It’s almost time to throw open the windows and welcome warm spring weather. It’s also time to invest in a few springtime upgrades that will keep your house more comfortable and help you do your part to use energy wisely.
Check off the following chores before it gets hot outside:
1. Inspect and maintain. Have a licensed HVAC tech come to your home to inspect and maintain your air conditioning system. Paying a little bit now could prevent a huge expense this summer if your system breaks down on a hot day and you have to have it repaired or replaced in a hurry. Maintenance goes a long way toward preventing emergencies and can prolong the life of your equipment.
2. Clear and trim. While you’re outdoors planting and pruning, trim all of the bushes and pull all of the weeds near your air conditioner’s outside condenser unit. Remove any fallen tree limbs that landed on it, brush off leaves that have collected on or around it, and pick up trash that found its way there as it sat unused all winter. Anything that touches the unit and prevents air from circulating around it will make it perform inefficiently.
3. Plant and shade. While you’ve got your shovel and spade out, consider planting some shade trees on the sunny side of your house. As they grow, they will filter the sunrays that can beat so fiercely on your windows in the summer and make your air conditioner work harder.
4. Replace and upgrade. Speaking of windows, if your house still has single-pane versions, this is a good time to replace them with double-pane models. Single-pane windows are energy inefficient and can drive your air conditioning bills through the roof. You could save several hundred dollars on cooling and heating bills every year if you replace your drafty, old windows.
5. Clean and shine Clean your windows, inside and out. Newer models are simple to clean because you can tilt them toward the inside of the house so you can reach both sides. Clean windows let more sunlight into your house, which means you won’t have to turn on as many lights.