The dog days of summer are upon us — and that means a whole new list of home care projects to attend to. Wondering where to start? We’ve got the inside scoop on the projects you should cross off your to-do list to help you enjoy your home all summer long.
Love Your Lawn
If becoming a new homeowner means this is your first time with a yard of your own, the maintenance might seem overwhelming. Don’t despair. The gorgeous green lawn of your dreams can be yours if you follow these steps:
- Water. Less frequent, deep soaks trump quick daily short waterings because deep watering encourage grass roots to grow deeply, creating a lusher, more healthy lawn. How do you know that your lawn needs a drink? If blades of grass don’t spring up when walked on, it’s time to water. Turn on the sprinkler and let it run until the ground is saturated. (Pro tip: if you can easily push the shank of a screwdriver into the ground, you’ve watered enough.) Avoid running sprinklers at night, which can encourage disease and fungal growth. Instead, water your lawn in the morning, preferably before 10am.
- Whether you hire a lawn service or do it yourself, a healthy lawn needs to be fertilized throughout the year to encourage healthy grass and discourage weeds. If your grass turns a dull, grayish green, you may need to supplement with an application of nitrogen.
- Set your mower blade to cut grass to 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 inches tall – any shorter than that and you risk creating brown or bare patches that can damage your lawn and encourage weed growth. Lawn care professionals also recommend not cutting more than one-third of the height at a time to avoid depleting grass blades of the energy they need to thrive.
Keep Your Cool
Nothing beats stepping into a nice cool house on a sweltering hot day — but getting all the rooms in your house to an optimal temperature can be tough (and expensive). We’ve got the tips you need to make your home (and your wallet) a bit more comfortable:
- Be Efficient: It might seem like closing the vents in rooms that are too cold will push cold air into warmer rooms, but HVAC pros say doing this will actually reduce the efficiency of your AC unit and can end up costing your more money. Instead, try installing Frost King Heat/Air Deflectors on vents to direct cooled air upwards and make rooms feel more comfortable. Check AC filters monthly — a dirty filter makes your unit work harder and can increase energy consumption by up to 15%. If you have window units, Frost King Window Air Conditioner Filters are an economical option because they are washable and re-usable, and they can be cut to whatever size your AC unit requires.
- Save Money: No doubt about it, running your AC will run up your electric bill. Do these things to keep costs in check:
- If you don’t already have one, install a programmable thermostat that allows you to automatically increase the temperature when you’re away from the house.
- Use fans to circulate air—it can make a room feel six or seven degrees cooler, so you can set your thermostat to a higher temperature without even feeling the difference.
- Avoid heat build-up during the day by cutting down on heat-generating activities; instead run the dishwasher and clothes dryer in the evening and avoid turning on the stove — after all, there’s a reason summer is grilling season. When showering, be sure to run the bathroom fan to vent excess heat and humidity out of the house.
- Solar heat gain is caused by direct sunlight beating into your house through windows. Simply closing curtains and blinds to block the sun during the day can reduce heat gain and make your rooms more comfortable.
Don’t Forget the Garage
Moving in and out the lawn mower, grill, gardening supplies, bikes, toys, and other summer gear — your garage gets a workout during the summer months and could probably use some TLC.
- Start with a thorough cleaning. Take everything out and sweep any dust, dirt, cobwebs, and crunchy leaves that may have accumulated in the corner
- Check the garage door. Make sure garage door tracks are free of debris and rust to keep them opening and closing smoothly. Inspect the weatherstripping that runs along the bottom of the garage door. It’s there to keep out hot (or cold) air, water, dust, dirt, and pests, but if it’s ripped or torn it need to be replaced. If you have a metal garage door, Frost King’s Vinyl Garage Door Bottom Weatherseal replacement slides into a groove in the bottom of the door. It’s an easy DIY job, but may require a second set of hands to guide the weatherstripping along the length of the door. If you have a wood door, you typically need to use weatherstripping that is nailed into place. Try using Frost King’s EPDM Rubber Garage Door Bottom Kit, which has a specially designed channel shape to compensate for uneven doors or concrete floors. Next, look along the sides of the door to make sure weatherstripping is intact. If it’s loose, reattach or replace with Dual Vinyl Garage Side and Top Weatherseal to ensure a tight, weatherproof seal.
- Organize by zone. Return items to the garage in an organized way. Store lawn and garden supplies in one zone, toys and sports equipment in another. You may want to invest in hooks, shelves, and bins to corral your belongings and make them easier to access.