Preparing Your Home for Spring and Summer

By Hilary Thompson

Seasonal changes are the perfect time to take care of those house projects you’ve been ignoring and do some cleaning. As the weather turns warmer, there are specific things that will need attention around your home to prepare for spring and summer and recover from winter. Appliances and exterior elements need to be inspected and repaired as necessary, and there are a few things to do inside to make sure your space is as efficient as possible when the heat arrives. Here are some ways to prepare your home (and yourself!) for the warmer months.

Personal health

First, as you make your spring cleaning checklist and prepare your home, don’t neglect yourself. The better you feel, the more easily you’ll be able to take care of all these tasks. Winter can be hard on the body. The relentless cold, the risk of slip-and-falls, and the short daylight hours can make us feel stiff, cautious of too much movement, and tired. Spring is a good time to revisit your health and medical care, perhaps by exploring something like functional medicine, which takes a holistic approach to your health issues. If you had an extended illness this past season, it’s an especially good time to schedule a doctor visit and make sure you’re addressing any lingering effects and doing what you can to strengthen your immune system.

Food stores

Clean out your freezer of veggies, meats, and stocks you may have been using for winter cooking. Frozen food is best when it’s used within a year, or within a couple of months for meat. And you’ll want to make room for popsicles, more ice, burgers, and other warm-weather foods. Now is also a good time to update your shopping list if you have weekly regulars you’ve gotten used to. Spring vegetables such as arugula, fiddleheads, chard, beans, and asparagus are on their way. And before you know it, it will be time to enjoy summer berries and other fruit, as well as an abundance of tomatoes, squash, melons, and leafy greens. More freezer space means you have more space to store prepared produce to stock up on these fresh foods for the next turn of the season.

Windows

Now’s the time to clean and update your windows, not only to let the returning sunlight in but to prepare for energy efficiency. Clean the storm windows before you remove them or change their position, and then clean both the inside and outside of your regular windows. Use a glass cleaning solution or a 1:1 vinegar-water solution and a squeegee to leave them free of streaks. Also, rinse off your screens so dust doesn’t blow in when you have the windows open again, and check them for small tears and repair to keep bugs out.

If you use heavy curtains in the winter, replace them now with a lighter version. When summer comes around, you want everything in place to maintain energy efficiency. If you’ve spent a hot summer trying to stay cool in your home, you know that your energy bill usually shoots up. Luckily there are several ideas for keeping your costs down in your home over the summer. Keep shades or blinds drawn, as outside light tends to warm rooms, causing a need for extra cooling. Also, check the window seals and add caulk or replace weather stripping: a tighter seal will help keep cool air in and hot air out when the heat comes around.

Yard

You’ll want to spend more time in your yard during the spring and summer, so get it in shape now. Tidy up debris that may have blown around during winter storms or been stuck under the snow. If you have outdoor playsets, check them for damage to make sure they’re still safe. Now’s also the time to bring out the grill and patio furniture. For gas grills, make sure the hoses are secure and refresh the propane. Make sure your charcoal grill is free of ash and clean up any grease.

Another good yard update is to plant a tree by the outside of your air conditioning unit. The shade will help to AC work more efficiently by keeping the air it sucks in cooler than ambient temperatures. If you already have a tree there, prune it to ensure there’s no debris interfering with the functioning of the unit.

Yard tools

As the lawn starts growing, you’ll need your mower to be in good working shape. Check them now, so they’re ready for use. If you have a gas mower, you’ll want to replace the oil and spark plugs and change the gas if you didn’t empty it at the end of last season. Also, get the blades sharpened. For electric mowers, check the cords for fraying or other damage. Don’t forget about hand tools. Clean them well with rubbing alcohol and lubricate hinges. Check the blades to see if they could use a sharpening too.

Household appliances

Appliances like your washer/dryer and HVAC system need to be kept in good working order for efficiency’s sake. A clogged dryer vent will blow warm air back into your home, so clean it now to reduce the amount of heat inside as temperatures rise. Spring is also a good time to replace your HVAC filters. These should be cleaned once every one to two months and replaced a couple of times a year, depending on size. The beginning of allergy season is an ideal time to start with a fresh filter. If someone in your home suffers from allergies, consider replacing the filter every two months in the warm seasons.

Roof and gutters

Winter weather can cause damage to roofs, so check them now to fix any potential leak sites before spring and summer rains hit. Look for cracked or missing shingles and damaged caulking or flashing. If you’re not confident going up the ladder yourself, ask a friend or neighbor to do so, or bring in a professional. At the same time, inspect the gutters and downspouts and clean them out. First, do it by hand, then use a hose to force any remaining debris or clogs out. Make sure the downspouts are still positioned to direct water away from your home’s foundation. Attention to your roof and gutters now can save you costly damage from leaks later.

This may sound like a lot, but prepping your home now for spring and summer will make your living environment much more pleasant in the coming months as well as saving you time and money in possible repairs that could be needed if you don’t. Remember to enlist the help of a neighbor or relative for anything you don’t feel safe doing on your own.

 

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Hilary Thompson

Freelance Writer—Writing everything from health to business. Life is good.

Twitter: @TypewriterHil
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Category: Articles, Blog