With winter coming to a close, Spring is finally just around the corner.
Warmer temperature, longer days, and the chance to finally enjoy being outside again. Fantastic!
However, one sure fire way to make things difficult is to still be living like it’s the middle of winter when the warmer temperatures arrive. Last spring I found myself swamped in heating equipment, winter clothes, and outdated systems.
Here’s 9 quick tips to get a head start on your spring cleaning and have your home ready for 2020’s beautiful warmer months.
Clean Out Your Old Window Air Conditioner
Air conditioners attract a ton of dust and build-up over time. Especially if they’ve been under covers, or kept in a dusty old cupboard.
It’s a hassle, but it’s worth dedicating some time to clean them out. If you want your window air conditioner to stay quiet this year, it needs a bit of your love. If you pop the lid/back off (this is also true for portable ac’s), you can access it’s interior.
A light comb over with a dustcloth can pull-out anyway from a handful to a cupboard-full of dust. The more, the better. This will otherwise have made your air conditioner hotter, and less efficient at keeping you cool in the warm months.
For a central AC unit – unless you’re extra confident – you may instead want a quick checkup for a contractor.
As well as cleaning out the guts of the machine, make sure to also clean or even replace the filters. A clear filter means better airflow, and cleaner air to breathe. Especially important if you or loved ones have any allergies!
Test your AC system
If you’re lucky enough to have a whole-house central air conditioner, it’s important to test this out before you need it. Once you’ve done any light maintenance, switch it on full blast and see how it handles the test.
It’s much better to call an HVAC technician in early spring, than have a broken AC in the middle of July!
Put Away Any Space Heaters
With your cooling units out, it’s important to put away your heating tools.
The amount of free floor and table space we have in our home goes a long way to feeling calmer or more anxious. So don’t let your space heaters pile up in a corner – pop them into the space you freed up by taking out your air conditioner. Preferably cool, dark, and dry.
Change Your Ceiling Fan Directions
If you have ceiling fans, it’s important to check what direction they spin in.
Seriously, give it a check! Is it clockwise or anti-clockwise?
“What does this matter?”
It actually matters a lot. The direction of your ceiling fan is the difference between staying cool or getting hot.
For summer, a ceiling fan should spin anticlockwise. This direction is true for all models. It means that the air is forced quickly downwards – which makes for strong and cool airflow that flows around your home. Winter is clockwise – this pushes the air upwards. What for? Well, we all know heat rises. By pushing air up, the hot air rebounds off the ceiling and makes the whole room warmer.
Consider Putting Away Rugs
Hard floors make cool rooms. Rugs make cosy rooms.
One of these things is great for winter, and the other is great for summer. Can you guess which?
If there’s any rooms in your home with hard floors, take a second look at any rugs you have there. While cosy and good-looking, rugs also make for great insulation and heat retention. This isn’t great when things start to heat up. If you need the room to be cooler when things are hot, consider taking the rug out.
Set Your Thermostat
Everyone knows we can all save money by programming our heating and cooling systems. Making sure they’re only on when you need them not only keeps your bills down, but helps make things more efficient, too.
However, heating and cooling are two different systems.
While you may want the house to be warm before you even wake up in the morning, this isn’t true for air conditioning. It’s not normally hot enough to warrant using your AC system only to get ready for work in.
Instead, think about when you’ll actually need your AC on. For me, it’s half an hour before I arrive home from work, through until around sunset. And longer on weekends, of course.
Check Your Roof & Gutter
Once the winds of winter have passed, it’s important to make sure your roof is still in good shape.
A quick look should tell you if you’ve got any loose (or missing!) shingles, and a check of the attic after a rain will tell you if there’s any leaks to worry about.
Likewise, tackling any build-up in your gutter will help get things flowing freely again.
Repairing these on a cool spring day is the best time of year to do it – compared to the heat of summer, or rain/cold of fall/winter.
Shop Around for A Better Electricity Rate
Death, taxes, and energy companies.
It’s easy to forget about where you energy comes from. While we’re casually living our lives, energy companies are forever battling each other to get, and retain, their customer bases.
So it’s always worth a quick check whether you can get a better deal than what you’re on. The warmer months a great time of year to do so, too – since there’s much less of an energy demand (and less for them to focus on).
Clean Out Your Greenhouse
Okay, so this ‘house’ tip isn’t quite in the home. But hey, it’s important!
If you’re an avid gardener, there’s nothing better than a clean, well-stocked greenhouse to experiment with over summer.
Getting in early can help you get back in touch with your plants. And figure out what you want to grow over the warm months.
I’ve always found that preparing for something helps you enjoy it better.
And nothing is more true than for the weather/climate.
Winter isn’t half as bad if you have great hiking boots and a flask of coffee. And spring isn’t bad if you’ve already cleared away your old winter gear and tools.
I hope at least one of these tips has given you an advantage to get ahead on your spring prep. May spring bring you plenty of long days, lovely walks, and relaxing mornings.