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Before your vacation plans, backyard cookouts (check out our Affordable Cookout Ideas), parties, and summer fun kicks into full swing, there are a few things you’ll want to consider to get your home in order for the summer season. From reducing your energy costs to staying cool, check out our list of house prepping items you will want to complete before the summer season hits.

Air Conditioningchanging_air_filterIs it time for a new air conditioning unit? For most of us, air conditioning is a must have in the hot summer months. When temperatures start spiking into the 90’s, it’s impossible to be comfortable inside your home. If you have an older A/C unit, you may want to have a professional stop by to ensure it’s in good working condition. Prices for central air conditioning units, including installation, can range from $2,000-$7,000 depending on the make and model you purchase. However, the best time to buy a new unit is in the fall or winter when the prices are lower. If your current unit is working well, change your filters each month and consider cleaning your air ducts to maximize air flow throughout your home.

Sprinkler Systems –An annual sprinkler system maintenance check will allow you to detect any leaks in your system and allow you to reposition your sprinkler heads if they are spraying on walls, sidewalks, or driveways. Remember, during the summer the best time to water your grass and plants is in the early morning, when the air is cool, or late evening, after the sun has gone down. If you are in the market to purchase a sprinkler system for your lawn, expect to pay anywhere from $2,000-$4,000 depending on the system and size of your lawn.

Become Energy Efficient – There are several things you can do to become more energy efficient this summer. Install a programmable thermostat to increase your comfort, control, and savings!  A programmable thermostat can help lower energy costs by allowing you to control when, and at what temperature, your cooling system is running at throughout the day. For example, during the day when your house may be empty, program your thermostat to turn off or increase its temperature to lower your energy costs. You can save as much as 20% on your annual energy costs by installing a programmable thermostat! Programmable thermostats range from $50-$200, depending on the make and model you purchase.  However, the amount of energy savings resulting from a programmable thermostat makes this purchase well worth the investment.

Deck Maintenance –If you own a deck, now is a good time to do some maintenance checks. Review your railings to make sure they are sturdy, check for any exposed nails, repair split wood, and inspect where your deck connects to your home to ensure it’s properly attached. power_washingBefore making any repairs, pressure wash your deck to remove dirt and wood fibers. After pressure washing, consider coating your deck with a clear wood preservative that contains a UV protector. This will protect your deck from the harsh summer sun and outdoor elements, as well as bring it back to life. If your deck’s color is still lacking, consider applying a stain. Staining is easy to do yourself, is relatively inexpensive, and can give your deck BIG curb appeal.

Windows and Screens – In the summer, you’ll want to keep the cool air in and the hot air out! In order to do this, routinely clean your windows and check for damage to the glass. You’ll also want to rinse your window screens, and check for damage to ensure proper air flow into your home. In addition, replace weather stripping if necessary to keep cool air from escaping. Just like in the winter months when warm air escapes, we want to do everything to keep cool air inside in the summer to reduce cooling costs.

When prepping your house for summer, don’t hesitate to call a professional for assistance when performing maintenance checks or if you run into an issue you cannot fix yourself. If you need help finding an accredited home improvement contractor, call your local Mariner Finance Branch and we can suggest one we work with. Lack of funds causing you to put off necessary repairs to your home? Don’t worry; we can help with that too!

This material was prepared for general distribution. Although all blog posts are intended to be accurate, the information and third-party links provided in the Mariner Finance’s blog are intended for general knowledge and educational purposes only without any warranties, implied or express, of any kind. The posts do not constitute investment, financial or other advice. Authors may or may not be licensed financial professionals; for specific advice, seek the input of a licensed and trained financial expert. Mariner Finance’s blog entries may also be viewed at www.pioneercredit.net and www.personalfinancecompany.com.

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