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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, May 8, 2020

A home summer shape up amid coronavirus concerns




The onset of summer is typically a perfect time to refresh your home. This year, with public health officials continuing to ask many of us to stay at home for an extended time to slow the spread of COVID-19, this might be a particularly good time to make a few simple home improvements that can help you avoid significant repairs or costly utility bills later in the year.

Below are some tips to help get your home in shape for summer, inside and out.

Temperature check

Most of us have been checking our body temperatures regularly during this health pandemic, but what about your home’s temperature? Installing a programmable thermostat helps you save on cooling costs now and heating costs this winter.

The device allows you to customize indoor temperatures throughout the day based on your schedule, helping to lower your utility bills. Installing ceiling fans can also provide energy-efficient cooling and comfort during the long, dog days of summer.

HVAC tuneup

Just like a regular doctor’s checkup, checking the condition of your air conditioner before you notice a problem with it should be routine. Be sure to have a qualified professional also replace your filter before contractor availability gets challenging during busy summer months.

If your air conditioner is in good shape, think about other ways to keep your home cool, like adding curtains, shades or blinds to windows to help block out the sun’s intense rays.

Replace windows, inspect roof

Sometimes, wear and tear on your body affects your ability to stay in the game. Wear and tear on your windows over time can lead to energy dollars escaping outdoors. New windows are a great place to increase the energy efficiency of your home and provide a return on investment.

Replacing older windows will help prevent heat loss during the winter months and provide more indoor comfort. If your roof is getting up there in age, have a roofer check for any damage around the chimney, pipes and skylights.

If it’s time for repairs, think about a cool roof that contains materials that reflect the sun’s heat.

Landscape

Keeping up appearances might not be at the forefront of your stay-at-home routine, but planting trees and pruning shrubs can brighten up the exterior of your home and could also brighten your mood.

And before the heat of the summer takes over your lawn, check the condition of your sprinklers and garden irrigation for their optimal use during summer months.

Inspect, clean dryer vents

Clothes dryers are likely getting a workout during quarantine, even if you’re not. Dryer vents get clogged with lint, preventing them from functioning well.

Clogged vents take longer to dry clothes, in turn increasing your utility bills. They are also one of the leading causes of house fires. Have a professional inspect and clean your dryer vents and ensure your exhaust system is working properly.

We want you to stay safe and be prepared for the months ahead. For help finding a professional to tackle your summer projects, visit the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga at HBAGC.net.