The groundhog was bribed. He promised spring five weeks ago, but we’ve all been contending with cold, wintery weather here in Williamson County, TN. Finally, though, I’m optimistic! Yes, it’s rainy, but it’s warmer… My daffodils are in bloom and the crocuses are popping. It makes me want to head for my favorite nursery, stock up on brightly colored annuals and sweep the cobwebs from my patio and porches. While we’re all celebrating winter’s demise, it won’t be long before we’re complaining about the heat. So, as we embrace the ambrosia of mild weather, let’s take advantage of this spring fever and prepare our homes for the coming months…
Grab a glass of sweet tea and head outside to survey the exterior of your home.
□ CHECK YOUR ROOF. In preparation for blustery spring storms, have roof flashing, caulking, and shingles inspected by a roofing professional. Flashing needs to be tight and caulked with an approved roofing sealant. Shingles should be contiguously flush with the planes of the roof. You might also want to ask your roofer about installing an attic fan or ridge vents.
□ INSPECT EXTERIOR CAULK. Winter’s cold temperatures wreak havoc on caulk around doors and windows. Since you’ll soon be cooling your home’s interior, you’ll want to maintain energy efficiency by applying external silicone caulk around any of these openings that have separated from their framing.
□ ARRANGE FOR HVAC INSPECTION AND MAINTENANCE. Springtime in Williamson County means that you might run your heat in the cool morning, but need to flip to air conditioning by late afternoon. Consider signing up for a maintenance plan with your favorite heating and cooling company. At the very least, have them come for an annual checkup and cleaning. Planting shade trees around your air conditioning unit will help keep it cool and running efficiently. Plus, trees and shrubs can hide a not so attractive feature and increase curb appeal!
Speaking of heating and cooling… there’s work to be done indoors, too.
□ REPLACE AIR FILTERS to increase your unit’s ability to cool your home effectively. If you’ve lived in our area for any time, you know that spring and summer bring huge spikes in allergen diffusion. You’ll need to change those filters more often in the warm weather months… at least once every sixty days.
□ CLEAN DRYER VENTS. Hoses clogged with dryer lint not only push warm air back into your home, but they can be a fire hazard! Local home stores sell long dryer brushes so you can really clean the entire hose from unit to exterior exhaust.
□ CHANGE THE DIRECTION OF YOUR CEILING FANS. Many people don’t know that ceiling fans can help us keep our homes at comfortable temperatures year round. In the winter, ceiling fans should rotate forward in a clockwise motion to pull warm air down the sides of a room and improve heat distribution. In the spring, blades should turn in a counter-clockwise motion to provide a cool breeze.
□ REPLACE LIGHTBULBS WITH CFLS. Compact fluorescent bulbs are the most energy efficient way to light your home. In addition to cost savings, they put off less heat than traditional bulbs. It might not seem like much, but 20 traditional bulbs burning at the same time can raise the temperature inside your home by several degrees.