While the first official day of summer is still a few weeks away (June 20th, in case you were curious), with schools out, and temperatures steadily rising, it is safe to say that summer has officially begun.  With the changing of the seasons, there are a few projects to be tackled to make your home summer-ready.  

Set up an Outdoor Space

Whether your outdoor area is a sprawling greenspace, or a humble concrete patio, make the most of it by creating a space that you will use. Are you a home chef, with culinary ambition and dreams of creating delicious grilled masterpieces? Organize your space with plenty of room to move around the grill and be sure to include a table big enough to seat your taste-testers.  Think about placement and ease of moving food and equipment from the kitchen to the outdoor cooking and dining areas.  Perhaps you are dreaming of lazy weekends spent reading or lounging outside? Invest in comfortable outdoor furniture built for relaxation. If you have the space, a hammock can’t be beat for afternoon naps in the shade.  Maybe you have a few kiddos running (literally) around?  Think of safety first, being sure to set up any play areas away from potential dangers like grills, window wells or lawn edging (which can also wreak havoc on the paws of our furry friends). Hanging outdoor lights can instantly add a “designer” feeling to your space, with the added benefit of making it more evening/night time friendly.  Consider this space as an extension of your home, and set it up in a way that suits you and your family specifically.

Give your AC Some TLC

There are few conveniences that we rely on more through the summer months than our precious air conditioning systems.  That is precisely why, before the first sweltering day of summer arrives, you will want to be sure that your system is in tip-top shape.  It is recommended that you change the filters often, especially in the months that your system is working overtime.  You will also want to be sure to clear away any debris that has collected around the unit.  Experts recommend that the two feet surrounding the unit be completely cleared to be sure that the condenser is able to work properly.  Additionally, some routine maintenance on the more intricate parts of the system will need to be completed to ensure that your system operates at optimum efficiency and lives the longest, happiest life possible.  For this, you can certainly DIY, but there is no shame in enlisting the help of a professional, given that this is a very expensive, very important part of your home.  

Power Wash

Power washing, also known as pressure washing, is one of those often neglected, yet incredibly satisfying projects.  There are hundreds of videos, floating through the internet, dedicated to the satisfying transformations achieved from power washing.  As time goes on, dirt, mildew and various other types of grime and general yuckiness can build up on your home, driveways, walkways and outbuildings. Power washing is a great way to quickly bring back the shiny-newness that your property boasted on the day you made it your own.

If you are looking for some near-immediate gratification, paired with a hands-off approach, there are plenty of professional companies that would be more than happy to perform this job for you. However, if you are feeling the DIY spirit, this is a project that you can easily take on yourself. Power washers can be rented from nearly all big home improvement stores, for a reasonable fee. Before you begin, however, you’ll want to do a bit of research. Power washing, while satisfying, can be potentially dangerous (to both property and person) if not approached with care.  If you are renting, the helpful and knowledgeable employees should be able to give you all of the safety tips that you will need, as well as giving you the lowdown on the specific tool that you’ll be using.  The wide world of the internet is always a good resource as well, check out this article to get started.  

GIve it a Spin

Changing the direction that your ceiling fans rotate at the beginning of summer, and then again at the beginning of winter can be a big help when it comes to creating a comfortable climate within your home, and can even help cut back on heating and cooling costs.  In the summer months, you will want to set your fan so that the blades push air downwards, creating a breeze for the broiling bodies below.  To do this, the blades must spin counterclockwise.  When the temperatures outside begin to drop again, simply switch the direction so that the blades turn clockwise.  This draws the cooler air upward and pulls the warmer air that hangs out near to the ceiling (hot air rises naturally, while cool air falls) downward.  While many newer models have this function programmed and easy to change via remotes, if your home boasts some older models, you may have to bust out the step ladder and perform the operation manually.  Either way, this is a simple chore, with the oh-so-appealing price tag of $0.00 that can make a major impact in keeping you cool and content as the summer stretches on.