potential for home fires increases in the winter so make sure your smoke detectors work. Consider buying a carbon monoxide detector as an extra precaution, too.
Remember to mark your calendar for March so you can get your home ready for Spring.
Time to renew and re-energize your home. These tips will help you keep your house as fresh as the season.
Air out your home
- Get ready to Spring clean. An annual deep clean not only feels terrific, but may also uncover routine maintenance you need done. To prepare, create a room-by-room to-do list. Set aside one full weekend or break the list up into chunks you tackle over a two-week period.
- Clean your windows. This oft-ignored task goes a long way to brighten your home. Plus, a close inspection may uncover cracks you’ll want to manage before they get out of hand.
- Clean out the vents. Vents that lead outside (e.g., bathroom, range and/or dryer), should be cleaned out, removing any leaves, plants, or other debris. This will help your appliances run more efficiently and prevent fire hazards.
Tidy up outside
- Take an audit. Spring’s a great time to inspect siding, paint, and other outdoor elements. Winter can cause cracks and peeling, so you’ll want to get those fixed before Spring showers start. It’s also a great time to replace any damaged window screens.
- Check for pests. Termites and mosquitoes can arrive in Spring. Check your property for wood damage and remove any standing bodies of water, which attract mosquitoes.
- Prep your yard. Spring is the best time to get your lawn and landscaping ready for warmer temperatures. Check your mower and tools, make sure they’re working, and dive in (or hire the pros). The right preparation at the beginning of the season can reduce headaches long term.
Be sure to mark your calendar for early June to get your home ready for summer.