4 Ways Your HVAC System Could Harm Your Health

We rely so much on our HVAC systems to heat and cool our homes. Sometimes we may forget that there are health dangers if we don’t maintain them properly. Like with any appliance, we run the risk of creating a larger problem if we wait until something breaks to have a professional service it. Not only can we save time and money by scheduling routine maintenance checks for your HVAC systems, but we can also ensure that our families remain healthy. Here are four ways your HVAC system could be harming your health.

1. Spreading Allergens

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Your home should be a haven from a runny nose and itchy eyes, but so often allergens get trapped in your HVAC system. A build-up of dust in your air ducts can spread nasty irritants around your home, so a good rule of thumb is to clean them every three to five years. You’ll know it’s time to service the ducts if you smell mold or notice an accumulation of dust around your vents. Remember that if your ducts need cleaning yearly, there could be a problem with your HVAC system.

2. Growing Mold and Mildew

Due to the nature of HVAC systems, high humidity and the changing of seasons make them a prime candidate to grow mold and mildew. The signs of mold and mildew aren’t always apparent. Even if you clean visible mold from the air ducts, microscopic colonies can remain. It’s critical to schedule regular maintenance checks to avoid infecting your family with dangerous spores. Additionally, you should be using high-efficiency particle absorber air filters that trap threatening particles in a mesh layer before they can infiltrate your air.

3. Pulling Moisture From the Air

Itchy eyes can be attributed to seasonal allergies, but if they’re accompanied by dry skin, your HVAC system may be to blame. If it’s pulling too much moisture from the air, skin and eye irritation can occur. Humidifiers are a quick remedy to this problem, but you should still have a professional check out your system to see if it can be rebalanced.

4. Leaking Refrigerant

Refrigerant, or Freon, is used in HVAC systems to fuel the cooling components, but it can be hazardous if there is a leak. If you notice that the air from your vents is no longer cool or if you hear hissing or bubbling noises, you might have a refrigerant problem. It’s best to take care of these issues as quickly as possible because they’ll only get worse over time. You run the risk of exposing your family to side effects such as severe headaches, nausea, respiratory irritation, dizziness and difficulty breathing.

So many of these health issues start out small and can quickly grow into a worse problem. You may be able to diagnose an HVAC problem by listening to your body, but do yourself a favor by performing regular maintenance on your system. It’s easier to avoid these problems with routine maintenance than correct them when they arise.

 

5 Ways to Control Your Home’s Humidity Year-Round

Summertime is a constant battle against humidity in your home, but that’s not the only season you should worry about moisture. Humidity can creep in during cooler months, and if left unchecked, you run the risk of growing mold and mildew and even harming the quality of your air. Below are five ways to help control the humidity in your home year-round.

1. Dehumidifiers 

Dehumidifiers are a lifesaver in the summer months. If your home’s humidity level is above 65 percent, consider investing in one. You can buy small portable ones for each room or one large dehumidifier that’s designed to take care of the whole house. They’re a quick and easy way to cool down a stifling room.

2. Proper Ventilation

Humidity won’t go away without proper ventilation. Ensure that your vents are clean and in working order. If you have moisture sitting outside or around them, it’s a sign that they may need to be serviced. Some older homes may not have proper ventilation in bathrooms, especially if the home has newer showers added after the initial construction. Consult a profession to install the correct ventilation system to ensure that your home is comfortable and free of any harmful spores that love to grow in high humidity.

3. Monitor Shower Length

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We all love our long, hot showers, but they are one of the fastest ways that humidity enters your home, especially if your ventilation system isn’t the best. On sweltering days, you may need to put your family on a shower schedule. Stress the importance of taking shorter, cooler ones to keep the humidity level in your house lower. You may even want to invest in a low flow showerhead for some extra help. It’s much easier to modify your shower length and temperature than it is to remove mold growing in your bathroom.

4. Dry Your Clothes

When trying to control humidity a lot of people don’t consider that wet clothes hanging in the house will only make the problem worse. Either dry your clothes in the dryer or hang them up outside. Leaving them to hang dry inside will increase the moisture in your home, especially in rooms that were never ventilated to dry wet clothes. If you must keep them inside, dry them as quickly as possible with a fan.

5. Use Your AC

Your air conditioner is designed to reduce the humidity in your home, but it’s only as good as your filters. Air conditioners take and filter the air from outside before bringing it into your home, but if your filters get clogged, the water remains in the air and circulates inside of your house. Humid air that’s being pushed around by your HVAC system can moisten areas in your home that you may never expect to find wet, making the mold issues even harder to spot before they’re too late.

