Zoom! That was summer zipping by at lightning speed! Don't worry though. There is still time to get your Minnesota summer home chores done.
1. Clean the gutters.
Unclog those babies before they cause you lots of problems. Clogged gutters lead to water in your basement. Yuck. Don't go there. It's way less expensive to clean your gutters and downspouts than to replace your basement carpet and belongings.
But this video may not be the best way to clean your gutters, oh my. That leaf blower may fall on your head.
Try this instead:
2. Clean windows
I get the best clean using a vinegar and water solution with newspaper. I've tried all kinds of other products and they are fine but the best thing has been simple vinegar.
We splurged this year and hired Squeegee Squad to clean all of our windows, inside and out, plus our screens. The cost was around $250.00. I thought that was a bargain considering how many windows and screens we have on our home. It's Squeegee Squad from now on for me! And no, I wasn't paid for making this comment :)
3. Clean the dryer vent.
A clogged up dryer vent comes up fairly regularly on home inspections. Summer is the right time to take a looksie at the dryer vent to the exterior of your home and give it a quick clean. Clogged dyer vents cause hundreds of house fires a year so consider this task a safety precaution.
4. Clean the fridge coils.
While you're in cleaning mode, take a minute to vacuum your fridge coils. It will help your fridge to run more efficiently in these hot summer months. The coil usually located at the bottom of the fridge by the kickplate or on the back of the refrigerator.
5. Switch the direction of your ceiling fans
Is there a more controversial home maintenance topic? Probably, but not in my house. Most directions say to run the ceiling fan in a counter clockwise direction during the summer month as this will blow air down on you, hitting your sweaty body and causing a cooling effect when the breeze hits your moist skin. They also say to run your ceiling fan in the clockwise direction during the winter months. The idea is that cooler air will be drawn up from the floor, toward the ceiling pushing the warm air congested at the ceiling out of the way and back down to you as you lounge about.
Posh to that. I run my ceiling fan clockwise in the summer. Cold air naturally falls. My air conditioned air is sitting on the floor or in my basement. I use a ceiling fan running clockwise to pull the cold air up from the basement or floor and distribute the cooler air about my living area. This has worked wonders for us getting the cooler air out of our basement and to our upper levels.
I then switch the ceiling fan to run in a counter clockwise direction in the winter months. Hot air naturally rises. All of my heated air is sitting at the top of my vaulted ceiling in the winter. I use the ceiling fan in the counter clockwise direction to push the warm air down into my living area. This really helps our naturally cooler basement to get some heat during the winter months.
TIP: To see which way your fan is moving air just turn it on a higher speed and spray a mist of water under it. Watch which way the mist moves to tell if air is being pushed down or pulled up.
6. Speaking of ceiling fans, clean ceiling fan blades.
Nothing collects dust better than a fan blade. Place a towel or sheet under the fan to collect any dust bunnies that fall from your dust rag. There are quite a few dusting tools you can use for fans but my fav is the simple Swiffer Dusters with an extension rod.
7. Replace hose washers.
Stop your garden hose spigot leak with a quick replacement of the washer. You can usually get a pack of 6 or more for under $2.00. You only need one or two. If you're like me you'll likely misplace the rest so put the extra washers in a zip lock bag and staple them to your garage wall. Works for me.
8. Check the grading around the exterior of your home.
Water flows downhill so make sure you have a positive grade away from your home. You should have about an inch per foot for about 8-10 feet.
9. Turn your furnace humidifier to the Summer setting.
Oops. I always forget this one.
10. A/C service
I'm on an annual service with Rochester, MN K & S Heating and Cooling. They come every spring and service my air conditioner and check the furnace in the fall. The annual service program is offered at a discount and they will check the A/C.
11. Caulk the exterior of your home.
Check the caulk around windows, roof vents, dryer vents, plumbing lines, water spigots, doors, skylights and more. This is a great time to fill cracks and gaps in sidewalks and driveways as well.