The weather in Ohio has been a little crazy lately. We have been alternating between rainy and cool, hot and humid, or just plain hot, hot, hot. Some days the A/C is running and some days not. I guess I should just be thankful for the days that are not so terribly hot…the days when I can open my windows at night because the temperature has fallen below 80 before I nod off for the night. It is a constant summer pass time…trying to keep the house comfortable without using the A/C too much and being wasteful. There are also other things that keep us hopping…a lawn that needs mowed, a hose that kids will forget to turn off if you don’t watch them like a hawk, and summertime bugs wanting to come inside where the shade, food, and water is.
I think that we need a “summer” cleaning and revamp after the spring one. According to EnergyStar, the average household spends more than $2,200 a year on energy bills, with half of this directly related to heating and cooling costs. It’s hard not to let little things fall through the cracks during the busy summer months, especially when we are so busy having fun. Here are some summer maintenance tips to keep you sailing smooth…
• Clean windows and fix screens: Spring and summer storms are part of life in most areas of the country and if we want to enjoy the sunny days of summer we need clean windows! Pick a day to clean them inside and out. Make sure to fix any screens that have holes and tears or flying insects will be happy to make their way indoors.
• Clean out the rain barrel: It’s hot and humid and the rain barrel water might be starting to get slightly stinky and maybe even a breeding ground for mosquitoes. If this is the case empty it in the late afternoon, give your plants and garden a good watering, and clean the tank/barrel out.
• Change your A/C filter: You probably changed it for spring but they really need to be changed every season and think about all the dirt, pollen, and other bits you are bringing into the house daily. Summertime usually means more in and out activity and since you are using your A/C it is doing double duty. Replace the filter and it will not only run more efficiently, you help clean indoor air by capturing dust, pollen and lint from the air passing through the filter. The Filtrete Micro Allergen Reduction Filter provides a balance of particle capture and airflow, thus helping to prevent stress on the system as well as reducing the amount of energy needed to reach desired temperatures. Where to buy: Lowe’s, Target, Costco, and your local hardware store; find a location near you by visiting FindMyFiltreteFilter.com.
Think maybe I should clean up the weeds around my A/C unit too???
• Create bug barriers: Check for holes and cracks around doors and windows where bugs might be making their way inside. Clean up any things that might be attracting them like crumbs, pet food, and water. Use natural deterrents such as spearmint, peppermint, cinnamon, and basil.
Bonus!! The above tips are mine but here are some more from Mike Holmes, the trusted HGTV Contractor:
• Hot water heaters: Set hot water heaters at 120 degrees Fahrenheit or below to avoid potential scalding.
• Stove: Remove and wash stove grates, burners and coils with warm water and soap. Over time, grease can build up around the stove, increasing the chances of a fire.
• Fire extinguishers: Check the expiration dates on your fire extinguishers. You should keep one on each floor of your home.
• Cracks: Inspect the floor, walls and foundation of the home for cracks. Jot them down on your home to-do list, and fix them before they lead to deterioration and wood rot.