Since Calgary’s warm weather is already off to a solid start, we know there’s not much sense in giving you pointers on gassing up your grill or mowing the lawn. But we do have a few timely tips you may not have thought of when it comes to getting your home ready for the summer months ahead – inside and out.
1. Clean Your Air Conditioner
You know the face-full of winter dust you get when you turn on your car’s A/C for the first time in months? Imagine that, except all over your house. It’s likely you have dirt and other contaminants trapped in your system’s air filter from the summer prior – not to mention, it’s had the opportunity to sit for a few seasons. Regardless of whether you enjoy built-in central air or a portable unit, be sure to clean it and insert a new, quality filter before turning it on.
2. Put It In Reverse
Speaking of air, did you know the direction of your ceiling fan can make a huge difference in your home’s overall temperature? By setting your fan to rotate counterclockwise you can suck hotter air towards the ceiling – forcing the temperature of a room to even out to a more tolerable level.
3. Block The Bugs
One of the peskier sides of summer is, of course, the bugs. In order to keep them outside where they belong, you’ll want to check your doors and windows for gaps. Make sure everything is tightly sealed by assessing the condition of your weather stripping, caulking (around windows especially) and screens.
If insects really do give you the creepy crawlies, you can take it a step further by treating the perimeter of your home with pesticide (just be careful if you have pets).
In older homes especially, sealing up your doors and windows has another advantage – preventing water leaks. In the event of a heavy rainstorm or even just a rogue sprinkler, water can easily seep through any loose gaps.
You’ll also want to check the foundation for any cracks, as these can also lead to water issues. Here too, make sure the grading around your home encourages water away from the base, rather than pooling near the foundation. The roof may also be worth a peek, in the event you have any missing or damaged shingles.
5. Ready the Deck
While you’ve no doubt been out on the deck already these last few weeks, have you taken a look at what kind of shape it’s in? Paint aside, now is a good time to check for any loose or warped boards, railings, stairs or spindles. Keep an eye out for any screws or nails that may have shifted over the winter or any rough patches of wood that may need sanding (no one likes a splinter in the foot).
6. Flip the Mattresses
While you’re changing out your warmer linens for some summer-friendly bedding, take the opportunity to flip your mattress. In addition to making you feel as though you have a fresh bed, flipping will ultimately help you get a better sleep and prolong the life of your mattress. Here too, you’ll also be able to tackle dust bunnies and any other under-the-bed surprises.
7. Lighten Up
Since your bedding is switched out for something lighter and more summer-appropriate, why not do the same for the rest of the house? If you keep heavier throws or decorative pillows on your living room furniture, swap them for lighter, summer colours and fabrics. The same applies for heavier curtains or drapes – replacing them with a less weighty material will brighten up your home and, during the evenings, allow cooler air to pass through.
8. Brighten Up
On top of changing out your curtains and linens, there are a few other things you can do to bring summer indoors. You can make small adjustments like switching out air fresheners in favour of summery scents or changing your lightbulbs to a cooler white (whiter bulbs are more reminiscent of daylight). Bigger changes might include re-arranging your furniture for a fresh new look or decorating with a few indoor-friendly plants.
9. Clean Out Your Freezer. Then Fill It Back Up!
Rummage through your fridge and deep freezers to see what might be past its prime. Prepared frozen meals generally only keep for around three months, while meats, breads and frozen vegetables typically last around six to eight. You can always check a frozen food expiry chart if you’re not sure.
Once you’ve made some extra room, consider filling the space with more summer-friendly fare such as popsicles, frozen fruit, or a fresh round of freezer meals ideal for the warmer weather.
10. Switch Off
This the perfect time of year to save on your utilities. Besides the obvious savings on your heating bill, you can capitalize on the warmer weather by hanging your clothes outside as opposed to baking them in the dryer. Not only will they smell nice, they’ll dry faster too! Make an effort to use natural light wherever possible as opposed to flicking a light switch, and use your oven less often (this will mean a cooler house and more time outside on the barbecue).
Now that the warm weather is here (pretty much), consider a few of the above tips to get your home super summer-fied. We guarantee they’ll help you enjoy these upcoming dog days even more.