That sticky, can’t-get-dry feeling is a hallmark of summertime, but it doesn’t have to be a staple inside of your house. By using these five tips, you’ll be able to feel the humidity difference in your home in no time.

 

Don’t use your chimney? Why you still need to maintain it at all times

Set into a wall of your living room, a fireplace can make a traditionally charming period feature, making you almost feel like a resident of Downton Abbey. However, even if you now leave your fireplace untouched or its opening is walled up, a certain amount of maintenance work will still be necessary.

Here, we are referring specifically to your chimney – which, while the fireplace was in use, would have served the purpose of letting more air reach the fire and so feed it. Here are a few warning signs that your chimney might still require maintenance – and how to provide exactly that…

Things keep entering the flue

Here, we mean the flue that leads from the roof to your fireplace; a chimney tends to have two flues, including one for the home’s central heating system. However, you don’t want things entering the fireplace flue that, well, shouldn’t actually be there.

Those “things” could include rain, snow and animals – but to keep all of those out, you could have a cap fitted over your chimney’s opening. Some caps are inserted into the flue and secured there through friction, while other caps are mounted to the flue and others adhere to the chimney’s crown.

As advised in a Popular Mechanics article, though, you should be sure to source a chimney cap of a suitable size for your chimney. A cap of the wrong height can hamper how gases flow through the chimney and potentially cause a backdraft, whereby smoke enters your house.

You – or someone else – is about to bring the fireplace back into use

Don’t assume that, just because you currently aren’t interested in using the fireplace, you never will be – or that a future owner of your house won’t be. Unfortunately, if birds and animals have left cobwebs, nests and the like in your chimney, this could prevent a fire’s waste gases from escaping.

Hence, you should act on Real Homes‘ advice that you get an experienced chimney sweep to clean your chimney at least once yearly – yes, even if the chimney isn’t being used. Otherwise, waste materials like soot or smoke could accumulate inside the flue and partially block the airflow.

This situation, in turn, will hamper the efficiency of using the fireplace and increase the risk of carbon monoxide. This gas is deadly but odourless; therefore, you should make sure your home has alarms for detecting both smoke and carbon dioxide.

Another reason to hire a chimney sweep is that, as DIY Doctor explains, creosote might have gathered inside the chimney as a result of wood being burned. As creosote is combustible, its mere presence will increase the risk of the chimney catching fire.

The chimney is damaged

Even a chimney out of use is vulnerable to the weather. Fortunately, if, say, you live in the North East, you can invite a roofing company to your Newcastle home to inspect the chimney for eroded mortar or defective flashing at no charge to you and then, on your further request, have the damage repaired.

 

 

4 Smart Purchases To Make Your Home More Livable

One of the great things about having a home is that you get to make decisions about it as far as livability goes. What would be the purpose of existing in a space where you weren’t comfortable? Yes, sometimes money and space are scarce, that doesn’t mean that you don’t make decisions that try to make the best of what you have.

Thinking this way, consider for smart purchases that will make your home a better space for you and your family. If you live in a place that gets a lot of sun, adding sunscreens can be beneficial. Anywhere that’s hot, installing portable air conditioners is a good idea.

Especially with larger families that have pets, buying and using cleanable floor covers creates a more positive environment. And, one of the ways that you can brighten up your life is by brightening up your home with powerful lighting!

Sunscreens

Lots of people enjoy living in sunny places. However, the sun can be just as much of a bother as it is a boon. Sunlight can be stifling and blinding. Because of this, ask yourself if sunscreens are a good idea. If so, they not only make your house cooler and allow you to control lighting better, but they also look good from the outside and increase your home’s value regarding curb appeal. There are lots of different types of sunscreens, and they will often match with varying styles of awnings.

Portable Air Conditioners

If you decide to buy portable air conditioners for your home, you’ll be amazed at how much of a difference it can make in your day-to-day comfort. For a small to medium-sized room, having a portable air conditioner installed can mean the difference between misery and ideal comfort.

As long as you purchase one of the more energy-efficient types, you won’t notice too much of a change in your energy bill either. Keeping this in mind, there are different styles of portable air conditioner, depending on the size and shape of your windows in various rooms.

