Preventive home maintenance can help homeowners save money on expensive home repairs down the road. Hire a handyman to tackle these indoor, outdoor and appliance maintenance projects and help you save money this summer.
- Have a contractor check your home's insulation. Adding insulation is a cost effective way to lower cooling costs. If your attic isn’t already insulated or is under-insulated, now is a great time to upgrade. The U.S. Department of Energy suggests a value between R-30 and R-60 in the attic.
- Service your air conditioner: If you haven’t called a heating and cooling contractor yet, late spring is the time. Also, inspect your air filters every other month. Replace dirty air filters to keep your A/C running at top efficiency and save money on cooling bills.
- Apply weatherstripping and caulk to windows and doors so cold air can't escape through cracks.
- Check your home and garage for any signs of insect damage. July is the height of insect season and a good time to look for signs of termites or other pests that could harm your home. If you see any damage, call a reputable pest control company now before more damage is done.
- Get your roof inspected. When roof shingles are old and worn out, they lose their waterproofing effectiveness. If your roof is 15 years old or more, check it for signs of problems. It may be time for a new roof if the corners of the shingles peel up at the edge and you can see the underlying roof.
- Have gutters cleaned and repaired. They should be clear of leaves and debris. Extra weight in your gutters can cause them to pull away from your home.
- Consult with a professional tree service. The summer storm season can cause limbs to fall, often landing on other trees, homes and cars. Doing so will help determine potential weaknesses and dangers. They will look for signs of potential hazards such as stress cracks, weak branches, and hollow or decayed areas.
- A good pressure washing of your deck will remove dirt, mold and mildew. The pressure washer is a great tool, but think twice before you DIY - many surfaces can be easily damaged by an inexperienced user.
- Check your home security system: Test your alarm before you head out on vacation. If you don’t have an alarm system, make sure all your locks work on doors and windows.
- Switch ceiling fan blades: Switch your ceiling fan to run counterclockwise in the summer. That will push the cool air down. You can run a ceiling fan half the day for about $1.50 a month, compared to $25 for an air conditioner.
- Check your dehumidifier: The summer season can bring high levels of humidity. Check your filter every month and clean or replace it as necessary.
- Service your gas grill: Your gas grill should be serviced at least once a year; twice a year if you’re a heavy grill user. Covering your grill when it’s not in use is the easiest and best thing you can do to extend its life by protecting it from the elements. If your grill is hard to light, check the venturi tubes. Spiders can spin webs and build nests in the tubes, obstructing the flow of the gas to the burner. Use a pipe cleaning brush to clear the tubes.