The 7 Point Ultimate Summer Home Checklist
Summer is finally here and with the changes in weather comes the additional responsibilities of checking your home to make sure your mechanicals and other items are working to their optimal performance. With the heat that is about to take over, you don’t want to find out that your air conditioner doesn’t work on a 100 degree day, so here is a checklist of a few items you should inspect:
What can be more important than protecting your family and home with properly working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. They are extremely easy to inspect if the battery is working and you should have one installed on each floor of your home. Most new ones come as a combination detector and if you want to get high-tech you can purchase one, such as the nest, where you can check the status of your home 24 hours per day.
This is the biggest tip because it’s the easiest to perform, the cheapest to replace and the most valuable as well. This tip is also extremely important if you have a wood burning stove or chimney in your home as they could get clogged/backed up with carbon monoxide collecting in your home.
An air conditioning unit is a vital part of enjoying the blistering summer temperatures, so having one that breaks down in the middle of summer can make your summer miserable. Inspecting it to make sure it’s in optimal condition is key. If you don’t feel comfortable inspecting the AC unit yourself then you should hire a professional HVAC company to check yours out. If you’ve got a slightly handy touch then you’ll want to make sure the following are inspected:
- Clean the condenser unit
- Remove any large and bulky foliage, dirt and debris, and anything else that could be interrupting the air flow coming into the AC unit
- Remove the grill to thoroughly clean the inside of the unit, a hose can be extremely helpful for getting this done
- If you see that any fins are bent you can purchase a tool called a fin comb to help straighten them out
- Clean the evaporator coil and condenser coil, these should be cleaned out annually
- Add lubricating oil to the motor
- Inspect the condensate drain line
- This is the line that collects condensation and then pushes it away from the unit
- Inspect the line for obstruction such as debris, algae, grass and other blockages
- Check hoses to make sure they are secure and fit tightly
- Replace the air filter
- It should go without saying that the air filter is extremely important in keeping proper air circulation within your AC unit
- You’ll want to inspect your air filter on a monthly basis and when you see an excessive accumulation you should replace it immediately.
- Air filters also catch certain smells and odors so if you notice that those smells are recirculating into the air then that may be a signal that it’s time to have it replaced.
Trees and Shrubs
You’ll notice that your trees are shrubs are now flourishing because of the heavy amount of spring rains that just passed, but this is a good time to get your trees and shrubs trimmed and pruned. If you hire a professional tree service to make sure your vegetation looks right, they will also make sure your trees are growing properly and that they are free from disease and other dangerous pests.
If they do find something concerning then they can devise a plan to eliminate those hazards. They can spread quickly so it’s important that you act fast.
BBQ and Outdoor Cooker
There is nothing better than eating from a freshly cleaned grill.
For both gas and charcoal grills you’ll want to purchase a degreaser to help you fight the grease and more effectively clean out your grill. On a gas grill you just fire it up and let it get hot for approximately 30 minutes so that it’s easier to clean off anything that has hardened onto the grates or sidewalls of the grill. Once 30 minutes have passed allow it to get cool so that you don’t easily burn yourself. Apply the degreaser and use your brush and hose to clean off the grill.
For a charcoal grill, remove all the contents of the grill, including any ash and other debris, and use the degreaser to help you remove anything that could be caked on. Leave the degreaser on for approximately 15 minutes giving it enough time to do its job. Then use a hard bristle brush and hose to entirely clean it off.
You’ll be surprised at how many bugs, dirt, and debris can accumulate with the spider webs along the windows and doors of your home. There are two easy ways to do this:
- If you have a pressure washer then you should be able to easily wipe away the spider webs and dirt that are on your window and door. You’ll easily be able to get to the 2nd story windows.
- You can purchase a cleaning solution that attaches to the end of your hose, simply use the solution to spray a soapy film to your windows and doors to get all the dirt and grime off. Once it has been applied just remove it and apply only water to rinse it off.
As the summer heat continues to stress out your vegetation, adding a layer of mulch will help to keep the weeds away but it will also help to retain additional moisture that would have otherwise dried up if the water were applied to the top layer of the ground. Mulch also adds an aesthetically pleasing look that can come in many different colors and materials. Your local big box hardware store will have many varieties for you to choose from.
Tuckpointing and Chimney Sweep
Tuckpointing is not something that needs to be done on an annual basis but it’s also not something that you want to completely disregard either. As the weather goes through its annual cycles it gently erodes away at the mortar between joining bricks. As water slowly enters into those gaps during the winter season, it expands and contracts due to the freezing and thawing of water. Slowly it cracks the brick from the inside out, call spalling, eventually needing to be replaced.
For this reason, tuckpointing is an essential part of brick upkeep. A masonry company can easily do tuckpointing work for you and they can assist with a chimney sweep as well. Though you probably won’t be using your chimney during the summer, this is the right time to have it cleaned out for the fall and winter season. Chimney sweeps are extremely important as soot and creosote build up along the inside of your chimney walls. This material is extremely flammable and causes many fires each year. Even a little spark can make the chimney catch fire and burn an entire house down.