NEPA Real Estate Corner

Summer Home Maintenance Tips

Jun 15, 2024 | Helpful Homeowner Hints

As the famous singer/songwriter/philosopher John Mayer once said, ‘Summertime, and the livin’ is easy, but the maintenance never ends.’ While it may not be as fun as grilling burgers or lounging in the sun, keeping up with home maintenance is crucial for protecting your investment. In fact, the average homeowner spends around 1-4% of their home’s value on maintenance each year but neglecting to do so could end up costing you much more in the long run.

By proactively preparing your home for the summer season ahead, you can avoid costly repairs and ensure that your home stays in top shape. In this blog post, we’ll explore some essential maintenance tips to prepare your home for summer, from HVAC system maintenance to outdoor space preparation. So, grab a cold drink and let’s dive in!

I. HVAC System Maintenance: Keep Your Cool When the Heat is On

As the temperatures start to climb, your HVAC system is going to be working overtime to keep your home comfortable. To prevent a meltdown (literally and figuratively), it’s important to make sure your system is running at peak performance. Here are some HVAC system maintenance tips to help you keep your cool this summer.

Change your air filters regularly: According to the EPA, replacing a clogged filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5-15%.

Schedule a professional tune-up: HVAC professionals recommend scheduling a tune-up at least once a year to ensure your system is running efficiently and to catch any potential problems before they become costly repairs.

Clear the area around your outdoor unit: If your outdoor unit is obstructed by leaves, branches, or other debris, it can restrict airflow and cause your system to work harder than it needs to. Keep the area around your unit clear and make sure there’s at least 2 feet of clearance on all sides.

Check your thermostat settings: Make sure your thermostat is set to the correct temperature and mode (cooling vs. heating). You can save up to 10% on your energy bill by setting your thermostat 7-10 degrees higher than your normal temperature when you’re away from home.

Remember, neglecting your HVAC system can lead to costly repairs and a summer that’s anything but cool. So, don’t let your system get hot under the collar – keep up with regular maintenance and enjoy a stress-free summer!

II. Outdoor Maintenance: Get Your Summer Space in Shape

Summer is all about spending time outside, and you want to make sure your outdoor space is ready for all the fun in the sun. Here are some outdoor maintenance tips to get your summer space in shape.

Clean your grill: Before you fire up the grill for the season, give it a good cleaning. According to the National Fire Protection Association, failure to clean the grill is the leading factor contributing to grill fires. Scrub the grates with a wire brush and wash the exterior with warm, soapy water. A clean grill not only looks better, but it also cooks better.

“Grilling is a form of cooking that involves a lot of passion and attention to detail. A dirty grill can ruin all that hard work.” – Bobby Flay, Celebrity Chef

Inspect your deck or patio: Winter weather can take a toll on your outdoor surfaces, so give them a once-over to check for any damage or wear and tear. According to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders, a wood deck has an average lifespan of 10-15 years, but regular maintenance can help extend its life. Replace any loose boards or nails, and give your deck or patio a fresh coat of sealant if needed.

“If you have a deck or patio, it’s your personal refuge where you can enjoy the great outdoors. Keeping it in good condition is essential to fully enjoy it.” – Home and Garden TV

Prune your trees and bushes: Overgrown trees and bushes can be a safety hazard and can also block sunlight from reaching your outdoor spaces. Prune any overgrowth and remove any dead or damaged branches. According to the National Gardening Association, pruning trees and bushes can improve their health and growth, as well as enhance their beauty.

“The garden suggests there might be a place where we can meet nature halfway.” – Michael Pollan, Author

Check your outdoor lighting: Summer evenings are perfect for outdoor gatherings, but you need good lighting to keep the party going after the sun goes down. According to the American Lighting Association, outdoor lighting can improve your home’s curb appeal, increase security, and enhance your outdoor experience. Check your outdoor lighting fixtures and replace any bulbs or fixtures that are not working.

