Summer is here, and it’s time to take a good, long look at the state your desert home is in. With temperatures steadily on the rise, the last thing any new or current homeowner needs it a major home repair project this July.
Scottsdale homes require a slightly different set of TLC than the average American home, thanks to the summertime high heat, dust storms, and even heavy rain during monsoon season. Keep the following home maintenance checklist in mind to ensure that your home remains in tip-top shape for years to come.
Check Your Air Conditioner
An air conditioner is an absolute necessity if you live in Arizona. It can be quite the ordeal when it breaks. To be safe, have a professional check on it once a year.
If you have central AC, clean or replace the air filters in your HVAC system every three months, or every six weeks if you have pets. If you have a wall-mounted unit, definitely pay attention to any weird sounds or leaks coming from it.
Additionally, find out where the condensate water from the AC unit flows to and make sure that line isn’t clogged or has a leak. Always vacuum around the vents during regular home cleanings.
Watch Out for Sun Damage
As the days get longer, homeowners can expect to see an increase in the amount of sun your house sees on a daily basis. These unrelenting rays can cause serious damage to the home’s exterior.
Check the roof of your house yearly to ensure the sun hasn’t caused any serious damage. Too much sunlight might even superficially damage other items in your home like curtains, drapes, or furniture that sit near the windows.
Also consider investing in some form of permanent window treatment. There are some treatments that block harmful UV sun rays from penetrating the interior of the house, keeping your home cooler and your inside safe from being sun-bleached.
Seal All Your Windows
When the temperature hit the double digits, staying cool is a priority. One of the easiest ways to control the temperature in your home is by making sure that all of the windows are properly sealed.
Most windows have double or triple pane and a seal around the perimeter. Noticeable moisture depositing between the panes is a sign that your windows need to be replaced. Loose panes are not very effective at insulating the house against the outside heat.
Also, inspect the window caulking, both inside and out, once a year. This quick annual walk-through can save you hundreds in electricity bills alone.
Don’t Forget the Rain Gutters
It’s not hard for desert dwellers to forget about checking the rain gutters. With an average of 36 rainy days a year, checking your gutters easily falls into the back of your mind.
However, if you continually shrug off gutter upkeep, you may end up with serious damage to the home’s foundation. Gutters can become clogged with dirt and grime, especially after a monsoon season.
If the gutters aren’t directing the rain away from the house, water can pool near the base and will lead to foundational damage over time. You may see an increase in:
- cracks in the walls
- rotting gutters
- sloping of the floors
Flush out your gutters with the hose once a year. If the gutters themselves appear to be damaged or you’re uncomfortable cleaning them from a ladder, consider calling a professional gutter cleaning service.
Take an Overall Energy Audit
Any local from the Phoenix area can tell you that the worst time to pay utility bills is the summer. Air conditioners, fans, and coolers use a ton of energy and are practically impossible to live without – meaning that you can expect to see your electricity bill skyrocket between May to August.
With this in mind, it’s important to take steps on lowering your bills in the summer. Make sure you keep all of your appliances running at a comfortable level, preventing them from working overtime to meet your needs.
Also keep in mind that it takes longer to re-cool a house than it does to keep it a comfortable level. When you leave, make sure your AC is on “auto” and at a reasonable temperature to avoid freezing over and turning on and off all day.
Still need help? Call your electric company to do an energy audit. You can do a DIY home energy audit, but a professional audit is more comprehensive and will point you towards efficient changes and repairs.
Your home is your investment. Keeping your house in top shape will not only keep more money in your pockets, it will maintain – and possibly even improve – the value in your home. If you’re looking to buy a new home or put yours on the market, contact a local Scottsdale real estate agent today.