6 Home Improvement Projects to do Before the 4th of July

It is easy to tell when summer has arrived in earnest. Temperatures soar and so do energy and water bills. By the time the 4th of July rolls around, everyone’s thoughts have turned to daydreams of refreshing pool swims, beach adventures, and relaxation.

These 6 home improvement projects can help you save money on utility bills and get your home ready for welcoming guests on this special holiday.

Clean and Refinish the Deck and Fence

cleaning a deck jpgSummer is a great time to do some home improvement work on your deck and fence. The heat helps to dry water, stains and sealants quickly. And there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the results on the 4th of July and throughout the rest of the summer.

The first thing you will want to do is a visual inspection, noting any areas that need repairs or possibly replacements.

After you take care of these items, you can give the fence and deck a good washing (pressure washers are typically cheap to rent from home stores).

Finally, applying a fresh stain and sealant can transform your aging deck and fence so that it looks new again – you may be surprised by how much you enjoy the results of this home improvement project!

Clean and Tidy Your Lawn and Garden Beds

Your garden beds and your lawn remain outdoors all summer long in the blistering heat. So they definitely need some TLC from you when it gets boiling out.

Summer-GardeningYou can leave your grass an extra inch or so higher than you usually do to help the roots soak in a bit of extra hydration.

Cleaning out debris and re-mulching your garden beds will provide extra insulation around plant stems and roots to hold in moisture.

Conduct a Leak-Check on Your Outside Faucets

Much of summer’s water waste happens outside. Incorrectly timed and placed sprinklers and soaker hoses are to blame for some of it.
However, much of the waste comes from undetected leaks in hose spigots or old and worn, cracked hoses.

You can do a simple check for each of your outside faucets. Look for drips and drizzles that could indicate a worn-out washer ochekcing your outdoor faucetr a cracked hose. Replace these low-cost parts now and enjoy the savings on your summer water bills.

Clean and Maintain Your Air Conditioner

If there is one memory no one enjoys recalling, it is that day you spent sweating and fanning yourself while waiting for the A/C repair technician to arrive.

Luckily, a little well-timed preventative maintenance can take care of this common summer worry.

You can do the initial cleaning and inspection yourself, just by sweeping away debris and clearing the area around your HVAC unit. You can also change the filter if it has been 30 days or more since you last did so.

The technician can then come in and ensure all parts are in good working order, the fluids and lubrication are full, and the unit is cycling on and off correctly.

Clean and Drain Your Water Heater

Summer is a fabulous time to give your water heater some preventative attention. Traditional water heaters, in particular, have a tendency to collect mineral deposits from the water. These deposits can begin to build up on the bottom and inside walls of the water heater tank.

Along with mineral deposits, sometimes sediment can get into your tank along with the water and begin to collect on the bottom of the tank.

Here are the steps to take (always consult the manufacturer’s instructions for your particular model as well):

  1. Turn off the power.
  2. Turn off the cold water supply valve.
  3. Turn on the hot water and leave it running.
  4. Put on heat-protective gloves.
  5. Hook up the hose to the water heater drain valve while the hot water is still running.
  6. Be sure the other end of the hose is located in a bathtub, bucket or outdoors!
  7. Open the drain valve and let the water drain out.
  8. When the water finishes draining, open up the cold water valve again to flush out sediment.
  9. Close the valve and remove the hose.
  10. Run the hot water spigots again while refilling the water heater tank with cold water.
  11. Restore power to your water heater.

If you don’t feel confident performing this task correctly, it is safer to call a professional!

Invest in Energy Saving Window Treatments

One of the best ways to achieve energy efficiency in months of extreme temperatures is to give your windows and window treatments some dedicated attention.

If you have the resources and time, you may want to consider replacing your existing windows with Low-e windows, which can repel heat from the outside sun and also block harmful UV rays from streaming into your home.

If you have already made this switch or now is not the time, you can achieve a similar effect by working to upgrade your window treatments. Today there are many energy efficient window treatment options for keeping your home cool in summer and warm in winter.

Here are some popular choices:

  • Installing awnings on South/West-facing windows to block the sun.
  • Using window film to repel heat and UV rays.
  • Installing light-colored drapes or blinds to reflect the heat back away from your windows.
  • Installing eco-friendly wood shades (hemp and bamboo are good choices) to block and repel the heat from the sun.

You can also just close your drapes or blinds during the hottest part of each day to keep the heat outside and a cool temperature inside.

These 6 home improvement projects can make you feel really confident about opening your home up to family and guests this summer on the 4th of July and for other festivities. It can also just feel great to improve your home space for your family’s enjoyment.

To save money on summer energy bills in Alexandria, VA, contact Cyprus Air Heating and Cooling at 703-765-9400.