Fixing problems immediately is usually cheaper and easier than paying for major repairs to your Pittsburgh home later. Fortunately you can avoid costly repairs by following these summer home maintenance recommendations.
Test Your Air-Conditioner
Air-conditioning problems seem to happen at the most inopportune times. You only hear a clicking sound on the hottest day of the summer, or discover that your system is blowing hot air right before your 4th of July party. Unfortunately, HVAC repair technicians are often overworked during a heat wave. Although your system will eventually be fixed, you may have to wait hours or days for service.
A quick check of your air-conditioning system at the beginning of summer can help you avoid a few hot, uncomfortable days. Replace your filter, even if it was clean at the end of last summer. Pet hair and dust can collect on it even when you aren’t running the system. Duquesne Light recommends replacing your filter every month during the cooling season.
After you put in the new filter, turn the system on and wait about 15 minutes. If cool air doesn’t flow through your vents, or even worse, the system doesn’t turn on, call a repair person.
Take Advantage of Technology to Keep Your Home Cool
Would you like to save energy and lower your electric bill during the summer? Consider installing a Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat. The thermostat allows you to raise or lower the temperature in your home or turn the system on or off from your smartphone, laptop or other digital device.
Adding a few ceiling fans throughout your home will help circulate the cooled air produced by your air-conditioner. Today’s high-tech ceiling fans turn on when you enter a room and automatically change the speed depending on the room temperature and humidity level.
Remote-controlled, Wi-Fi-enabled window shades can reduce the heating effect of the sun during the day. Once the sun goes down, the shades retract at the press of a button.
Inspect Your Home’s Exterior
We’ve already had a few severe storms this spring, and summer’s bound to bring a few more rounds of strong storms. Examining your home’s exterior once a week is a simple way to spot damage and reduce the risk of a moisture problem in your house.
Look for loose or damaged shingles, missing caulk around doors and windows, missing or damaged pieces of flashing along the eaves of your house, loose fence posts, holes in screens and cracks in windows. After a few particularly windy storms, it’s a good idea to clean your gutters. Water can back up and damage your roof if the gutters become clogged with leaves and debris.
Add Extra Insulation to Your Attic
Insulation not only keeps your home warm in the winter but prevents cooled air from escaping during the summer. If you have an older home, you may not have enough insulation, or the existed insulation may have become compacted or damaged. A home renovation contractor can inspect your attic and let you know if you need more insulation or insulation with a higher thermal resistance factor, also known as the “R” value.
Clean and Repair Driveways and Walks
Ignoring cracks can cause your driveway and walks to disintegrate more quickly, particularly if weeds begin to grow in the cracks. Patch cracks in concrete or asphalt as soon as you notice them. If patching is no longer effective, summer is the ideal time to replace driveways, patios and sidewalks.
Summer is also a great time to begin a home renovation project. Whether you want to create a large kitchen and family room, turn your first floor into the ultimate open floor plan, or build an addition to your home, our design/build team can help you improve your home. Contact us for information about the process.
HGTV: Get Your House Ready for Summer
Duquesne Light Company: Beat the Heat: Tips and Tricks
New York Magazine: 7 Best Wi-Fi Thermostats 2018