Normally, when we talk about preparing ourselves for the summer we’re talking about identifying the best places to visit in South Florida, getting a new swimsuit and grabbing a bottle of sunscreen.
But this summer prep guide is a little different. As a homeowner, part of your summer preparations should be about getting your home ready for this season’s hot and humid days. Don’t sweat over it. Here is a checklist of five home preparation tips that will help keep your spaces comfortable and healthy this summer.
Start With a Full Deep Clean
Rubbing and scrubbing may not sound like the best way to prepare for summer fun. But the heat of the summer months can essentially cook the dirt, dust and allergens from winter and spring, leading to poor air quality.
Besides improving air quality, spring cleaning is a surefire way of keeping bugs and rodents at bay. Deep cleaning also allows you to get to areas you don’t regularly clean, helping avoid the growth of mold and mildew. If you’re planning a weekend out or a long vacation to your dream destination, a full deep clean will reduce the hassle of having to do a thorough cleaning before departing or after coming back.
Essentially, a deep house cleaning is about expanding your standard cleaning to areas you don’t regularly get to. A typical deep house cleaning checklist when preparing your home in Florida for the summer will include;
- Remove unnecessary items
- Scrub walls
- Dust and clean light fixtures
- Wash table cushions
- Dusting all spaces, wall corners and crown molding from top to bottom
- Wipe down and disinfect tables and chairs, including underneath and legs
- Remove, vacuum and clean all rugs before replacing them on vacuumed and cleaned floors
Tune Up Your HVAC System
Florida summers present the toughest season for HVAC systems. Typically, daily temperatures will range between 73° F and 95° F. And with humidity hovering around 80-90%, not even nighttime will bring any notable relief.
Before summer gets underway, you’ll want to tune up your air conditioning system to ensure it’s in tip-top shape. A well-maintained AC keeps up with your home’s cooling demands without racking up the electricity bill.
When preparing your central air conditioner for summer, the first thing is to clean or replace the filter. How often you need to change or clean the filters will depend on your particular system and personal circumstances. However, most experts agree that filter replacement or cleaning in summer should be a monthly event.
It’s also essential to clean the condenser coils in your AC’s outdoor compressor unit. Don’t forget about the ductwork. air conditioning, HVAC and plumbing systems are just as bad as dirty filters when it comes to efficiency and air quality.
Another aspect of preparing your HVAC and other high-tech appliances for summer is ensuring they are adequately covered. Your cooling systems are more likely to fail in summer because they are under extreme stress. Equipment breakdown insurance can lower your out-of-pocket expenses by covering repair or replacement costs.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
The Sunshine State’s long and hot summers may be fun. But they require looking for ways to cut air conditioning costs. If your AC has the standard non-programmable thermostat, this is the time to ensure that it’s working. You don’t want to start repairing it when the first heat wave touches the ground.
If it’s almost time for an upgrade, a programmable thermostat may be the way to go. Unlike a traditional thermostat that stays at the same temperature throughout the day, a programmable thermostat will adjust the temperature based on pre-programmed settings. The obvious benefit of installing a programmable is that you’ll never forget to change the thermostat again.
A programmable thermostat also cools your spaces gradually instead of making large temperature swings. This makes it more energy-efficient and reduces wear and tear on your cooling system. Energy Star estimates programmable thermostats can slash cooling costs by up to $180 annually with proper installation and use.
Be Ready for Significant Weather
For Floridians, heat is only one of the things to worry about. This state’s geography also means that it has one of the most extreme weather scores in the US.
For the record, more than 41% of all hurricanes that hit the US annually landfall in Florida. Florida also collects most of the truly destructive tornadoes in the country, most of them occurring in the spring and summer months. Other severe weather threats in Florida include waterspouts, lightning strikes and heavy rain showers.
When preparing your Florida home for extreme weather, start by inspecting the gutter system. Ensure that it’s in good condition to redirect rainwater away from your foundation. It’s also important to trim trees and clear branches to minimize the risk of damage to your home’s exterior during thunderstorms.
When was the last time you inspected your roof? If not recently, you need to schedule an inspection or get up there yourself and check things out. Common problems to look for during a roof inspection include roof leaks, tree damage, broken or missing shingles and signs of pooling water.
Finally, ensure you have adequate homeowners insurance and a basic storm kit to take your family through 48-72 hours of a power outage.
Take Care of Mold Issues
Mold is a significant problem in Florida, thanks to its sky-high humidity. When not taken care of early, mold invasion can cause a cascade of structural and health issues, from deterioration of integral structural components to triggering allergy attacks.
Mold problems in Florida homes often occur in basements and crawl spaces, walls and floors and attics. Your air conditioning, HVAC and plumbing systems are other areas to keep an eye on when inspecting your Florida home for mold and mildew.
Here are helpful tips to prevent mold growth in your home in Florida:
- Inspect all the mold-prone areas of your home regularly to prevent spread.
- Keep the humidity level inside your home at a minimum.
- Install exhaust fans in your bathroom, laundry room and kitchen to remove excess moisture.
- Clean or replace your AC filter promptly to minimize the spread of mold spores throughout the house.
- Maintain your AC to ensure its effectiveness at lowering humidity.
- Involve an expert immediately if you think the mold problem is getting out of hand.