Summer is officially upon us! There is a lot to do around the house if you haven’t already. Our homes take a beating in the fall and winter months, making spring and summer the best time to clean up and do some repairs. Also, living in Texas, we need to prepare our homes for the harsh summer heat. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

The Interior

· Change air filters and clean vents.

A good rule of thumb is to change your air filter at the beginning of every month, or at least every other month. The dust and dirt from outdoors easily make their way into our homes and circulates through our vents. Yuck! A clean air filter and vent will help to keep your family and home healthy. And a dirty filter causes poor air flow to the air conditioner (A/C), which left untreated could freeze it up.

· Change the direction of ceiling fans.

If you didn’t already do this in the spring, check to see if your fans are still running clockwise from the winter. Counter-clockwise pushes the air down and makes the room feel cooler by blowing on those sitting underneath it. I know a lot of us Texans never change the direction of the fan, but there are some people that actually do!

· Weather strip windows & doors.

Although this is a great tip for all seasons, it’s especially important in the summer! To avoid a high electricity bill from running the A/C constantly, check your windows and exterior doors for gaps. You can purchase weather stripping at Walmart or Lowe’s pretty inexpensively. This keeps the cold air from seeing out along with your hard-earned money.

The Exterior

· Power wash EVERYTHING.

From patios and decks to driveways to the full exterior of the house. It all needs a good wash! Rain, snow, ice and fallen leaves have left behind a lot of dirt and grime come spring and summer. You will be amazed at how much of a difference it can make. A good power wash doesn’t just make everything look nicer; it will extend the life of your outdoor areas.

· Caulk windows & doors.

This goes along with weather stripping the interior. Caulk doesn’t last a lifetime! You need to maintain the seal over the years. Hitting the areas that need it will save you money on your electricity bill. It also prevents water from coming inside and causing damage to walls and window framing.

The Yard

· Spray for bugs & pests.

As Texans we all know how pesky those darn bugs can be! But not only that, they can do some serious damage to the exterior and eventually the interior of your home. Protect your home by keeping them off the plants and trees that are close to the exterior. You can purchase safe pesticides from a local home store or call an exterminator that can set you up on a monthly or quarterly plan.

· Trim Trees

It’s always a great idea to keep your trees that are close to the home trimmed back so that limbs aren’t leaning against the roof or exterior walls. That’s an easy way to let those pesky bugs in. It also helps avoid damage to the roof. Not to mention, an unhealthy tree can fall on your house.

· Clean up the flower beds.

Yes, everyone’s favorite! Well, not really. Pull weeds, trim shrubs, add some flowers and new mulch. Don’t let your home look like a haunted house after the winter months. This tip won’t save you money or prevent damage, but it will make you happy. And a nicely maintained yard makes everyone happy!

There are a lot of other things that you could definitely do to bring your home back to life after winter, but this is a good place to start. Most of these ideas are things that should be done seasonally, if not more often. A small bonus tip to leave you with – have your A/C unit checked. You may need some simple maintenance that could save you tons of money later. You can extend the life of your home by taking good care of it.

About the Contributors: Ryan & Sunni Chester have established themselves as self-starting entrepreneurs with 19 years in the Oil & Gas Business, seven of those operating a lease in west Texas. They spent the last 15 years, owning and operating their own Oil & Gas Company. Ryan & Sunni also know about buying, renovating, and selling homes with a profit margin. Their personal experience of being on both sides of a transaction as a buyer or seller, multiple times, means that they intimately understand their client’s position. It is this empathy and knowledge that will work well for their clients during a sometimes stressful but exciting process. For anyone considering what the first step might be, Ryan & Sunni are your go-to team.