Is Your Property Ready for the Dog Days of Summer?

Is Your Property Ready for the Dog Days of Summer? (Source: - used as royalty free image)

Ah, the dog days of summer – the best of times or the worst part of the year, depending on which Chicagoan you ask (and on whether it happens to be 95 degrees or not).

While you may be relaxing by the lake or grilling out with neighbors, it’s important to make sure that your home is as well-equipped for the heat and humidity of the summer season as you are. Here are three big ways to make sure your property is ready for whatever this summer has to throw at it:

Concentrate on Your Curb Appeal

The summer months, with their long days and gorgeous, sunny weather, can be the perfect time to turn your attention the outside of your home, taking on the curb appeal-boosting projects that you may have put off during the cold winter or rainy spring.

There are all sorts of things you can do to improve your home’s exterior when you have the time and motivation, from little tasks to more intensive, long-term projects. Maybe now is the time to turn your attention to your landscaping, and add a new garden or improve an old one? Could you take advantage of the sunshine to do those maintenance tasks you’ve been putting off, like cleaning the gutters or patching up any cracks in your foundation? Perhaps it’s time to replace your doors or windows with more attractive, energy-smart makes and models? Or maybe it’s time to dream big and completely re-imagine the outdoor parts of your home, making them more pet-friendly or adding some appealing, internationally-flavored decorative elements?

The choice is yours! Any little updates you make during the summer will only continue to pay off – in terms of comfort, safety, and savings – as we ease back into fall and winter in a few short months.

Consider Some Energy-Saving Upgrades

The dog days of summer are notorious for heat and haze. A lot of us tend to fight back against the weather with everything we’ve got – by plugging in fans, running our HVAC systems non-stop, and staying in marathon-ing TV on Netflix, rather than going out into the sultry air.

All of this activity adds up, and your creature comforts could end up costing you big-time on your next power bill. As you settle into the lazy days of summer, take stock of how you’re using energy in your home, and be sure to research all of the ways that you can do better. And we don’t mean that you have to turn off the TV or turn off that AC! Instead, there are all sorts of painless steps you can take to dramatically reduce your energy consumption, making your home more sustainable as you see the perks for your pocketbook.

First and foremost, we encourage you to reach out to your energy company about “jump-starting” the savings in your home with programmable thermostats, CFL lightbulbs, and smart power strips, all of which you can set and forget, and generally get your hands on for free! If you’re looking to be a little more active, you can also take some time to add some attic or basement insulation and fix the gaps in your doors and windows, as these are the areas that often allow cold air to escape, driving up your power bills while lowering your comfort level.

Cut Back on Your Wasted Water

When the air conditioner fails, a lot of us try to beat the heat by running water. Before you start chugging ice water or filling up inflatable pools for the kids, take stock of the way you’re using water around the house, and make the simple fixes that can reduce your water bill – and help protect the planet – all year long.

Here are a few surefire ideas for getting started, courtesy of our friends, the local service gurus at J. Blanton Plumbing:

  • Have a pro come repair or replace your leaky faucets or running toilets, as these can waste thousands of gallons of water a year
  • Reuse water around the house; collected rainwater or shower water can easily be used to water plants, for example
  • Insulate your pipes and water heater
  • Replace old or outdated showerheads with low-flow models, and improve the water pressure from your sink – without increasing your expenditure – by adding new aerators
  • Turn off your water supply when you leave for vacation

We hope you and yours are enjoying this one-of-a-kind Chicago summer! If you’re ready to move before the hot weather strikes back in a year or so, now is the time to start the home buying or selling process. Drop us a line today to get the conversation started!

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Chicago, IL 60614

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