Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or an old DIY pro, there are home maintenance tips that every homeowner should know how to do for themselves. These tasks vary in difficulty, but they accomplish a similar goal—keeping your cooling costs lower during the hot and humid temperatures of Washington, DC in the summer.
home tips to save this summer
#1 – Install ceiling fans
You can save cash on your air conditioning bills by installing ceiling fans. It helps to move around the air to help you feel fresh, and it pushes warmer air back to the floor so that your a/c system runs more efficiently. Installing your first ceiling fan can be tricky, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll see that it’s quite simple.
By running the fans and tapping the thermostat up a degree or two, you’ll keep cool and alleviate some of the stress on your air conditioning unit.
In the wintertime, you can reverse the direction of the blades to pull warm upwards and help keep you warmer.
#2 – Check your windows and caulk around them if needed
While many homeowners know they should inspect their windows before the snow flies, they forget to give them a second late-spring checkup. This once over allows you to identify any cracks in the caulking or issues with the windows sealing tight. This attention to detail is as urgent in the summertime as it is during the winter because you don’t want cooled air to seep out.
#3 – Change your HVAC filters
Your HVAC system has a filtration system that captures particles of dust and dirt as it runs. If you don’t change those filters on the manufacturer-recommended schedule, the resulting blockages cause your unit to run inefficiently.
As a result, your a/c could run more frequently than necessary, wasting money on your energy bills—and stressing your system.
#4 – Clear your gutters
You might have cleared your gutters in the fall, but that’ s little assurance that they are not clogged again. If critters make nests, they can create a backup of debris that can block your eave vents. This blockage causes a severe lack of airflow in your attic and makes your house hot!
Clear the gutters, then rinse the downspouts of all debris to ensure a clear flow of water. Not only will this help ventilate your attic, but it will also help your property become storm ready before hurricane season is in full swing.
#5 – Install a programmable thermostat
Today, we have access to smart technologies that make controlling everything from our lights to our thermostats with just the flick of our smartphone app. Embrace this technology, and the savings will add up.
Changing a thermostat is a simple matter of swapping out a couple of wires, so why not elect to install the “smart” technology? You will be able to use it to turn the a/c up a couple of degrees while you’re away and restore it to a comfortable temperature before you come home. Plus, if you leave for summer vacation and forget to change the settings, you can manage it from your phone or tablet.
That is pretty smart!
#6 – Change out your door sweeps
Is your door sweep worn out, with a chewed up appearance from years of use? If so, then change it out! The door sweep is crucial to protecting your home against grime, humidity, bug infestations, and energy loss (most importantly for your cooling bill).
That simple rubber strip has a big job to do! It closes up any gaps or imperfections in the fit between the threshold and the door.
It’s a simple job, and you only need a drill and a screwdriver to fix it as right as rain.
#7 – Hang cellular shades or curtains
One easy way to cool the home naturally is by blocking out the most intense UV rays throughout the day. Cellular shades are the most useful way to accomplish that goal. Hang these shades up and close off the sun’s rays.
As an added bonus, your furnishings and flooring won’t get that faded look, so you’ll save money on replacements.
These home maintenance tips will save you money!
Home maintenance and saving money on your cooling costs go hand-in-hand. You cannot have one without the other. Accepting the challenge of trying these home maintenance tips out yourself will put serious amounts of cash back in your pocket.
Jeff is a Glass House real estate broker with nearly 10 years of experience in the Washington DC real estate market.