Cleanable Floor Covers

In families with lots of kids or pets, trying to keep the house clean can be particularly tricky. Because of this, there are a few different purchases that you can make to enhance the livability factor. A good one to start with would be to purchase a rug that’s easy to clean for high traffic areas. You would probably put this in your living room first, but any additional units might go in a dining room or kitchen space.

Bright Lights

Sometimes your house is beautiful, but you don’t know it because there isn’t enough light available. To adjust the situation, put in brighter light fixtures or add standing lamps to different areas of your home.

 

Top 3 Things Homeowners Need to Know About Roofing Contractors

The roof is something that holds the entire house together. It would be unwise for you to neglect it entirely. You see, with time you are going to face some issues with it, but that doesn’t mean that they are unfixable. Of course, you can also prevent some of those problems from becoming bigger along the way. Whatever you choose to decide, just know that there is always a team of experts that can resolve any issue you have with the roof. Check out the link for additional information about the subject http://blog.gaf.com/10-tips-to-help-homeowners-choose-the-right-roofing-contractor/.

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Moreover, due to weather change, with years, you are bound to experience leaks and holes on the roof. It’s not the end of the world. These types of problems happen all the time. Chances are that you probably don’t know how to fix them. If you don’t possess the knowledge to do so, then it is best to stay clear of heights. You can make even further damage than it already is. That’s why you shouldn’t waste time and wait for the problem to get bigger and bigger.

Find licensed roofing contractors to fix your roof permanently. Here are some of the things that come with a great service like that:

Excellent skills

Roofing contractors have been doing this for some time now. They have the experience and skills to take care of the leaks and holes much faster than you ever would. Hiring an expert to fix a specific type of issue you know nothing about is always the perfect solution. This way, they won’t cause any further damage and can offer you advice on what to do for the future.

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The process will not end within a day, so just be patient. It really depends on what type of situation you are facing with your roof. They will strike a deal with you and get started. You will be consulted every step of the way about the changes and conditions of the roof. If the damage is not so severe, then they will be able to finish the job more quickly. If it is critical, then be prepared to wait for a couple of days before it is finished.

Also, they know what they’re doing. They carry with them special equipment and tools that are needed for a job like this. Isn’t that great? You won’t have to buy all those things yourself. It will cost you a lot of money. It’s worse if you don’t know what exactly you need to get the problems resolved. But not to worry because the roofing contractors have everything covered. You just need to wait a few days before the entire process is completed. Find out more by clicking on this page.

Fast process

Once you hire roofers for the repairs, you will notice how quick they will deduce what the problem is with the roof. They’ve seen all of these things before. Therefore nothing will surprise them. Roofing contractors understand that not everyone has the time to check their roof regularly. How could you? You have a job, and you take care of things around the house. The last thing that comes to mind is thinking whether something is wrong with the roof.

Once the issues are identified, then all that it is left is to fix them. A lot of people have problems with leaks in their home. It’s only natural due to the harsh weather conditions. Your roof is probably durable, but not as durable against storms or tornados, for example. With time you will undoubtedly have to deal with this stuff, and better sooner rather than later.

Imagine if the damage on the roof is significant. How would you be able to fix it all by yourself? Even if you ask for help from neighbors; how can they help you if none of you knows what they’re doing? Don’t overthink it. Hire roofers to finish with the job in the fastest and most efficient way possible. Before you know it, you can go back to enjoying the comfort of your own home, knowing that everything is alright with the roof. Contact a roofing repair company and hire their services.

The most important thing in situations like these is not to panic. There are a lot of things that can go wrong with your house. Your roof is just an example. But it is what keeps you protected at all times. If there are leaks, then they need to be handled in the quickest way possible. Leaks lead to moisture, and moisture leads to mold and mildew. They are extremely dangerous to inhale and can cause severe health problems for you and your entire family.

Right tools

Once a deal is made between you and the roofing contractors, you can expect them to come prepared. They will show up at your doorstep ready with all the necessary equipment to fix whatever needs fixing. You probably don’t know the first thing what to do in situations like these. That’s why it is best to let the experts discover what is wrong in the first place. Once they do, they will fix the issues.

This way, you also make your roof more durable and lasting. It will serve you for many years to come. But you need to eliminate, once in a while, all the problems related to it. It’s the best way to save money. It’s always better to fix some of the damage on the roof than to have it entirely replaced. If it comes to that, then you need to do it. But this way, you save a lot of money by eliminating smaller issues.

Also, tiny holes are the perfect inviting place for a lot of pests. Who wants to deal with rats and cockroaches on their ceiling? The faster these holes are taken care of, then you can say goodbye to all pests. The roofing professionals will take care of everything with their excellent skills and their right tools.

