How to Get Your House Ready for Summer

It's a great idea to check in with your house as the seasons change. Cold weather can really take its toll (particularly in this neck of the woods). Better to handle your seasonal maintenance now, before little problems turn into big headaches! Here's a quick checklist to get you started.

Indoors

1. Get your air conditioner serviced (or install window units). There's no better time to service your AC unit than before it'll get the most use. A technician will change out filters, replace damaged parts and check that everything's in order.

2. Dust ceiling fan blades and reverse their direction to cooling. Your ceiling fan has a small switch on it that controls which way hot air is moved through your home. Now's the time to send it up and out!

3. Get your chimney cleaned. You won't be using your chimney for a while, so get it serviced before you shut it down, so to speak. It'll be nice to know you have things taken care of before next winter, and the services you'd hire won't be as busy.

4. Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Take a quick trip through the house, checking the detectors in every room. That peace of mind is worth the little bit of effort.

5. Clean out your garbage disposal. When's the last time you took a look at your garbage disposal? Have you ever serviced it? Now's your chance.

Outdoors

1. Clean your grill. Whether you have a charcoal or gas grill, it's a good idea to wipe away any dust and debris before cooking off the grime. Wipe it down, inside and out and you'll be good to go.

2. Pressure wash the porch (and touch up any issues). Look for rotting boards, hammer down nails that are loose and check to see if the wood needs to be resealed against water. When you're done, give it a good spray (and hit the sidewalks too!).

3. Wash the windows, inside and out. Ah, it feels so good to look out of clean windows. No smudges from grubby fingers, doggie noses and the rigamarole of daily life. This is a kid-friendly chore, too!

4. Check for outdoor leaks. Walk around the outside of your home, checking for leaks in outdoor faucets and hoses. You can waste a lot of water this way, so it's worth the five minutes.

5. Clean out gutters and downspouts. Everyone's favorite, huh. It's not the funnest of chores, but you should check your gutters at least once a year if you have trees around your home.

6. Add a layer of mulch to plant beds. Mulch helps fight off weeds and keeps plants from drying out in super hot, dry weather.

7. Caulk around windows and doors. Caulking helps keep pests like ants and cockroaches at bay, particularly around the kitchen where food is stored.

Well, there you have it. Those few tips will help you take good care of your home this summer. Many of them are DIY friendly and others are easy to hire for. Happy summer, everyone!

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