Home Improvement: Weather Ready Tips

Home Improvement: Weather Ready Tips



This has been a different and record setting year so far with the weather. Did not really have a winter, jumped early into summer type temperatures, back to spring and now 90s in May. So summer may have slipped in here quickly without you being fully prepared. I read last week that we can expect a hot summer. Probably the most critical item will be the air conditioner. The one in our office building seems to be struggling and we are just getting started. So what should you have on your must do list for the summer.

 

AC Service or Replacement: At a minimum you should have the unit cleaned and serviced. Freon levels are critical to the health and performance of your unit. One common symptom of low Freon is ice forming on the condenser or the copper lines carrying the Freon. Low Freon will cause the unit to work much harder than normal to deliver the expected cooling. This not only increases your utility bill but also puts excess wear and tear shortening the life of the unit. If you have had Freon added once or twice per year to keep yours running, it may be time to consider replacement with a higher efficiency model that also uses the new approved EPA approved Freon.
Insulation/Windows: How well do you keep the cool air your AC generates in your home? Have you checked the thickness of the insulation in your attic? Over time the blown-in type can compact decreasing the effectiveness. The recommended level has also been increased so if you have an older home you could probably use some more. Insulation is a quick payout item for reducing your energy bill. Do you have old drafty windows that you feel in the winter? Well your cool air is going out in the summer. The cost of good quality replacement windows is much more affordable these days and the energy efficient glass is much improved as well.
Foundation Maintenance: As it gets hotter and dryer it becomes important to keep the soil along your foundation moist throughout the summer. The high clay content that is present in this area expands and contracts greatly. Drying of the soil will pull away from the foundation doing a couple things. Excessive dryness can cause the foundation to shift resulting in cracks. It also provides a direct channel for rain water to potentially enter your basement. Just use a soaker/misting hose along the walls to keep the soil damp and avoid bigger problems.

 

Beyond these items, it is a good time to reseal an asphalt driveway if you have not had this done in a couple years. It is also the season to clean and seal your wooden deck. You should be able to get several days in succession of dry sunshine to get the job done correctly. Getting it done correctly also involves using qualified, capable people to do the job. Have it done correctly the first time. It may cost a little more to have it done by qualified people but it is a lot cheaper than paying twice. HomeServicesLink can help you locate insured, reliable, capable contractors and service providers for all of your needs around the home. You can reach us at (513) 271-1888 or info@homeserviceslink.com.