“Lighting creates ambiance and feeling in a space.” – Lela Rose, Fashion Designer

By following these outdoor maintenance tips, you can ensure that your summer space is in top shape and ready for all the outdoor fun. So, dust off your patio furniture and get ready to soak up some sun!

III. Roof and Gutter Maintenance: Keep Your Home High and Dry

Summer storms can bring heavy rain and strong winds, which can wreak havoc on your home’s roof and gutters. Here are some roof and gutter maintenance tips to keep your home high and dry.

Inspect your roof: Check your roof for any damage, such as missing or damaged shingles, cracks, or leaks. According to the National Roofing Contractors Association, regular roof inspections can help detect problems early and prevent costly repairs. If you’re not comfortable doing a roof inspection yourself, hire a professional.

Clean your gutters: Clogged gutters can cause water to overflow and damage your roof and home’s foundation. According to the Insurance Information Institute, water damage is the second most common homeowners insurance claim. Clean your gutters regularly, especially after storms or during the fall when leaves and debris can accumulate.

Trim overhanging branches: Overhanging tree branches can damage your roof and gutters during storms. Trim any branches that are close to your roof or gutters to prevent them from falling and causing damage.

Install gutter guards: Gutter guards can help prevent leaves and debris from clogging your gutters, which can save you time and money on gutter cleaning. According to Consumer Reports, gutter guards can reduce the frequency of gutter cleaning by up to 50%.

Remember, proper roof and gutter maintenance can prevent costly repairs and keep your home safe and dry. So, grab a ladder and get to work!

“A good roof is like a good investment – it pays off in the long run.” – Brian Buffini, Real Estate Expert

IV. Window and Door Maintenance: Keep the Heat Out and the Cool In

Northeast Pennsylvania summers can get hot and humid, which means your home’s windows and doors will be working hard to keep the heat out and the cool in. Here are some window and door maintenance tips to help them do their job.

Check for air leaks: Air leaks around windows and doors can cause your air conditioning to work harder and increase your energy bills. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, air leaks can waste up to 30% of your home’s energy. Check for air leaks by holding a candle or incense stick near the edges of your windows and doors. If the flame or smoke flickers, you have an air leak.

Replace weatherstripping: Weatherstripping around your windows and doors can wear out over time, allowing air to leak in and out. Replace worn weatherstripping to improve your home’s energy efficiency and keep your cool air inside.

Install window film: Window film can help block out the sun’s heat and harmful UV rays, reducing the amount of heat that enters your home through your windows. According to the International Window Film Association, window film can reduce up to 78% of the sun’s heat.

Lubricate hinges and locks: Hinges and locks on doors and windows can become stiff and difficult to operate over time. Lubricate them with a silicone-based lubricant to keep them working smoothly.

By following these window and door maintenance tips, you can improve your home’s energy efficiency and keep your family cool and comfortable all summer long.

“Windows and doors are the eyes and ears of your home, and they need to be in good working order to keep your home comfortable and efficient.” – Gary Parsons, Window and Door Expert

Conclusion: Enjoy a Cool and Comfortable Summer with these Home Maintenance Tips

Summer is the perfect time to relax, enjoy the sunshine, and spend time with loved ones. However, don’t forget to take care of your home as well. By following these maintenance tips, you can ensure that your home is ready for the hot and humid summer weather:

  • Schedule a professional HVAC inspection and cleaning to keep your air conditioning system running smoothly.
  • Keep your outdoor spaces clean and maintained, and make sure your home’s exterior is in good condition.
  • Check and clean your roof and gutters to prevent water damage and potential leaks.
  • Take care of your windows and doors to keep your home energy efficient and comfortable.

By staying on top of your home maintenance tasks, you can enjoy a cool and comfortable summer without worrying about unexpected repair costs. Remember, a little prevention goes a long way!

“Your home is your castle, and it deserves to be treated with care and respect. By taking care of your home, you’re taking care of yourself and your family.” – Unknown

So, get ready to kick back, relax, and enjoy a refreshing summer in your well-maintained home!