The weather is breaking, and it’s time to consider turning on the A/C. For many, this is part of the usual spring cleaning ritual. For others, it’s an overwhelming process. If you find yourself in the latter group year-after-year, here’s how to make your home ready for summer without losing your mind.
Check Your Cooling System Before You Start It
Check the cooling system, or have it inspected, prior to using it for the summer. Professionals, like Goose Creek Heating & Air Conditioning, recommend having a professional check and service your A/C each season.
The purpose for this checkup is to make sure there aren’t any leaks, that the system is free of debris, and that there are no issues with the compressor or related systems that would compromise the system or the performance of the A/C.
Change Your Sheets and Bedroom Setup
This might seem like an odd suggestion, but when the cold weather breaks, it’s time to strip off the comforter and pack away the down. Get those summer sheets on the bed, pronto. If you have other winter-specific modifications you’ve made to the room - say, blackout or insulated curtains - take those down and replace them with lighter drapes.
Wash Your Windows
The snow and rain probably left a lot of water spots and “gunk” on your windows. Time to clean them so you can enjoy the summer sun. For some parts of the house, this isn’t just a nicety, it’s a necessity. Florida rooms, for example, benefit from solar gain in the morning when it’s still a little chilly.
Check Air Ducts
Air ducts in central heating and cooling systems should be checked periodically for debris. Like other duct systems, these can become clogged with debris from filtering dust and dirty air - which is a problem if you live in a big city but can also be a problem in the country.
Debris in the ducting system can decrease cooling performance and drive up energy costs. Most people will have to pay a professional to come and “snake” their system, removing anything that might be lodged in there.
Insulate the ducts. This is simple to do, and most hardware stores sell insulation that the DIY’er can do. Basically, the idea is to keep the cool air in the ducts so that it makes it to the rooms. Uninsulated, or underinsulated, ducts are wickedly inefficient, make your cooling system work harder, and ultimately cost you more money.
Don’t be one of the ones that starts late - HVAC repairmen are hit with a lot of business once summer starts. Be the early bird. Not only will you get discounts, you’ll get an A/C that works before the hot weather is in full force.
Plan at least 3 months out, so you should be starting your inspection in March or April so that you’re ready for the dead of summer in July. Don’t be surprised to find that HVAC companies are booked up after June. Some companies book up in May.
Start a Garden
Starting a garden is a simple way to provide low-cost nutrition for your family, and they’re not too hard to put together if you have anything resembling a “green thumb.” Build it in a semi-sunny spot in your back yard, and enjoy the summer sun.
Laura Lloyd works as a home DIY consultant. She enjoys sharing her home improvement insights online. Her articles appear mainly on home repair and DIY websites.