No one looks forward to spring-cleaning. But think how much better your house will feel when it’s done! Here are a few tips from the pros to make it efficient and effective.
1. Have roof flashing, caulking, shingles inspected in preparation for the spring storms. Check for continuity of shingles on the planes of the roof and on the ridges. The areas with flashing should be tight and sealed with some type of approved roofing sealant applied.
2. Inspect caulking around windows, doors, and any openings into the home. Many times during the cold season windows and doors will slightly separate from the frame. This can be remedied with an application of external silicone caulking or sealant. Clear silicone may be used to seal under door thresholds and stained wood frames.
3. Change your ceiling fan’s direction. In the summer you want your ceiling fans to blow air down to give the room a breeze and make it feel cooler. This is the opposite of the winter and running a ceiling fan can make a room feel cooler while leaving your air conditioner setting a little higher.
4. Clean your dryer vents. A clogged dryer vent causes warm air to blow back into the room where your dryer is located, eventually raising the temperature in the whole house. A simple cleaning can prevent this from happening and keep your home cooler.
5. Check insulation around windows and doors. Make sure that your door and windows are properly insulated to keep the warm air out. For doors, you want to make sure that the weather stripping is intact and providing a good seal around the door. For windows, you want to check the seals around the windows to make sure there is no cracking, splitting, or peeling of the seals.
6. Repair HVAC filters regularly. Blocked air filters can reduce the efficiency of your air conditioning system’s ability to push and pull air through air registers. Also during spring and summer allergens are higher and if your family suffers from such symptoms you may want to replace your filter about every 60 days.
7. Run the bathroom exhaust fan during showers. During the summer, an air conditioner’s primary purpose is to replace warm, moist air with cool, dry air. A long, steamy shower can create muggy conditions in your bathroom that spill out into adjacent rooms and hallways when you open the bathroom door.
8. Switch to compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs. This is a standard tip on any energy-saving list, but it is important for reasons other than direct kilowatt savings. Compact fluorescent bulbs give off less heat than regular incandescent bulbs. CFL bulbs will cause less impact on the temperature of the room.
9. Plant a shade tree next to your outside air condition unit. Providing some shade over your air conditioner’s outside unit can help it run more efficiently.
10. Consider installing an attic fan or vent. If you have ever been in an attic in the hottest part of summer you already know what a hotbox they become. Consider installing a vent to pull that hot air off your ceiling. A power attic fan or ridge vents are very effective in keeping the attic cooler during the summer.