 

Ceiling Repairs? 4 Reasons Not to DIY 

The wealth of available information on the internet has empowered many homeowners to seek do-it-yourself solutions for many common household repair and maintenance issues. After all, it can be hard to justify the cost of professional labour for something small but urgent, such as replacing a doorknob or replacing a leaking faucet. However, there are still many situations in which it would be safer and more cost-effective to hire an expert, and ceiling repairs is one of them. Below are some of the reasons why you might want to think twice about DIY-ing this particular project.

You May Miss Crucial Repair Steps

So, you’ve identified the problem in your ceiling and have found an instructional video online for fixing the issue that seems easy enough to follow. All you need to do is take up the old tool belt and get started, right? Before you reach for your equipment, however, make sure to pause and reflect for just a moment. Are you sure that you’ve correctly identified the source of the problem? If you have, are you certain that your instructional video has detailed all the necessary steps for repairing the damage? Professional Perth ceiling repair companies have a leg up on the laymen by being knowledgeable on a wide variety of matters related to their craft—on top of actually being experienced in mending them, of course.

You May Not Have the Right Equipment

Depending on the job, you may be able to get away with using common household tools to repair your ceilings. If the project is of a larger scale, or more severe than you anticipated, it may require the use of specialised equipment to solve. These can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars to purchase, and unless you see yourself using them enough to justify the cost, it would not make sense to own any of them. Hiring someone from a ceiling repairs Perth company that clients trust would be a less expensive option in this case.

You May Injure Yourself

Accidents can still happen even if you’re a fair hand with power tools and have a decent amount of knowledge on how to perform common house repairs. If the ceiling damage is located somewhere that is hard to reach, or is in a position that would be dangerous for you to access by yourself, it might be a better idea to call in the services of a Perth ceiling repair company. A professional labour force can get the job done speedily and safely, and they are often insured just in case they cause damage to their clients’ properties or cause accidental injury to any of the occupants.

You May Cause Damage to Your Own Property

Do-it-yourself projects are best confined to things that you can do on your own time, not on urgent troubles that require immediate attention. Major ceiling cracks or signs of a water leak are not problems that should be made to wait until you have the free time to address them. In such cases, you should do yourself and your home a favour by calling in a Perth ceiling repair specialist immediately. Similarly, if you are not confident in your own abilities to successfully repair the issue, just hire out for a handyman. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, as they say, and it’s all too easy to worsen what ought to have been a small problem. Save yourself the trouble and expense of having to correct a critical mistake later on.

Wouldn’t you rather invest in quality work when it comes to the roof over your head? Don’t be blinded in the pursuit of pinching pennies. Contact an expert in ceiling repairs Perth customers rely on today.

 

3 Things You Didn’t Know About Your HVAC System

HVAC systems seem complicated, mainly because a lot of the maintenance is too complicated or dangerous for DIY efforts. But learning a few of the acronyms and the parts that go into your system can help you make better choices regarding your system’s maintenance and repairs. Here are three essential things you might not know about your AC system.

1. You Can Find Out Your Ideal MERV Filter Rating

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Your air conditioner’s filter is an important part of the system. It’s also the part that needs the most maintenance: every three months (or even sooner if you have lots of pets), the filter needs to be replaced. But different models use different types of filters. Not only do you need to look at the size requirements for your system’s filter, but you need to select the right level of filtration capability.

Different filters can block particles of various sizes. The MERV rating scale measures filters by their ability to catch particles of different sizes. The scale is from one to 20. Lower-rated filters ranging from one to four capture particles that are three to 10 microns in size. As you continue up the scale, the filters become finer and can catch particles as small as 0.3 microns. Higher-rated filters can clean the air more effectively, but they also require more frequent replacement because they “fill up” faster. While different systems recommend different filters, you can decide which MERV rating is a good fit for your home by checking out the scale here.

2. Your A/C Is Rated for System Efficiency

You may be familiar with seeing ‘Energy Star’ on your newest appliances. But there are other scales that determine how energy efficient your HVAC and other systems are. The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio rating, or SEER rating, indicates the system’s cooling or heating efficiency over time. A high SEER rating indicates that your mean is efficient and effective.

This is different from other ratings, such as EER (which only measures efficiency at a single moment in time) or HSPF, the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor that typically rates split-system heat pumps.

Starting in 2015, the government has mandated that HVACs have at least a 14 SEER rating except in specific circumstances.

