Spring is here even though it may not feel like it in all areas. Many of us are starting to spring clean and getting our homes ready for summer. With summer fast approaching, so will the electric bill increase. Here are a few tips to help get your house ready for summer, save you some “green” and increase curb appeal, by Matt Lederer, owner of Mahogany Builders.
1. Examine your Front Door: Winter storms, wear & tear from adults, children & animals, leave front doors looking dingy and weak. Replacing doors with a more energy efficient door looks great and saves money on heating and air. Don’t want to spend a lot? A simple paint job will do wonders for an old door. Make sure you have a clear and large house number and neat mailbox that matches the outside look of your home. Energy Star approved energy efficient doors save money and a ratchet up perceived (and real) value.
Also make sure to examine your weather striping! Warm air can get through door cracks can keep the cooling cost high. Weather striping is relatively inexpensive to replace and offer great energy savings,
2. Check the Basement and the Foundation: Scan everything in the basement. Check the water and sewer pipes for leaks, mold and tearing and pests. Address problems immediately either with a water vacuum, dehumidifier, or new gutter drains. If you expect guests, purchase odor an absorbing product with neutral or no scent. Drain sediment from hot water heaters. Change your furnace filter early April which will improve energy efficiency.
3. Clean Gutters and Inspect the Foundation: Gutters are a breeding ground for insects, mold, mildew and algae spores that can enter your attic and allow biological growths to enter your home. Scoop out debris and run water down the gutter with a hose. Invest in a gutter cap or screen. Scrub out the inside with a gutter brush. Inspect the foundation of your home for large cracks and shifts in the blocks. Seal large cracks and gap between the foundation and concrete/earth and directly on the concrete. Any remnant snow should be shoveled to drain away from the home.
4. Add some GREEN: The first thing guests and home buyers notice is color, light and symmetry. When adding new shrubbery keep it symmetrical. Change outdoor light bulbs to energy efficient bulbs. It is amazing what some green, light and a little color can do.
5. Reseal: Caulk and other sealants safeguard your home against rain and snow at vulnerable points such as cracks and open joints. Winter can rip caulk apart. Scrape out old caulk using a painter’s five-in-one tool. Clean and disinfect.