By Drew Knight
With summer just around the corner, now’s the perfect time to start preparing your new home for the warmer months.
From saving money on your electric bills to giving your home’s interior a seasonal refresh, a lot can be done now to make sure your new home is in optimal shape for years to come. To help get you started, here are just a few summer home maintenance tips from the professionals:
One of the best ways to shave the dollars off your electricity bill is to provide natural shade around your home. This can be accomplished with a quick trip to your local garden center.
Planting a well-developed bush near the living room window or a large tree near a second-story bedroom could help keep your home cool and save you money in the long run. Be sure to plant any shrubs, trees and other plants at the appropriate distance from your home to prevent any problems with your foundation and plants’ roots in the future.
While you’re in the gardening spirit, now’s also a great time to think about how you plan to maintain your lawn over the summer. The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) provides several tips in their seasonal guide to summer lawn and landscaping care.
For instance, many people believe hot weather means you should water more frequently, but the NALP actually advises to water your plants less often but more deeply. So increasing the length of time you expose your greenery to water will usually do the trick.
And to ensure the health of your grass, the NALP suggests having your lawn properly aerated to improve the flow of oxygen in addition to adding adequate amounts of fertilizer and frequently checking its pH levels.
For more tips on summer lawn maintenance, check out the full guide.
After your yard is in tip-top shape, it’s time to pay attention to the rest of your outdoor area. Summer nights are great for enjoying friends and family in the backyard, so why not make an outdoor oasis?
“Create areas around your yard that aren’t being used,” suggests Nicolle Nelson, a spokesman for Nadeau Furniture in Dallas, Texas. “And don’t be afraid to use furniture in a non-traditional way.”
For example, adding a fire pit and seating area can help prevent mosquitoes and create an intimate gathering area. Teak benches around the pool and buffets to house your grilling essentials are other great furniture pieces that really bring out the summer feel.
“By adding a piece of furniture to any corner of your patio or yard, you are inviting your family to use every inch of your space,” says Nelson. “That means more memories for your summer.”
Apart from the exterior of your home, there are also plenty of things you can do to get your home summer ready from the inside.
Since warmer weather brings thoughts of a well air-conditioned home, let’s start with the AC system.
“With spring allergies in full swing and warmer temperatures on their way, it’s crucial to be sure your air filter and AC system are working properly,” says Mike Clear, vice president of operations for American Home Shield, a home warranty company based in Memphis, Tenn.
Clear suggests checking filters regularly throughout the year to help prevent damage, inefficiencies and to keep air clean.
“Schedule annual maintenance on your AC now so you can be sure your unit is in top shape before being put to the test with summer’s high temperatures,” he adds.
He also advises to check in on the furnace and heating system while you’re at it. While a new home’s furnace is likely already quite clean, it’s important to make sure the area around air returns stays clean and unobstructed throughout the year to prevent fire hazards and inefficiency.
For more tips on preventative maintenance, check out American Home Shield.
Drew Knight is a digital content associate for New Home Source.