The Best Home Projects for Early Summer

Summertime is here! Early summer is an excellent time to do a bit of maintenance around the house. If you’re looking to make a change that will improve both the look and feel of your home, there’s no need to go all out on home renovation. You can make a big difference in the comfort of your home with just a few small enhancements.

Here we share some easy home projects that—with just a little effort—have a big payoff. Bonus: many of these projects can be completed over the weekend. If you have a bit extra time on your hands, plan a project once every weekend or two and you’ll have a new and improved home well before autumn sets in! Read on to find out the best early summertime projects for your home.

Top Summer Projects for the Home

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Do’s and Don’ts for Successful Weatherproofing

Weatherproofing helps you defend your home against the elements. This not only ensures that you and your family are safe and comfortable, but it can also help you extend the life and protect the resale value of your Houston home. Below, we’ve put together some of the best (and worst) ways to weatherproof your home.

Effective Weatherproofing in Houston, TX

It is never too late to start weatherproofing your home. For the most part, you can find all of the tools that you need at your local home improvement store. With the tips below, you’ll be on your way to successfully weatherproofing your Texas home in no time!

Do check for drafty doors and windows.

Do you often feel a draft even when your windows and doors are closed? This could mean that it’s time to replace the weather stripping or insulation. Check for leaks around your doors and windows, and fill these drafty spots with expanding foam or caulk. One of the best ways to identify drafts is by moving a lit candle around your door and window frames. When the flame flickers, you have a draft that needs to be sealed.

Don’t skimp on window treatments.

Adding window drapes and shades to the windows in your home can help you keep the elements out and save energy throughout the year. During the colder winter months, you can open up the drapes and shades to make use of the warm sunshine to warm your home and provide a little natural light. At night, close the shades and drapes to protect against the chilly air. When summer arrives, make sure to keep your drapes and blinds closed to block out the sun and cool your home more efficiently.

Do inspect your chimney.

If you have a chimney, you should call a professional to inspect for leaks and heat loss annually. They have a range of tools that can be used to help you reduce heat loss through your fire place, such as heat exchangers, flue sealers, and inserts. If you want to make sure that your fireplace is not driving up your energy costs during the winter, it is important that you identify and fix any leaks as soon as possible.

Don’t forget to insulate your outlets.

Proper home insulation is an important part of reducing energy loss in your home. While you might have already worked to insulate your doors, windows, and air ducts, there is one place that many homeowners forget to insulate – their electrical outlets. These sockets are basically a hole in the wall, which means that energy can be lost. When weatherproofing your home, don’t forget to insulate your power outlets to save energy (and money).

Whether you’re a home improvement pro or new to this whole homeowning thing, weatherproofing is an important task if you want to keep your home safe from the elements and protect one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make.

Are you interested in learning more about how to save energy in your home throughout the year? Taking care of your HVAC system is an important part of maintaining efficiency. Find out more about our residential HVAC services, or contact us to find the right energy efficient heating or cooling system for your home.

Do You Need a Home Maintenance Budget for 2017?

As 2017 approaches, it is time to start thinking about developing a budget for the new year. If you are a Texas homeowner, this budget should account for any home maintenance needs you might encounter in 2017. Unlike budgeting for groceries or utilities, home improvement costs can be difficult to pin down. The guide below will offer some tips for creating a 2017 home maintenance budget for your Houston home.

Factors to Consider in Home Maintenance Budget

No two homes are alike when it comes to maintenance needs. Here are factors to consider that have the biggest impact on the cost of maintenance and repairs:

Age – The property’s age plays a huge role in its maintenance needs. A new construction home that was built in the last 5 to 10 years will not need much maintenance as compared to a home that is 10 to 20 or even 20 to 30 years old. The older the home, the more likely you will need to repair major components such as the roof or plumbing.

Condition – Regardless of how old your home is, the condition it is in is important when preparing for upcoming maintenance costs. If your home is older but has been well cared for, you may not have as many maintenance concerns as a home that has been neglected by its previous owners.

