Summer is upon us! For most people, summer means vacations, relaxing, and sitting waterside. For Westrom, it means it's time for summer maintenance projects! Here are six simple projects that you can do for your home to help you save money and avoid more work for yourself in the long run.
Do a Leak Check
Your utilities tend to cost more in the summer because of the expense of cooling your home, so every little bit of savings helps. Check your hoses and exterior faucets for leaks -- even a tiny drip can add up to a big waste of water and increase your utility bill. If you have a sprinkler system, a thorough inspection before using it regularly is vital to the health of your lawn and the ground underneath it. If just one sprinkler head begins to leak underneath the ground and into the top soil you run the risk of eroding the dirt away and escalating your water bill. You should inspect your system for cracked sprinklers, any exposed lines, or anywhere else that may be leaking water and draining your wallet.
Clear Space Around
Your AC Unit
If you have plants or shrubs growing around your AC unit, we recommend trimming them back. Your AC unit needs the best possible airflow in order to work efficiently and function properly. If you neglect this simple task, you run the risk of overheating your air conditioning unit which can cause permanent damage... or even a fire! (Yikes)
Your AC unit tends to put in overtime during these hot summer months. To help keep your air conditioning flowing and to avoid costly HVAC repairs, we recommend replacing the air filter regularly. Generally, replacing the filter of your AC unit should be done once every 30-60 days depending on the air quality of the area you live in. The "average" suburban home without pets should be changed every 90 days, add a cat or dog: every 60 days, and add more than one pet or anyone who has allergies: 20-45 days. Been a little longer than that for you? That means dust, dirt, and allergens could be invading your home. If you notice that your air conditioner is working harder or constantly coming on, it may mean that your filter is dirty and should be changed. You may also notice a faint musty smell which is a good indication that it's time to replace.
There's no telling what kind of crud has collected in your gutters since their last cleaning! Now that the rainy months are behind us, take the time to remove this crud so that you're prepared for the next rainy season. You can do this the old fashioned way, with a ladder and a little manual labor; or you can get creative and use a Shop Vac in reverse to suction out the crud, a water hose to provide a concentrated and powerful stream, or even a leaf blower to blast out the debris.
Did you know that sediment buildup can completely ruin your water heater over time? Draining this at least once a year will help reduce sediment buildup and extend the life of your water heater. To do this, cut the power/gas and water supply to your water heater and attach a hose to the drain spout. Run the hose outside and then open the drain spout on the water heater. BE CAREFUL - The water that comes out of this hose will be very hot so handle this with caution.
Patch Cracks in
During the colder months and rainy season, water tends to seep into small cracks in your driveway. Once the water settles into these cracks, it may freeze and cause the water to expand which creates larger cracks. To fill the cracks, use cement patch which can be found at your local hardware store. Since you won't have to worry about freezing during the summer, this is the best time to do this repair.