3. Freon Is Being Phased Out

Older HVAC systems use R-22, or Freon, which is a type of refrigerant that has since been rated as too dangerous for the environment. It’s being phased out, and new machines are turning to other refrigerants. Also, companies will not be able to legally import or produce Freon in the United States after December 31, 2019.

If your machine currently uses R-22, that doesn’t mean you have to replace it immediately. But it does mean you need to address any leaks in your system now. After the start of the new year, replacement refrigerant will be more expensive and will quickly become unavailable. At that point, it will be time to start looking for a new HVAC.

The more you know about your HVAC system, the better you can recognize developing problems, maintenance concerns, and efficiency issues. Knowledge can also help you reduce your energy bill while still keeping your home comfortable every season.

 

Making Your Home More Child-Friendly: A Guide

It’s important to ensure that your home bends to accommodate and fit your needs. You should make changes and tweaks to the place so that you’re better equipped to raise your children to make your lives easier, to keep them safe, and also to provide fun, functionality, and practicality too. Learn how to change your home to turn it into a child-friendly sphere for both your sake and theirs, with the easy-to-follow guide below.

Enforce Rules

Enforcing rules upon your young children can feel horrible, and you may well want to let them get away with absolutely anything since they’re adorable. Let’s be clear; however, some rules will need to be in place in order to maintain some order, routine, and sanity. Do this by ensuring that your kids know where to go and where not to. So, this can mean that they’re not supposed to sleep in your bed every night of the week, nor are they allowed to tackle the stairs unaided.

Erect a stairgate at both the top and the bottom of the staircase and always, always make sure that it’s across especially when you’re kids are learning to walk and running around all over your home.

En-suite Bedroom

An en-suite bedroom can make your life a whole lot easier, especially when your children are very young and diaper changes are often. It can make cleaning them up, and other spills and mishaps much more straightforward. If you’re interested in making the idea a reality, then consider getting a contractor in to assess the structure of your home, and how best to approach making your child’s room an en-suite.

Once you’ve got the go-ahead and know how you’re going to go about, you will need to contact local plumbers to finish the job. Always look for reputable plumbers by researching ‘plumbers in my area’ into your chosen search engine and opt for those who are well-reviewed and rated.

Child Locks

Your child’s safety is paramount, and it needs to come before anything else. Keep your young family safe by keeping dangerous items out of their reach, and remember to be organized in consistently keeping knives and other sharp objects, washing up tablets, soaps, and hazardous liquids far away from them at all times. Choking hazards needs to be removed as a matter of urgency, as should hanging cables of all kinds.

Baby proof your home by walking around each room and considering each piece of furniture and furnishing that could pose a risk. Keep child locks on all cupboards and doors, and especially those in the kitchen. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so make the necessary effort now before your child could have a nasty accident.

Hard Flooring Over Carpets

If you have kids, then this suggestion needs little introduction. Hard flooring is far superior to carpets as they’re easy to wipe clean, and difficult, though not impossible, to stain and ruin. Young children are notoriously messy eaters and are likely to drop foods and spill drinks on carpets, as well as use pens and crayons, and the list goes on quite frankly. Carpets are warm, cozy, and they look great in certain rooms of the house, but they’re not entirely practical when you’re trying to make your home more child-friendly.

Add Extra Storage

Kids accumulate numerous toys, games, clothes, shoes, coats, and kitchen items very quickly, and you’re going to have to find room to fit all of their belongings. You’ll have to get smart with storing things, and how you’re going to ensure that your home doesn’t become overcrowded and cluttered in a very short space of time. Use the height of any given room to add shelves, hanging net bags, as well as handles on the backs of doors, affixed to shelving units, and boxes under the bed as well. For ideas, head online, and use YouTube to get inspired.

A Designated Kid’s Room

Just as you’re going to enforce that your kids can’t encroach on your space any, and every, night of the week, they should be given a space that’s entirely their own. They should have a room where they can relax and play videogames, and enjoy an hour or two on their own.

Kids enjoy having a retreat of their own, so if you have older kids think about getting a sofa bed in there, as well as TV, books, and also a small mini-fridge to store cool drinks and refrigerated snacks. Your children will adore having a room of their own and should help to boost their enjoyment of your home just to top it off.

Running a household with children is never an easy job, but with a few changes here and there you could make your home more child-friendly. Additionally, this could lead to you seeing improvements made to the running of the household, such as efficiency made to particular tasks and as a result, you will have much happier family members.

