After a long and snowy winter, summer is the time for your home to come alive. While you and your family are rediscovering the joys of spending time outdoors, you’ll want to make sure your home is prepared for the heat, and potential severe weather, of the summer months. Below are some important home maintenance steps you can take to ensure you and your family enjoy your time at home as the temperature climbs.
1. Test Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Your home’s smoke and CO detectors are critical to the safety of your family, so make sure they’re in good working order. Test them monthly by holding down the test button until it beeps (or as specified in the manufacturer’s instructions). Replace the batteries each year. If your smoke and CO detectors are more than 10 years old, it’s time to replace them. If your home doesn’t already have a carbon monoxide detector, now is a good time to get one. Both should be considered vital in your home.
2. Seal Your Home
Unwanted critters enter homes through holes as small as a quarter-inch wide. Take a look around the perimeter of your house and cover or seal any holes you find. It is also important to trim your trees so that branches are at least eight feet from your roof. Mow your lawn frequently and keep your trash bins covered at all times to keep pests from setting up shop.
3. Check Your Deck
Your outdoor gathering areas will see a lot of use during the summer, so before you host your first cookout, check your deck boards to see if any are loose and/or rotting, and if so, replace them. Hammer any loose nails and reseal the wood if needed. Tip: Pour a small amount of water on your deck. If the water pools on top of the boards, you’re good to go; if the wood absorbs the water, new sealant is needed.
4. Clean Out Vents and Drainage
This home maintenance tip includes dryer vents and exhaust ducts – clean out all lint and dust so that they can operate smoothly. Consider having your duct system professionally cleaned if it hasn’t been cleaned in the past five to seven years. BGE HOME offers duct cleaning services using the chemical-free HEPA-AIRE method.
Outside your home, clean out your gutters and downspouts and make sure they are in good working order. Rain falling off your roof or flowing down the side of your house may be an indication that your gutters and/or downspouts may need repair or replacement. And if you have a chimney, summer is a great time to have it cleaned.
5. Make Sure Your HVAC System is Ready for the Heat
Replace the filters and get an air conditioning system tune-up. Regular maintenance is essential for your system to operate at peak efficiency and prevent problems down the road. BGE HOME offers a 21-point efficiency tune-up that can identify any developing problems with your system and repair them in order to keep you and your family cool and comfortable all season long. If your system hasn’t had a tune-up in a while, contact BGE HOME to schedule service.
If you have a ceiling fan, dust the blades and make sure it works properly. Make sure that it spins counterclockwise, as that will push the air downward and keep you cool. If it is spinning clockwise, turn it off and flip the switch to change its direction.
A small amount of preventative home maintenance in the summer will go a long way toward keeping you and your family safe and happy. So, make the investment now, and sit back and relax and enjoy carefree summer days.