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Preparing your home for the brutal summer months

Ginger Dean

February 24, 2015

By: Ginger Dean, Home Finance Specialist

In: Interior Home ImprovementHeating and Cooling

Though it may not feel like it, we're putting winter a little more behind us each day and moving towards the warmer summer months.

You can get your home ready for the season ahead before the rush of calls contractors get when things really start to sizzle. Even if your car is still buried in the snow, your home can be checked out for the following:

Make sure your air conditioning is up to par

The last thing in the world you want to happen on a hot summer day is to be stuck sitting in still, hot, misty air. That's why it's a good idea to check your AC now to help prevent a malfunction on a hot day.

And the best part? You can give your AC a DIY checkup mostly without the help from (and cost of hiring) a professional.

If the AC in your home isn't working, check the main electrical panel and double check that the furnace switch is set to "on." If your AC is not as cool as you would like, it might need a simple cleaning or maybe the coolant needs to be changed. The latter should be done by an experienced professional but the cost of the one-time maintenance will save money on your energy bill throughout the summer.

Optimize windows for air and sunlight

Windows play a big part in getting your home summer-ready. Natural light is a major advantage of those summer nights where the sun doesn't set till late, but if windows aren't properly installed and cared for, all that light may end up costing a fortune.

Proper insulation will make sure hot air stays out and cool air stays in the home. After all you're paying to cool your home with AC so you don't want to waste it by letting the cool air creep out and the warm air seep in through the windows.

Installing new energy efficient windows or improving your existing windows will help reduce energy costs and maximize ventilation throughout the home. Energy.gov notes that "you can improve the energy efficiency of existing windows by adding storm windows, caulking, weather-stripping, and using window treatments or coverings." If windows are older it may be better for your budget to install new windows if the DIY improvements don't work.

Double check the vents for air circulation

Vents help air circulate throughout the home. The advantage of having central air conditioning is you can control it depending on where you spend most of your time. Homeowners can save money on their bills by shutting off the vents in unused rooms and making sure you keep the vents open in rooms where cool air is needed. There's really no point in paying to keep a room cool with AC if you don't spend any time in there. But to be sure this will keep you comfortable, make sure all the vents are operational and clean.

Once you've checked these little tasks off your to-do list, summer will be that much closer!

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