Top Tips for A Summer-Ready Home
Spread tasks over a few weeks to be set for a worry-free, enjoyable summer.
- Close the chimney flue to prevent insects from entering and to help keep cool air in.
- If possible, take area rugs outside and hang them over a deck or porch rail to air out.
- Change the rotation of ceiling fans to the summer setting. Give the unit a good dusting to avoid blowing dust around the room.
- Switch out heavy bedding for lightweight summer fabrics. Have your winter bedding cleaned before storing it away for the season.
- Repot houseplants to give their roots a fresh start for the summer.
- Power wash decks and patios and seal surfaces as appropriate.
- If paint is peeling, cracking, or chipped, repair and repaint now to limit damage to the underlying materials.
- Remove window screens and clean them with a soft brush and soapy water. Rinse well and allow them to dry in the sun before reinstalling.
- Have the air conditioning unit serviced to ensure peak operation. Promote good air intake by keeping plants around the unit trimmed.
- Clear dirt and debris from gutters and eaves.
- Seal cracks in the driveway and keep walkways clear of debris and overgrown plants.
- Test irrigation and sprinkler systems and replace any broken sprinkler heads or emitters. Check for proper water coverage and adjust if necessary.
Now, on to summer!
Be sure to pack these items in your car to make the first few days in your new home easier.
- Medications that you will need right away.
- A couple of pots, pans, cups and plates so you don’t have to rummage through those kitchen boxes when it’s breakfast time.
- Clothes for the first few days, whether for work, school or just unpacking.
- A few activities, toys, books, or games for the kids.
- Pet food and medications, litter boxes, leashes and treats.
- Towels, shampoo and soap, so you’re set for that first shower.
- Sheets, pillows and blankets so you’re ready for the first night. Sleep tight!
Too Much or Too Little?
You want your home to be cool and comfortable when the temperatures soar. But an air conditioning system that’s oversized for the house isn’t the best way to go. “Oversized” doesn’t refer to the physical size, but rather the system capacity. An oversized system is sized to operate optimally on the hottest day of the season, but the rest of the time that capacity isn’t needed. Yes, it will cool the house very quickly, using short “on” cycles. However, this is inefficient and won’t dehumidify the house adequately, wasting energy and leaving the air feeling cold and clammy.
If you want peak efficiency and dehumidification without worry that your system can’t keep up in the hottest day, choose a system that will operate at two capacities. It’s like having two AC systems in one – an undersized mode that will have very long “on” cycles and a larger capacity mode to keep you comfortable even on the hottest days of the year.
If you’re considering a replacement air conditioning system, be sure to ask your installer about these two-stage compressor systems. You’ll be ready to beat the heat efficiently and comfortably.
How To Use That Extra Paint
Have some paint left over from a recent project? Don’t just store it away. Put it to good use with some of these creative ideas:
- Paint the inside of a linen or coat closet.
- Use it on shelves or cabinets in your garage or shed.
- Refresh a patio bench or table with leftover exterior paint.
- Paint picture frames to create a unified look for your photo gallery.
- Add a quick coat to the inside of a bookshelf for a pop of color.
- Paint the outsides of flower pots in a solid color, or get creative with a design.
- Transform a yard-sale table or chair into a one-of-a-kind find.
- Customize a canvas tote with water-thinned latex paint.
HOME & LIFE
Pet Project: Hot Weather and Your Furry Friends
Pets can overheat when the temperature and humidity climb. Some simple precautions to take include:
- Have plenty of clean, fresh water available indoors and out.
- Provide a shady spot so your pets can get out of the sun.
- Avoid walking or running with your dog during the hottest part of the day. If you must walk, remember that paved surfaces can burn your dog’s paws.
- Never leave your pets alone in the car, even with the windows open. Cars heat up very quickly, even if it’s not that hot outside.
- Keep older or overweight cats and dogs indoors as much as possible.
- Dog and cat breeds with flat faces are particularly susceptible to heat-related issues.
- Know the warning signs of overheating. Your pet may pant excessively, have an increased heart rate or find breathing difficult. Check with your veterinarian for more information.
Treat Your Windows Right
Choosing window treatments can be a bewildering task. Here’s an overview of the most popular types of window coverings.
Shades are available in many styles, including roller and Roman types. Room-darkening materials are great for bedrooms, while light-filtering fabrics afford privacy and sunlight. Solar shade material lets you enjoy the view while keeping out glare.
Drapes can go formal or casual, depending on the fabric and style. Hang drapes at ceiling height to make the window and room look taller, and make sure the fabric
extends all the way to the floor for a stylish look.
SHUTTERS & BLINDS
Crisp and clean, these give a polished look to any room while offering flexible light and privacy control. Either can be opened or closed completely, and the slats are adjustable for just the right amount of light and view.
Start by thinking about what you want the window treatment in a room to do, then you can narrow down the options that meet your needs and budget.