Location – Where your home is located can also impact its maintenance needs. Though all Houston homes may be impacted by Texas weather, the location of your home plays a role in how big of an impact. For instance, if you are located at the bottom of a hill where water tends to collect, you may be subject water damage.

2017 Home Maintenance Budget Tips

Once you have decided which home maintenance expenses you may need to consider in the coming year, it’s time to start creating your budget. Here are some helpful tips for creating a basic home maintenance budget for the new year:

  • Prioritize projects. Put your budget toward those home maintenance needs that are vital, such as a new air conditioner or hot water heater, before considering other nice-to-have projects, like remodeling your bathroom.
  • Consider what you can do yourself. Though not all home maintenance projects allow for DIY, you can save money by completing minor repairs and simple maintenance projects yourself.
  • Set aside funds just for home maintenance. As a general guide, each year you should set aside 1 to 3 percent of your home’s purchase price just for home repairs and maintenance. You may want to keep this in a separate savings account.
  • Anticipate major repairs. Many homeowners find themselves in a troublesome situation when they have to pay for major repairs that they were not expecting. Think ahead and consider which elements of your home may need to be addressed sooner rather than later.

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DIY vs. Professional: When You Need to Call in an HVAC Technician

When it comes to simple projects around the house that do not require the expertise of a professional, the do-it-yourself, or DIY, approach can help save you time, money, and hassle. However, trying to take on a project that is beyond your scope of knowledge can have costly consequences, especially when it comes to HVAC. The key to ensuring that your HVAC system is running smoothly to keep your home comfortable year-round is knowing which projects you can tackle yourself and which require you to hire a pro.

DIY HVAC Projects

If you enjoy completing home improvement projects yourself, you may be wondering what HVAC services you can tackle on your own. The following projects are safe for homeowners to complete themselves:

  • Change your air filter. This is one of the best ways that homeowners can help prolong the life of their air conditioner or heater while also ensuring the best indoor air quality possible. Homeowners should change their air filter once a month or more often if it gets clogged or dirty.
  • Keep HVAC components clean. This is also important for making sure that your HVAC system runs smoothly year-round and maintains energy efficiency. Homeowners should ensure that the outdoor condenser unit is clean and free of dirt or debris and trim any vegetation or plants around the unit at least two feet around.
  • Insulate your home. Adequate insulation is vital to maintaining energy efficiency, which impacts your HVAC unit as well as your energy bills. Energy Star offers a helpful DIY Sealing and Insulating guide that is helpful.

Though DIY HVAC can certainly help you save money in the long run, it is important to make sure that you are completing these tasks correctly to avoid any damage to your HVAC system. If you are unsure or want to learn how to maintain your air conditioner or heating unit, ask your HVAC technician to show you how to complete these tasks properly.

When Do I Need an HVAC Technician?

While there are some HVAC projects that you can tackle yourself like basic maintenance, there are other times when it is best to call in an expert. Here are some situations where we recommend that you call a trained HVAC technician:

  • New HVAC System Installation – When replacing or installing a new HVAC unit, it’s best to call in the professionals. An experienced HVAC technician can effectively calculate the right size unit for your home to make sure your home comfort needs are met and the system will run efficiently. Professional installation ensures that your unit is properly installed and ready to go.
  • Air Conditioning and Heating Repairs – Homeowners with HVAC knowledge may be able to handle simple air conditioning and heating repairs on their own. However, when in doubt, homeowners should call an HVAC technician. One wrong step, and you could end up doing more harm to your system than good.
  • Annual Tune-Up – Though there are some cleaning tasks that homeowners can do on their own, it is recommended that they still get a tune-up once a year with a trained HVAC technician. These professionals check for more than just a clean system and will also check other areas of the system to make sure no repairs are needed.

Still have questions about whether or not you can handle an HVAC project yourself? Give us a call at . Our team would be happy to answer any questions that you have and send over one of our qualified technicians if you are stuck with a problem you cannot fix yourself.