Summer's the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors in the Beehive State. But don't neglect your home’s indoor space. Keeping up with simple maintenance chores now will keep the family comfortable this winter. Let's start with your essential summer home maintenance checklist.
Fans, Air Conditioning, Furnace
It's easy to forget about the equipment making the summer bearable. But a hot Utah summer can put a burden on an older air conditioner. Make sure that your air conditioning unit is up to speed this summer. Clean out the air vents, replace the air filter every month, and look for any cracks or leaks that could need repair. You'll be grateful when next summer rolls around!
Ceiling fans are also in need of a bit of sprucing up this time of year. Check for any unbalanced fans and tighten any blades mechanisms that are wobbly or have come loose. Dust the top of the fan blades that can accumulate dust after so much use.
This is also a great time to have your furnace and air vents cleaned. You’d be amazed at how much dust builds up inside them in a year. You’ll breathe a lot easier this winter.
The summer sun can significantly increase your home’s temperature. Installing a curtain to block some of the sunlight can help keep your home cool this summer, and cut down on the electric bill.Blackout curtains are great for kids’ rooms or nurseries, especially during nap time. They’ll also keep the heat in during the winter. Sheer curtains that allow you to view the outdoors are a good compromise and filter out some of the summer heat.
Summer is the perfect time to rent or borrow a pressure washer for a day. Blasting off the grime and dirt on outdoor patios, fences and lawn furniture can be both satisfying and cooling in the summer heat. Research which nozzle to use to keep from damaging your home. Your “hardscapes” — concrete, decks, bricks, and walkways — should all stand up well to pressure washing. Depending on their age and condition, home exteriors may also be pressure-washed, with the proper nozzle. But be very careful with exterior surfaces: You don’t want to drive water into crevices or blast away paint or mortar if you’re not ready for a big repair job.
This is the time to wash the windows inside and out. It will give you a better view of the great outdoors, and get rid of any spider webs. Use warm water and a squeegee to help clear off stubborn dirt that has built up over the past winter. Check for any seals that need to be replaced before winter.
Summer is also a good time to mend the damaged window screens. If the tears and holes are too big to fix, replace the entire screen. Repairing the screens will encourage you to turn off the air conditioner and enjoy the cooler summer nights without inviting bugs inside.
Lawn and Landscape
Weeds are notorious for growing during the summer. Keep weeds at bay by spreading mulch in landscaped areas. Mulch not only covers the ground to keep weeds from popping up, but it also helps hydrate plants and saves you money on the water bill.
Trim Bushes, Shrubs, and Trees
Cut off all dead, dying, or diseased branches. It’s important to remove any limbs touching your house and near electrical wires. This will protect your home from falling branches during the next snowstorm. A little pruning with hand shears, or better yet, electric hedge trimmers, at the end of summer will also ensure your plants flourish next spring.
Aerate and Seed
The end of summer is the perfect time to aerate your lawn. Poking holes in the soil will allow water and nutrients to reach the roots. The warmth of the soil makes this the best time to seed any of those thin or dry patches of your lawn. This will give the seeds a chance to germinate before winter arrives.
Allowing your lawn to get too long is hard on the grass. Overgrown grass has a hard time drying out and invites pests, disease, and fungus to grow at the grassroots. Make sure to keep your lawn mowed throughout the summer and never take off more than one-third of the grass blade height each time. Doing so could jeopardize the health of your yard.
Summer is the time to get outdoors and tackle those jobs that have been stacking up all year. Take advantage of the beautiful weather and make sure to mark these tasks off your essential summer home maintenance checklist.
Sean Graham is a former Realtor who stages homes and landscapes before they go on the market. Her own garden is filled with native blooms and shrubs that attract birds and bees.