Check your home’s smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they’re working properly.
Prep air conditioners and fans for their busiest season
- Install window air conditioning units
- Remove and clean the filters before firing up the AC
- If you have central air conditioning, consider a professional servicing
- Clean all ceiling fans and other fans with a damp rag
- If you have high ceilings, a ceiling-fan duster can help you de-grime hard-to-reach blades
Enjoy a dry spell
Install an outdoor clothesline to dry your laundry in the summer sun — you’ll save money and energy by skipping the dryer. Plus, who doesn’t love the smell of air-dried sheets?
Clean your outdoor cooker
Gas grills: Turn the heat up to high and let the grill cook with the lid closed for about half an hour. Allow the grill to cool, then brush it off with a grill brush. Wipe down the exterior with a damp sponge and a gentle cleanser. Clean the grill’s drip pans.
Charcoal grills: Completely empty the grill and wipe out any ashy residue. Then clean it inside and out with hot water, a scrubby sponge and some liquid dishwashing soap. Let the grill dry completely before using it again.
Polish your porch
Thoroughly sweep painted porch floors, then mop them with an all-purpose cleaner. If there’s a lot of built-up dirt on the floorboards, you may need to scrub them with a brush.
Wash your windows
If you didn’t tackle exterior window washing in the spring, now’s a good time. Enjoy the view!
Make much ado about mulch
Add a layer of mulch to keep weeds down and help the ground retain its moisture in the heat. It’ll give your plants a chance to grow.
Be a leak detective
Check your hoses and exterior faucets for leaks — even a tiny drip can add up to a big waste of water. Pinhole leaks in hoses can be covered up by winding regular electrical tape around the (dry) hose in overlapping layers.
Primp your plants
Deadhead both perennials and annuals to keep them productive. Pull out any visible dead foliage from spring bulbs to maintain a tidy look, but leave any green daffodil or tulip leaves alone — they’re busy nourishing the bulb to bloom again next year.