Preparing your home for summer involves just as much planning and organization as switching your wardrobe before the warmer months arrive. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed because you’ve waited too long to begin, no matter whether it’s finding a swimsuit or buying an air conditioner.
Instead, follow this mantra from Sally Morse, director of creative services at Hunter Douglas, a leading window treatment company: Check. Clean. Repair. Replace.
Here’s a helpful guideline:
Air conditioning: summer’s delight
Bring the air conditioner out of storage or uncover your outside unit and hose down the coils. Wash the filters – blocked air filters create a drag on an air conditioner’s ability to push and pull air through air registers. After washing, turn it on. If it doesn’t work at every temperature and fan range possible, call a professional to see if it can be fixed. If you must replace it, act soon while the selection is greatest. Before inviting a contractor to install your unit, clear areas around it so that it has strong air flow, and, if there’s space, consider planting a tree outside the window to provide shade, another aid in running air conditioners efficiently.
Carefully inspect all lamps and appliances you plan on using throughout the season – refrigerator, washer and dryer, dishwasher, blender, coffee and ice cream makers – for functionality, cleanliness and faulty wiring.
Keep hot air out and cool air in
Clean the windows’ interiors and exteriors. At the same time, look for cracks or damage to windows and weather-stripping, which might need a boost or total redo. Take down the storm windows if you have them, and replace them with screens, checking for tears and washing them first.
When it comes to the window dressings, consider Hunter Douglas Duette Architella honeycomb shades that help reduce energy loss through the windows by up to 40 percent, so you can rest assured your air conditioner won’t have to work so hard. Beautiful, as well as functional, they can operate from the top down and cover skylights as well as almost any window configuration.
Be ready to enjoy the great outdoors
Have your own pool? Bring in a professional to inspect it thoroughly, including both the visible, like cracks and stains, and more mechanical aspects, such as pump and filter, chlorine content, diving boards and safety rails, and make any necessary repairs. The same goes for hot tubs, barbecues and lounge furniture – maybe a good cleaning or new cushions are in order.
“Summerize” the decor
If it works with the design, remove rugs and show off shiny hardwoods, which not only keep the room cooler, but are easier to keep clean. Bring out your entertaining supplies – table and bed linens, beach towels and toys, hammock and picnic basket. Make sure no moths have done their damage or mould has grown over the winter, that there is enough of everything, and that all are in top-notch condition. Prepare the fireplace for cool evenings and stockpile logs. Shore up a supply of energy-efficient light bulbs as well as candles, which will come in handy for dinner parties and electrical outages, a hazard of summer storms.
Anything can happen anytime, anywhere, so keep contact information for qualified service professionals in your area handy. It’s always good to have phone numbers for a plumber, an electrician, heating and air conditioning services, and a general handyman.
With these tips, a great summer is just around the corner. More information is available at www.hunterdouglas.ca. www.newscanada.ca
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