Apr 7, 2021

Home Maintenance

Get a Head Start on Shoulder Season

Before you spring into summer, here's how to make your home ready for warmer weather — inside and out.

We’re often most prepared for our homes to fight winter chill and beat summer heat – but what about the months where we can get both in the same day? You know, those days when people are sporting the classic Canadian shorts + parka combo. If it’s a confusing time to get your wardrobe right, it can be just as confusing to get your home’s settings right.

Here are some great tips for the spring shoulder season:

Be cautious before springing into summer settings

It can be tempting on the first warm week of the year to pack away your snow boots and switch everything in your home over to summer settings, but wait! We recommend keeping your humidifier on ‘winter mode’ with the humidity around 25-30% until we’re fully out of winter and your furnace is finally getting a well-deserved summer rest.

Likewise, use good judgment before activating your air conditioning; starting your A/C unit when it’s colder than 16 degrees can damage the unit. Instead, choose a comfortable setting (on auto, or let your smart thermostat do the thinking), then work those curtains and windows to find a happy balance and save on energy - swing them open to the sun on cool days and keep them closed on hotter days.

Prepare your home's exterior

Snow is clearing? It’s time for a walkabout! Look for damage, critters, and opportunities for energy loss. This is the exact time to be inspecting roofing and exterior – when you’re clear from snow and still susceptible to spring moisture.

Pro Tip: Use spring melt or rain to check your drain spout to track where the water's going. Make sure the spout didn't get bent out of shape in the winter and is now aimed at your foundation.

Your drain spouts should be angled so that the water drains 6 feet away from your home. Check your neighbour’s spouts too! They might be draining towards your home. If you need help knowing what to look for, you might want to a Ask a Home Inspector to take a look via video call.

Tackle the garage

The garage is the perfect spot for shoulder season projects. Say your farewells to winter by sweeping and washing out any salt deposits – removing mineral stains will keep your garage looking great and keep your floor from breaking down over time.

Take stock of what’s stored in your garage and remove junk that’s gathered there over the winter. Tidy and put away shovels and brushes. Pull down, inspect, repair and clean your summer tools now, so you’ll have them ready for that first big project.

Clean & swap your filters

Keep your A/C energy efficient by replacing the filters regularly. Clogged filters can make your air conditioner work 15% harder and decrease the life expectancy of your unit.

Pro Tip: Use a marker to write on the filter the date it went in, and the recommended date of removal. If you have pets, allergies, or live in a dusty area, your home may require an adjusted schedule, and these notes to yourself can save the guesswork.

While we’re talking filters, don’t forget to tackle vents in the kitchen and bathroom. You may also want to go all the way and get your ducts and furnaces professionally cleaned as well.

Solar energy

If you have solar panels, now's the time to get them cleaned so they're at their most efficient during the long summer days.

If you’re thinking of getting solar panels installed, this is the perfect time to get the ball rolling. Talk to your local installers or watch this video to see if going solar is the right choice for your home.

With these few tips, you'll be able to breeze through shoulder season. So pull on a pair of shorts, zip up your parka, and get your home ready for the sunny days ahead.

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