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How to Prep Your Home for the Summer Months

DIY July 9, 2018
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Lindsay Cutler

Summer is already in full swing but there’s still plenty you can do to get your home prepared for the summer heat. If you’re looking to stay cool, save money, and keep your house in working order during the summer months, check out these tips and see what works for your home.

Add more insulation

Insulation isn’t only for the winter — it’s necessary during the summer months to keep hot air out and cool air in. Add insulation to the attic and basement and check for drafts where extra insulation may be needed. (But be careful not to cover any vents!) For the rest of the house, you can add caulk, weatherstripping, and expanding foam anywhere that air escapes, such as gaps around windows and doors.

Get a Professional Energy Audit

The best way to sniff out air leaks is to get a professional energy audit of your home. It will cost a few hundred dollars on the low end, but if you have an older home with substantial air loss it’s worth the investment. Ask your technician about getting a calibrated door blower test, the most comprehensive way to depressurize your home to check for air leaks.

Protect against water damage

In many parts of the country, summer is the hurricane and storm season. Check your doors and windows to make sure they’re properly sealed. Clean your gutters and test them out to ensure they’re directing water at least 3-4 feet away from the house (and that it doesn’t run back toward your home!). Remove any dirt and debris from your roof and replace and missing shingles or roofing. Check your basement and your home’s foundation for cracks and anywhere that might be vulnerable to groundwater or flooding.

For leaks that start inside the home, consider getting a water damage prevention system like Flo. Flo alerts you to tiny micro-leaks that would otherwise go undetected, preventing long-term leaks that turn into water damage. During the summer months, it’s a particularly helpful way to conserve water and save on your water utility bills.

Clean your air conditioner

If you have an AC unit, clean your filter and swab the vents to remove dust. For HVAC systems, replace your furnace filter and clear away any dirt, leaves or debris that might be crowding the condensing unit outside. If you think your AC may not be functioning properly, call a technician to service it.

Get a smart thermostat

A smart thermostat can help you save hundreds of dollars on your electric bills during the summer months. Set your thermostat to a higher temperature when you’re away from the house and a cooler temperature when you’re at home. Many have learning algorithms that track your comings and goings, so you won’t even need to program it. And for those with unpredictable schedules, you can operate the thermostat remotely and set it to cool right before you return home. Be sure to give your thermostat a wide berth from any heat-generating devices like TVs or lamps; it could generate a false read on your thermostat and cause your air conditioner to run unnecessarily.

Use energy-efficient window treatments

Look into energy-efficient window treatments like blackout curtains, cellular shades, and solar shades to keep the inside of your home cool during the daytime. For windows that get hit with direct sunlight, an energy-efficient window treatment can reduce the heat impact by as much as 33% during the daytime.

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