March is a volatile month in Michigan. We are still not out of the woods for getting another snow storm, but I am an optimistic person. Consecutive days of 40s and sun get everyone excited about summer. With that being said its time to start thinking about spring projects around the house, whether it be tasks that were put off by the winter or simply things needed to be done to get the home ready for summer. Either way the sooner we get started the sooner we can enjoy the summer. Some of the topics I am going to talk about are important for the continued maintenance of your home. Anyone who has owned a home knows the maintenance never ends. Ignoring it not only makes it worse, it will actually decrease the value of your home and more times than not increase the cost of doing it.
- Change that furnace filter. Let’s be honest, no one does this as much as its needed. Chances are it’s extremely dirty right now given the workout the furnace has had throughout the winter. Also have some backups ready for when the AC gets running on a regular basis. I like to keep at least 6 months’ supply in my basement at a time. The air you breathe will be cleaner and you will improve the performance and life of your HVAC equipment.
- Get your AC tuned up by your local HVAC professional. This task will need to wait until the temperature is a little warmer, but don’t forget to do it. It doesn’t cost much and will potentially avoid problems later in the summer when you really need it to be working.
- Make sure your gutters and downspouts are cleaned out. Flooding is very common in the spring. The main cause of flooding or water in the basement is not usually a failing foundation, it’s a failing or inadequate water management. Make sure that water is getting away from that foundation.
- If you need to plant any grass, plant it in the spring or fall. The chances of it surviving in the heat of the summer are not good and you will use up a ton of water.
- On hot days, make sure you close your blinds to reduce the heat gain that will make your AC work harder.
- Open windows on cooler days and nights instead of using the AC. This will cut down on the energy bill and get fresh air into the house.
- On warmer days, turn the ceiling fans on and turn the temperature up on the thermostat. Circulating the air is good for you and it will make the home feel cooler than it actually is.
- Use the programmable setting on the thermostat. Your AC settings will most likely be different from the heating settings. Setting the temp below 72 degrees, unless you are in an extremely energy efficient home will not be good for your energy bills. Make sure it is set to go up for hours you are at work or away from the home for longer periods of time. I usually have my go up to 76 degrees. I don’t recommend going higher than 78 degrees otherwise the system has to work too hard to get it back to a comfortable temp.
- Water your lawn in the morning or at night. It is amazing how many sprinklers I see on during the hot part of the afternoon when I am out and about. If you are watering the yard when the sun is out in full force, most of that water will evaporate before it has time to sink in the soil. On days that are hot you can actually scorch the grass and burn it out even more.
- Cut the lawn and wed the gardens often. Over grown lawns and gardens increase the number of pests and make it harder to maintain.
Most of these tips are common sense but at the same time most are ignored making for higher energy bills while decreasing the value of your home. Your home is, for most people, the biggest investment of your life, make sure you treat it as such.
Good luck with your project and get out and enjoy the nice weather!