Thank you to The Zebra for sponsoring this post. All opinions are our own.
As the heat of summer approaches, your thoughts probably turn to swimming pools and ice cream. However, before you indulge in a strawberry waffle cone, you may want to prepare your home for the coming months in Jacksonville. Taking a few steps now will make your summer better.
Check Your Air Conditioner
You should service your air conditioner on a regular basis, but some homeowners forget to do this. If it has been a while since your air conditioner was checked, make sure to do it before the brutal heat sets in. You can do this yourself or hire a professional, but remember that HVAC companies get busier as the temperature rises. Waiting too long to call someone means you may be stuck on a waiting list.
A clean air conditioner will work better and save you money with lower energy costs. You will want to change the air filter because clogged filters make it harder for the air conditioner to work. Next, remove any debris around the unit outside and wash it. You may also need to clean the evaporator coil inside the unit and clear the evaporator drain.
Check Your Home Insurance Policy
Whether you have been living in Jacksonville for one year or 10 years, checking your home insurance policy should be an annual process. You may have made changes that affect coverage, so you should notify your agent about them.
Your home insurance policy should cover both the physical structure and the items inside. Have you made any changes to your dwelling or purchased new things that could affect your coverage? Summer is a good time to examine you current policy and make updates since you are more likely to have free time.
Clean Your Screens
In Florida, the number of bugs that want to attack your windows, porch and doors can reach catastrophic levels in the summer. This is why having good screens is crucial. If your screens have holes, tears or other problems, it is time to either fix or replace them.
Replacing screens on a porch, windows and doors can be expensive, so DIY repair kits offer an alternative solution. You can fix small holes easily with these types of kits. Also, make sure to clean the screens even if they do not need repairs.
Check for Air Leaks
As homes age, gaps may develop near windows and doors. Sometimes these issues also happen because of poor installation and insulation. Summer is a good time to look for and seal air leaks since you may have more time to handle the repairs.
As the temperature increases, your air conditioner will have to work harder to cool your home, and air leaks will make this harder. Although windows and doors are the most common parts of a house with air leaks, you should check other areas. You can use caulk and weatherstripping to fix the smaller leaks. However, you may have to hire a professional to help with larger leaks that require more than caulk.
Reconsider the Yard and Tools
During the summer, you may want to spend more time in your garden or yard. This is the perfect time to evaluate your yard and the tools you use to maintain it. Do you love the landscaping outside your home? If not, consider making some changes, so it is a more inviting and comfortable place.
You can look for inspiration online or your neighbors’ yards. Once you find it, you can use a free landscaping app to redesign your outdoor space. Choose from thousands of plants and shrubs to try out in a virtual setting before putting them in the backyard.
You may also want to check your tools, such as the lawn mower and hedge trimmers. Are your tools getting old, rusty and dull? Now is the time to either fix them or replace them with better options. Yard work is easier to do with better tools.
Check the Gutters and Roof
With storms and hurricanes increasing, your gutters need extra care. First, make sure they are free from debris and leaves. Second, check for sagging or leaks. Sometimes you may notice gaps or other problems. Usually, you have to hire professionals to fix gutters, so do not skimp on this since broken gutters can cause serious issues.
If you are having the gutters cleaned, it is a good idea to have a roof inspection. Have a professional check for loose shingles, damage and other issues. You want the exterior of the home to be able to handle any bad weather that shows up in Jacksonville. If repairs are necessary, schedule them right away before a strong storm leaves the roof in worse shape and floods the interior of your house.
Upgrade Your Patio
If you are fortunate to have a patio attached to your home, then consider upgrading it this summer. From simply cleaning the area to changing the furniture, there are many things you can do to make the patio a more welcoming part of the outdoors. Some people treat the patio as an extension of their living space.
Consider upgrading to new furniture, such as new patio chairs and tables. Look for durable, weather-resistant materials that will last long-term. You can also purchase an outdoor rug that can withstand Florida’s temperatures. Another area to focus on is lighting. String lights, candles and outdoor lamps can make using the patio in the evening more pleasant.
Do not forget about all-weather cushions. No one wants to sit in a hard chair on the patio, so durable cushions are a necessity. Today, you can find cushions in a variety of colors that can match any outdoor space.
Summer is the right time to prepare your home for the heat. Although you can start taking these steps earlier in the year, there is nothing wrong with doing it in warmer temperatures. The key is to take care of any problems before they cause additional stress and cost you more money.