Important Seasonal Maintenance for Homeowners
As the days turn warmer, you have several home maintenance tasks to do so your home is ready for the sunny days ahead! Here are the most important tasks to check off your list.
Service Your Air Conditioner
Twice yearly HVAC servicing can help improve the air conditioning system’s efficiency and potentially extend its lifespan. At a minimum, ask your service professional to complete these four Cs each spring:
- Change the blower or air filter.* Some systems may have washable filters.
- Clean the air conditioner’s evaporator coil. (What’s that? Learn the important air conditioner terms to know with our HVAC Glossary.)
- Clear the area around the condenser of winter debris and leaves, and trim away the vegetation.
- Check that the surface on which the condenser sits is still on the level—winter erosion can sometimes shift what had been solid soil underneath the concrete padding.
*The Department of Energy estimates that changing or cleaning the air filter “can lower your air conditioner's energy consumption by 5% to 15%.”
Inspect Your Roof
You can hire a pro to inspect your roof, but if you want to check it yourself first, follow safety precautions and have these tools handy:
- Soft-bristled broom for sweeping away winter debris
- Garden hose to spray off dirt and bird droppings
- Pruning shears for cutting away tree branches
- Putty knife to remove any failing caulk around chimney flashing
- Roofing caulk to replace the old caulk with the new
Clean the Gutters
As you clear gutters of winter’s fallout, be sure to look in gutter bottoms for loose asphalt granules, which can be a sign the roof may need to be replaced.
Check exterior siding and walls. Look for cracks or other openings. Seal any newly formed cracks with caulk right away to help keep cooler air from escaping.
Bring the Outdoors in
Using what nature provides can actually allow you to forego the use of your air conditioner at least until the hot summer weather arrives, allowing you to save on energy use and those utility bills.
- Add Sunlight. Turn off the lamps and open curtains or blinds to let the sunlight up your home.
- Open windows. Cool your home naturally and save money on energy when you open windows strategically to allow a cross breeze to occur. This can keep your house comfortable until the real heat hits and you need that AC running all the time.
- Install instant screen doors. Magnetic screen doors are a cool trend that can be easily installed on back doors, sliders, and even French doors to allow fresh, cool spring air in while keeping bugs out. A quick online search on-screen door curtains provide a variety of options.
Bonus Springtime Energy-Efficiency Tips
- Program your thermostat. The DOE says setting your “programmable thermostat to a higher setting when you are not at home can help reduce your energy costs by approximately 10 percent.”
- Invest in ceiling fans. Using a ceiling fan in each room keeps the overall temperature in your home from rising on warm days, which can reduce how often you need to run the AC.
- Make dinner outside. When you cook meals on an outdoor grill you eliminate the heat buildup that happens when you use the oven. Plus, spring is alfresco dining time.
For more helpful tips, please visit our home maintenance page.