Paul Jamison, with the Jamison family of companies, is joined by Preston Sandlin, of Home Inspection Carolina, to discuss the most essential summertime home maintenance tips.

There are some very important summertime maintenance and check-up items, which all homeowners should take care of at the earliest convenience, once warm weather arrives.  Some of these, like having your exterior AC unit cleaned of debris, almost go without saying, but did you know that cleaning your ceiling fans is also an essential task?  Take a look at these and more!

Air conditioning unit maintenance and care

This time of year, folks are clambering to get their local HVAC company out to their home to do a summertime compressor cleaning and check-up.  If you cannot get an appointment in a timely manner, and wish to take on the tasks alone, here’s what to do!

Check and change your filters:

It seems a reasonably simple task to perform every one to three months, but truth is, this is the sort of thing that homeowners forget, or put off doing.  Take time periodically, but definitely now, and change out your air filters inside!  If you are not in a replacement routine, it is imperative that you begin one.

Check and clean your exterior unit:

When you see your exterior AC unit, you will probably notice that there is debris attached to the outside of it, especially if you are in a wooded area. Pine needles, dirt, and leaves will make your AC unit work harder, and meet its early demise.  Simply take a shop vac, and sweep the compressor clean of debris.

Check your coil at the interior AC unit:

Go to your attic or crawl space to check your coils.  There a condensation pan at the unit, and if it is full of water, you have a clogged condensation line.  This must be remedied immediately.  Call a professional to eliminate the clog, and eliminate the moisture the clog is producing, either in your attic or crawl space.

Check your refrigerant lines:

There are two insulated lines, which travel from your exterior compressor unit to your interior unit.  See that these lines are completely insulated, with no breaks or cracks in the insulation.  Anywhere you see a visible line, there is a chance for condensation to build.  As we know, moisture is a big no-no for our crawl spaces and attics!  Use zip ties to secure any open insulation, or replace old insulation, securing it with zip ties.

Check and clean your ceiling fans:

With hot Carolina summers, ceiling fans are essential in helping maintain a cool temperature in our homes.  Our fans must be kept free of dirt and dust, so they can efficiently assist your AC unit in keeping the interior of your home at a comfortable temperature.  If you have ceiling fans, but never use them, turn them on, and be sure that you adjust them to blow down (counterclockwise) in the summertime.

Check the unseen areas, such as your crawl space and attic

Realizing that many folks dare not venture into their crawl space, it is important that everyone knows that they can hire a company to do this for them!  Same goes for attics.  If you would like to leave these tasks to the professionals, get in touch with Home Inspection Carolina.  If you are up to the challenge of self-inspection, here’s what to do.

Crawl space check:

Look for any condensation or standing water.  Even if you do not see either, but you notice sagging insulation, that is a very clear indication of unwanted moisture in your crawl space, and it must be remedied before it begins to attract mold, or entice termites.

Attic check:

Check your attic for things, such as roof leaks, evidence of rodent life, or dirty insulation.  If you see dirty insulation in your attic, that is a sign that there is airflow coming in from outside, which is allowing dirt and debris to get into your insulation.  This situation should be assessed and remedied by a professional.  Squirrels, mice, and bats are partial to attics.  Look for evidence of animal droppings, or nests within the space, and take action to rid the area of the animals.  Squirrels love to chew on electrical!  Rodents also attract snakes.  Who wants to find a snake in their attic?

Attic infestation fact:  Even though bats can be good for eating insects on our properties, they are carriers of Histoplasmosis (spread by spores in their droppings/guano), a dangerous disease, which can infect humans.

Dryer vent inspections

The #1 cause of fires in residential properties is clogged dryer vents!  Read that again.  Let’s keep those dryer vents free of lint and debris to keep our homes and families safe.

Check and clean your dryer vent:

Some dryer vents have angles, which can clog much easier than straight vents.  Take a shop vac or pull out the vent line to free your vent of hazardous lint.  You can even access it from the exterior of your home.  Look under the flap on the exterior to ensure that you do not have a grill on your dryer vent.  It should never have one, as closing them off creates a perfect scenario for clogs.  Grilles should be removed if found.

Dryer vent safety tip:  When you use your dryer, check the vent on the outside of your home to see if the air is flowing freely.  If not, turn off your dryer, and clean your vent immediately.

Get your nails done – your deck nails

Go onto your wood deck to check for any raised nails.  Over the winter, nails can easily pop up, and wood can split.  hammer any raised nails to prevent injury.  Also, check your wood deck for splintering.  Is it time to sand and refinish?

We all want to have a safe home, with all areas being well-maintained, and all appliances in working order.  It is imperative that we get into routines of upkeep and inspection of areas of our homes, which are sometimes “out of sight, out of mind.”  Check out Home Inspection Carolina’s YouTube channel for more home inspection information and see all the interesting things they find during inspections!

I invite you to tune in to my Saturday afternoon radio show every week on WBT. With the Jamison family of companies – Jamison Realty, Jamison Property Management, and Jamison Property Investments – Opportunity is Knocking. I look forward to hearing from you!