After a long hard winter, spring is finally, hopefully, maybe even desperately, expected to arrive. Here are some home maintenance tips to help welcome the new season.
The U.S. Department of Energy says weatherstripping the windows on your home is an easy and effective way to save money on your energy bill. Weatherstripping is a material you can apply around your window and door frames to ensure there’s a good seal. During the harsh winter months, it can help keep the warm air inside the house, and the cold drafts out. In the spring and summer, weatherstripping works the opposite way, helping to keep the cool air inside and the warm air out.
If you didn’t install weatherstripping before the winter cold set in, you may want to take this opportunity to seal your windows before you have to turn on the air conditioner — which could help save you money on your energy bills year-round. In the summer, if the cool air is contained inside, then the AC will not have to work as hard, and that may help you save money on your energy bill. The same can be true of your furnace when winter rolls back around.
Thinking about installing weatherstripping? The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that you apply weatherstripping to clean, dry surfaces in temperatures above 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Click here for more information.
Spring cleaning is a time-honored tradition, an opportunity to sweep the cobwebs from your home, clear out the dust that accumulated during the winter and let the sunshine in. While you’re up to your elbows in soap, washing the windows, defrosting the refrigerator and tackling what seems to be a never-ending list of spring cleaning chores, you might as well make a maintenance checklist, too. On those warmer days, you may want to do the following:
Test and clean ceiling fans. According to the the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, an efficient ceiling fan in each room you want to cool can help allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4 degrees Fahrenheit without reducing your comfort level. Ceiling fans are not only a good way to air out the house and generate a cross-breeze, but they have the potential to help you save money on your energy bill. With ceiling fans keeping the house cool, you may not have to turn up the AC as high. So, now might be a good time to make sure your fans are clean and ready to start cooling you off this spring.
Replace your AC filter. While the warm weather is still technically several weeks away, you want to make sure your air conditioner is prepared and ready to go. The National Center for Healthy Housing recommends you replace the filters in the air conditioner in the spring. A new filter will optimize the efficiency of the unit.
Replace torn or damaged window screens. If you don’t have an air conditioner, or if you simply like to keep the windows open in the spring and summer, it’s a good idea to make sure your screens are in good shape — you don’t want to let flies in with all that fresh air! Winter storms and wind can damage window screens, so it may be a good idea to assess any damage and replace what needs to be fixed.
Your window screens aren’t the only parts of your home that can fall victim to nasty winter weather, so you may want to take stock of your home’s condition. The National Center for Healthy Housing suggests that in the springtime, you may want consider these outdoor maintenance projects:
Check your roof shingles. This should be done by a licensed professional, as working on the roof can be dangerous without the proper training. You should ask the roofing professional to make sure the shingles are not curling or clawing. If they are, they are susceptible to leaks and may need to be replaced.
Replace rotten siding or trim. Make sure your home’s siding and trim aren’t damaged from windy, icy conditions. If your home is made of brick or stucco, look for any crumbling or deteriorated mortar. If you find a problem, contact a professional for help with repairing or replacing the damaged materials.
Clean gutters and downspouts. You’re making sure the inside of your home is clean; why not make sure your gutters are, as well? Get rid of any leaves of other debris that accumulated during the winter to make sure your gutters and downspouts are ready to take on those April showers. This job, too, is best left to a professional, as climbing on a ladder is required.
So, now’s the time to get those spring maintenance projects under way. By the time those May flowers start to bloom, you will be able to enjoy them with the peace of mind of knowing your home maintenance is up-to-date.