With the arrival of spring, it’s a good time to make sure your home is ready for the warmer months. Taking care of routine and seasonal maintenance will help you protect your investment.
Even minor changes or fixes here and there can make your home more energy efficient and save you money. The tips below can help you keep your home in good working order.
Inside your home
There are several simple things you can do to make sure your home is ready for the season.
- Before the heat of summer arrives, make sure your air-conditioning system is in top shape. If possible, have it checked by a licensed heating and cooling contractor. These multi-point inspections will look at all components of your air-conditioning system, both inside and outside your home.
- This year, through OPPD’s HVAC Tuneup Program, you can earn a rebate of $25 just for having regular maintenance performed by a certified HVAC contractor. They’ll complete and sign an eight-point tuneup checklist, which you then submit to OPPD. There are 2,000 rebates available through the end of the year.
- With routine tune-ups and maintenance, your HVAC system will last longer, reducing the likelihood of costly repairs or replacement.
- Seasonal maintenance you can do yourself includes:
- Change your HVAC system’s air filter on a regular basis, including when switching from using your furnace to using your air conditioner. Your filter collects dust and debris, and a dirty filter can reduce your system’s energy efficiency and could cause other, more expensive problems. A dirty filter also reduces the air quality in the home, which is a health issue.
- Seal any of the ductwork you can reach or see in the basement. Properly sealed ductwork can reduce air leakage into the basement or unconditioned spaces; that kind of leakage reduces the efficiency of your system
- If you have a basement, walk through and check the walls and the floor for cracks, leaks or other signs of damage. If you have an attic, check for leaks or signs of moisture. High humidity levels in the home (55% or higher) coupled with potential moisture damage can lead to the growth of mold.
- Spring also means we’re likely to see an increase in rain, so be sure your sump pump is in good working order. Your pump can help prevent flooding in your basement during heavy rains.
- Look inside the pit and remove any debris that could clog your pump.
- Make sure the drain hose is properly connected.
- Look for signs of blockage in the outlet pipe that carries water out of your basement.
Outside your home
Be your own inspector and take a walk around the exterior of your home. Taking the time to perform routine and seasonal maintenance can help you avoid costly problems. Doing your own inspection can help you spot a problem and address it before you have a real mess on your hands.
- Take a look at your roof: Do you see loose or missing shingles? Have them repaired or replaced as needed.
- Check your gutters and downspouts and be sure they are free of leaves and other debris. Also, make sure your downspouts are still directed away from the foundation.
- Evaluate your air-conditioning unit. Remove any leaves, sticks and other debris from around the unit and make sure the panels are in good shape. Again, it’s wise to have your air-conditioner professionally inspected each year.
- Give your windows a good look. Be sure the caulk around each pane is in good shape, look for signs of leaks, and repair or replace any screens that show signs of damage.