Most people understand the importance of preparing their homes and vehicles for winter, but what about summer? With extreme heat and humidity common parts of summers here (not to mention thunderstorms and tornadoes), it’s just as important to prepare your home to handle the summer months as winter. Luckily, we’ve compiled some tips on how to prepare your Missouri home for summer:
Service air conditioners
The Missouri Department of Public Safety says extreme heat causes deaths every year. To prepare, make sure your window air conditioners are installed and they fit snugly. Insulate the space around the unit if you need to. Check your air conditioning ducts, and change or clean your a/c filters at least once a month.
Clean and check windows
MDPS recommends leaving storm windows up year-round, but spring is the perfect time to remove them so you can give your windows a thorough cleaning. Not only will this help you better enjoy the sunshine, it’s also a chance for you to give your windows and doors a thorough once-over to check for dry rot and water damage. If needed, re-caulk or replace weather-stripping. This will help keep cool air in, and lower your energy bills. Also clean and check over your screens, and replace or repair any that are damaged. If the windows are exposed to direct sunlight, consider installing an awning. Be sure they have curtains or blinds to reduce energy costs.
Insulation is just as important to keeping you home cool in the summer as it is in keeping it warm in the winter. What type you’ll use depends on a number of things, including where it will be. The U.S. Department of Energy provides detailed instructions and guidelines on what types of insulation are best in various situations, and whether they need to be installed by a professional. SafeElectricity.org also recommends ventilating the attic to keep it from getting overly hot.
Check the roof
The worst way to find out your roof is damaged is in the middle of a rain or thunderstorm when the water starts leaking in. As soon as you’re able to, either hop on a ladder or hire a professional to check your roof for missing, damaged or rotting shingles. Replacing them as quickly as possible will help cut down on any more serious damage.
Clean gutters and downspouts
Keep that ladder handy, and clear your gutters and downspouts of leaves or other debris. (Be sure to wear gloves for this one.) This is also a good time to inspect them for damage or wear and tear. Flag any potential trouble spots using some red tape or ribbon, and then check those spots during the next rain to see if it’s leaking.
All hands on deck
For most people, summer means cookouts and barbecues. Get your grill ready by thoroughly cleaning it, and making sure whatever fuel source you use is in stock. If you have a deck, make sure your deck is cleaned and ready before hauling the grill onto it. If your deck needs a fresh stain, it’s better to do in the springtime before the temperature heats up. Once the deck is ready, haul out your grill and any outdoor furniture that was stored for the winter. A quick wipedown or squirt with a hose will clean the dust off of most furniture, while cloth and fabric might need to be thrown in the washing machine.
Check the plumbing
Outdoor plumbing gets a lot of use in the summer months, so give all of your outdoor sprinklers, spigots and faucets a thorough check to make sure they work. Pull hoses out of storage and check for holes or other damage, and repair or replace them as needed.
Tidy up the tools
Get your lawn and garden tools ready to go, even if you don’t need them quite yet. Make sure your lawnmower works, and sharpen and blades that may need it. Check your other tools and repair or replace any items that don’t work. If you have flower beds, clear out weeds or dead matter and fill in any areas of dead grass in your yard.
You can also consider getting a home energy “audit” done by a professional, to gauge how efficiently your home is using energy and where you can improve.
Still have questions on summer prep work? Need professional help with something? We’d love to help! Contact us at 636.462.3500, or email us here.