Get Your Home Ready for Summer


A young woman crouched in her garden as she sets up a sprinkler system.
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We’d love to help you with a mortgage or home equity line of credit.

Tips to help you prepare your house and garden for the hot weather ahead.

One way to more fully enjoy summer is to ensure that your house is in good working order. Here are some maintenance tips to prepare for the upcoming hot weather.

Save on energy

Want to save as much as 10% on your heating and cooling? According to Energy.gov, increasing the set thermostat setting by 7-10° from the usual setting for 8 hours a day will do the trick. The U.S. Department of Energy also advises against setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal in an effort to speed up cooling, which won’t cool your home any faster and can ultimately increase your energy expenses.

While you can adjust thermostats manually, a programmable thermostat gives you the benefits of timed cooling with set-it-and-forget ease.

Also, switching ceiling fans to spin counterclockwise creates a cooling breeze and helps reduce the need for air conditioning (AC).

Keep insects out

The primary purpose of weather stripping is to keep cooled or heated air in the house. It also serves to keep pesky insects like ants from entering your home. Make sure weather stripping around doors and windows is intact and functioning effectively.

Also, ensure window screens are securely in place to keep bugs out. Repair torn screens. For small holes, mending kits that use a blow dryer to activate the adhesive can extend screen life. When replacing or patching screens, be sure to match the color of the existing screen.

TLC for your HVAC

Replacing the filter in your AC system once a month keeps the air you breathe cleaner and helps the system run more easily.

Another way to keep your AC working efficiently is by cleaning the coils on the outdoor unit. Remove any twigs or leaves from the top of unit. Use a hose to spray dust, grass and pollen off the coils. Avoid using a power washer for this task as excessive water pressure could cause damage.

Keep gutters clear

Gutter systems are low-tech and high-impact. They are the primary way to move water away from your home’s foundation and help prevent soil erosion. Remove any leaves and debris from the gutters so water can flow freely. As you clean, inspect the gutters for leaks or loose brackets, and ensure repairs are made as needed. Also check downspouts and gutter extensions for obstructions and remove anything that impedes the flow of water.

Inspect your deck

Sweeping and cleaning decks is rite of spring. As you clear away dirt, keep an eye out for problems such as mold, loose boards or popped screws. Check the integrity of railings; any that wobble should be quickly repaired.

Sealing is a great way to prolong the life of a deck. One way to tell if it’s time to apply a sealant is by spraying water on the deck; if the water beads up the wood is protected, if the water soaks in it’s time for new sealant.

Do exterior painting at the right time

Weather conditions can affect how exterior paint cures and therefore how long it lasts. With quality paint going for up to $100 per gallon, you’ll want to make sure your investment lasts as long as possible. The best time for exterior painting is when the temperature is between 60° and 80° with low to moderate humidity. Some newer paints are formulated to cure at temperatures as low as 35°, but do you really want to paint when it’s that cold?

Weed and water less

If you love the results of gardening—like beautiful blooms and tasty, fresh veggies—make mulch your partner. In addition to preventing weed growth, mulch can cut down on watering by 25%.

When applying mulch for the first time, put down a 3 to 4-inch layer. In subsequent years, only about an inch needs to be added.

Also, when mulching around trees, don’t mound the mulch around the trunk as this can lead to root rot and insect invasion. Discover Michigan State University’s good mulching practices.

Budget for home maintenance

The best approach to keeping your home in working order is to plan for the expense of ongoing home maintenance. Many experts recommend budgeting between 1-4% of your home’s value each year. If you own an older home you may want to set aside more. Automated deposits to a Consumers savings account designated for home maintenance can help prepare you for both planned and unexpected repairs.

Consumers helps thousands of members finance land, first and second homes, and home improvement projects each year. We’d love to help you with a mortgage or home equity line of credit; contact us online or call us at 800.991.2221.

*All loans subject to approval. Rates, terms, and conditions are subject to change and may vary based on credit worthiness, qualifications, and collateral conditions.

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Consumers home loans

We’d love to help you with a mortgage or home equity line of credit.

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