The official start of summer is only 36 days away, and now is the time to start getting your house ready (before it gets too hot!).
When you're changing out your winter clothes for your summer collection (if you haven't already), take some time to review this list of ways you can get your home ready for the summer heat.
- Change the filters and check them regularly (at least once a month).
- Before the 90 degree weather hits, make sure your air conditioning unit is working properly by testing the system:
- Change the thermostat to "cool" and turn the temperature down.
- If the air conditioner doesn't turn on, check to make sure no breakers are tripped.
- If it does turn on, make sure the air coming out is cool enough.
- If necessary, have a technician come out to check the unit or to fix any issues. It's better to address any problems now before they are too busy in the heat of summer to answer your emergency call.
- Hose down the coils of the condenser unit (the part outside the house) and clear the area around the unit so it has full air flow.
- Check to make sure it is working properly. If your attic is not properly vented, it could cause many problems down the road in addition to increased energy costs. Even if your attic fan is working, consult with a professional if you feel your attic is not properly vented.
- Make sure vents are open and free of debris. This will help airflow and reduce moisture.
- Clean ceiling fans.
- Clean windows and screens; replace weather stripping to keep cool air in and hot air out.
- Clean your refrigerator, especially the areas around vents, condenser coils, and the condenser fan. When these elements are clogged with dust and debris they can prevent the refrigerator from cooling (leaving you with a warm fridge, a mess to clean, and food to throw away).
- Test smoke alarms and change batteries.
- Winter weather is rough on exterior siding, trim, and the roof. Be sure to check siding and wood components for rot and damage. You want to catch and repair any rot when the damage is small or it will only continue to get worse (especially each time it rains).
- Clean out gutters.
- Check for missing or loose shingles and patch any holes in the roof.
- Trim dead branches close to your home.
- Check garden hoses for leaks.
- Check electrical outlets to make sure they are working properly.
Bonus - Car Care
Here are some bonus safety tips to make sure your car is ready for those summer trips to the beach or your next family vacation. If you are going on an extended vacation or road trip, however, you should have your vehicle inspected by a mechanic.
- Check the tire pressure and add air as necessary.
- Check tires for any damage or excessive wear.
- Perform the "quarter test" to check the wear of your tires. If you can see the top of Washington's wig when you place the quarter in between the tire treads, it's time to start shopping for new tires. This is a much safer standard than the "penny test".
- If you wait until you fail the "penny test" (when you can see all of Abraham Lincoln's head) your tires will already be in an unsafe condition, especially on wet or slippery roads.
- Change filters.
- Check fluids.
- Check the rubber gasket in the radiator cap to make sure it isn't cracked, deformed, damaged, or hardened.
- Check cooling and air conditioning systems. Coolant problems are the number one cause of breakdowns due to engines overheating.
- Clean out any leaves, pine needles, or other debris that has accumulated in the fins of the radiator and the air conditioning condenser.
- Get a tune up if necessary
We hope these tips are helpful in getting your home and vehicle prepared for the hot summer months ahead. If you have any questions about your insurance coverage or if you have recently made updates to your home, please contact us at 732-380-0900.