 

Essential Steps to Take Before Moving to a New House

Are you about to move into a house that you recently bought? Is it a few towns away from your old home? The process of moving out, packing all of your stuff into boxes and settling into your new home can be tiring. Good thing there are companies offering removals Gloucester that have trained employees who can help make your moving process a lot easier. A few weeks before moving into your new home, it is best for you to create a checklist to ensure that the process will be done as smoothly as possible. Here are some essential tips that you should keep in mind.

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Do background checks

Before proceeding to hire a moving company, it is best to do some background checks first. Remember that your household items and expensive appliances are at stake during transport. You want to make sure that all of your stuff will arrive at your new home without any damage. Consider looking into customer reviews, checking for business licenses and insurance before doing business with them.

Check the dimensions of your new home

Before moving in, it is a smart idea to look at the floor plan of your new home and take note of its floor area. You want to make sure that your furniture and appliances will fit your new space. It will also be much easier for you to give instructions to the movers for where they should place all of your things.

Make the final arrangements concerning the date of your move

When booking a moving company, they will appreciate it if you give them advance notice of fifteen to thirty days before the move. This way, they can schedule a specific date for you and avoid mixing up their schedules with other clients. Avoid moving during the weekends and peak months. You can ask your moving company for more details about this information. Also, the majority of moving companies charge less or provide discounts during off-peak seasons that you might want to take advantage of.

Change of address

If you have bills that are in your name, it is best to get in touch with your utility providers, banks and credit card companies before transferring to your new address. This is to make sure that any correspondence will be forwarded to your new address.

Provide them with the exact date on which to disconnect the services in your old home. Moreover, if you are transferring to an area where they also provide service, you can inform them when they should connect the gas, electricity and water services at your new address. If you have an existing contract with your cable, internet and phone providers, ask them if it is possible to reinstall the services in your new place.

Lastly, if your home is hooked up to a security alarm system get in touch with the company to have it deactivated and transferred. Have a licensed technician reinstall the system in your new home as soon as possible.

 

 

4 Maintenance Tasks to Check Off Your Summer To-Do List

Now that the spring is coming to a close, it’s time to prepare for the hot months ahead. Your home might also need a bit of maintenance after a long winter of cold weather. Add these four home maintenance tasks to your to-do list to make your home ready for summer.

1. Perform seasonal maintenance on your air conditioner.

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Image via Flickr by okchomeseller

No matter how new or efficient your air conditioner is, it needs a bit of maintenance every time the seasons change. Regular maintenance keeps the system in good condition and helps you catch developing problems before they turn into expensive malfunctions. At the very least, clean the vents and replace the air filter.

If you’ve noticed a few problems like noise, extra cycles, or rooms that don’t get conditioned air, now is the time to get your air conditioner checked out. Those problems will grow as the temperature increases, and the last thing you want is a week without an air conditioner during the summer. DIY maintenance beyond changing out the filter and vacuuming the vents may invalidate your warranty, so always call in a professional when your air conditioner needs a tune-up or preventative maintenance.

2. Clean out your home’s dryer vent.

During the autumn and winter, you may find yourself doing more laundry. Clothes will get damp from bad weather, and heavy coats, jeans, and sweaters mean more loads in the machines. But all of that extra fabric will have filled your machine with extra lint. Your dryer’s vent collects lint and dust. This is extremely flammable, and that’s dangerous when it’s so close to the heat from electricity or gas. Pull out the machine and clear away all of the lint.

3. Flush your water heater.

While draining your water heater isn’t a summer-specific task, it does need to get done once a year. The end of spring is the best time to perform the chore. You can clear out all of the sediment that built up from a lot of hot water use during the winter. Then you don’t have to worry about a poorly functioning water heater during the summer. If you prefer to have a professional handle the task, now is also the perfect time to avoid the busy season.

4. Check your gutters for leaks and clogs.

Depending on where you live, you might not have received a lot of rain over the spring. That means you might not know if your gutters have developed cracks or clogs from the past winter. Climb a ladder and run some water through the gutters to check for any problems. Now is also a great time to add leaf guards to your gutters so you have less maintenance to worry about in the fall and winter. If you had a lot of rain this spring, make sure you clear away the leaves, nests, and twigs that could clog the system during heavy storms.

As the weather starts to change, it may feel like you have a lot to do and not enough time to do it in. But if you take care of these four maintenance tasks early, your home will be in good shape for summer.