It may not be the hottest weather just yet, but there are things you can be doing now to prepare for the hot weather that is yet to come! We have 8 DIY (Do It Yourself) tips that you can accomplish around your home that will help you stay comfortable this summer while saving money.
- Change Your Air Filter – Simple and easy, keeps the air in your home cleaner, and the flow for your HVAC system better. This is a low-cost item that you can easily change on your own. Air filters have different sizes and grades, so you will want to be sure you are getting the right one for yourself. There are standard ones that are generally in the $10-$20 range, and also pleated filters that do a better job, and cost around $15-$40. You should change your air filter every season. This not only helps improve the air quality around your home, but it also allows for easier air flow, and relieves your HVAC system. If you have a clogged filter, it will cause the HVAC system to have to blow harder to get air through the clogged filter. This adds a little wear and tear to your system, and causes you to use more energy to do the same job.
- Set Ceiling Fans To Spin Counter-Clockwise – During the winter fans are usually set to clockwise to help keep the home warm, and push the warm air that rises throughout the home. In the summer, turning the fans to counter-clockwise helps you cool the place down. This is a simple trick, and works very well on milder days when you could use a little relief, but don’t exactly need a full blast AC.
- Clear Leaves And Sticks Out Of Your Condenser – Over the winter/fall leaves, sticks, and other debris may have gotten into your HVAC system. You can take a quick look in there and simply remove what you can. If the unit has to be taken apart to get to it all, leave that to the pros. Cleaning around your system to make sure there is nothing loose that can get in it is easy as well.
- Use Blinds – Keeping the sun out of your home during the day makes a big difference. It’s one thing if you want some sun shining in your living room, but if you have the blinds open in rooms you aren’t using, you are just making the home hotter than it has to be. Keep your blinds drawn to keep the home a few degrees cooler. This will pay off when it comes to your cooling bills.
- Test Smoke Alarms And Carbon Monoxide Detectors – These alert systems can save you and your family’s lives. During this changing of the seasons, it’s a good time to check the batteries and make sure all your detectors are functioning fine!
- Clean Gutters – If you have leaves and sticks weighing down your gutters it could lead to water damage. Your gutters are designed to push water away from your home, and if they fall down or don’t drain properly it could lead to leaks and flooding. You should do this at least 2 times a year, and this is a good time to make it happen. Doing this before major rainstorms could save you a bunch of headaches.
- Unblock Vents – If you have furniture blocking vents, it can back air up into your HVAC system. This leads to damage to your system, and uncomfortable spots in certain rooms. Check behind your couches, bureaus, under rugs, and anywhere else you may have a vent. You may have to move some things around, but making sure the vents are clear is important to keeping your home comfortable!
- Check Dryer Vents – This is something that goes overlooked very often, but is important. Making sure your dryer exhaust is clear is a safety issue, and also important for your dryer function. If you have a buildup of lint, the heat and lint together can become a fire hazard. This backup will also hurt the function of your dryer. A couple of indicators to look for are your dryer getting extremely hot, but your clothes not drying properly.
Air Conditioning Service
These are a bunch of tasks that will help you get ready for the summer season, save money on energy bills, and stay comfortable once it gets hot! The one thing we didn’t mention, because you can’t do it yourself, is calling up a professional for an air conditioning service. All of these tasks will help you get your home ready, and support your home being more comfortable, but there is no replacement for having a contractor come out and perform regular maintenance.
When you have your AC system serviced, you will…
- Keep your home comfortable – The most important thing is the system works properly, and you don’t have hot spots around your home.
- Reduce the likelihood of breakdowns and repairs being needed – We can’t 100% guarantee your system won’t breakdown, but having a professional check it out will give you some solid peace of mind. A professional will also be able to see if it’s on the verge on a potential breakdown, and be able to get ahead of the problem BEFORE it’s too hot and your system fails.
- Increase energy efficiency – Not only does this keep your system running better, but also keeps ENERGY BILLS DOWN. You know how your AC can lead your electric bill to skyrocket? It doesn’t always have to be this way, and with increased efficiency, your bills will stay as low as they can.
- Keep your AC system lasting longer – Your AC should last for 10+ years. So not only do you want it to run well during that span, but you also want it to make it there! Don’t let your AC go unkempt and die too soon.
- Keep your warranty valid (in some cases) – A lot of system warranties require you have a professional service your system regularly. Don’t void your warranty by not having this simple service done!
If you don’t have your AC looked at, the chances are your home isn’t as comfortable as it should be, you are paying MORE in energy bills than you should be, and the system will die years before it should!
This equates to THOUSANDS of dollars. Not shaving a couple hundred off here or there. When it is all said and done, if you keep your system well maintained, you are going to be more comfortable, and save a lot of money and headaches in the long run.
A lot of people think an AC service is a luxury or something they can’t afford, but that’s actually not the case at all. This is just like having the oil changed in your car. It is a practice that SAVES you money in the big picture, and keeps your system in the best shape possible!