3 Home Maintenance Tips For Chicago Summers06/07/2016Richard Rampton In summertime, your biggest care should be about how many guests are coming to your summer party, and not how to handle sky high utility bills, a rotted deck, or a leaky appliance. Prevention is the key to summer home maintenance in Chicago. By inspecting and fixing little issues you find, you can prevent larger, more expensive projects down the line. Here’s 3 summer home maintenance tips that keep you in control of your house’s maintenance before bigger problems start.1. Make Your Home More Energy EfficientSummer is a great time in Chicago to increase your home’s energy efficiency so that you can keep the heat out and lower your energy bills. Start by checking your windows and doors for leaks that let air in. Put weatherstripping on doors or replace broken weatherstripping if you feel air coming through. Inspect your windows’ caulking for any missing pieces or cracks and replace it as needed.You can also lower your utility bill by purchasing an energy efficient window treatment like plantation shutters - and potentially qualify for a tax credit. Polywood® faux wood plantation shutters reduce the transfer of air through the glass in your windows. They’re 70% more energy efficient than traditional wooden shutters and 1600% more energy efficient than aluminum blinds which many homes currently use.2. Brighten Up Your Patios And Porches If you want to entertain on your patio or porch during the summer, check that it’s ready for guests. First, check your patio or deck for safety. Look underneath to see if there are any stairs, supports, or boards that need to be replaced because they’re broken or rotting. Then stain or seal your deck and patio to give it a fresh look and protect it from the hot summer sun and rain.Once you’ve replaced or repaired any soft boards and areas and sealed your patio, you’re ready for the fun part - making it shine. You can add interest to the windows and doors next to your porch and patio by adding window treatments such as plantation shutters for your french door or sliding doors or sidelight shutters. Then bring in your favorite patio furniture or a fire pit. Finally, landscape the edges of your porch or patio to make it more colorful.3. Maintain Large AppliancesAppliances that are broken or leak can put a stop to your summer activities. Here’s some things to check for with your major appliances to help them run smoothly:● Refrigerator. Clogged refrigerator coils make your fridge work harder and increase your utility bill. It’s easy to clean and vacuum them out. Begin by unplugging your refrigerator and then use your vacuum’s crevice tool (or a coil cleaning brush attachment) to vacuum out and unclog the coils.● Dishwasher. Inspect your dishwasher for any leaks or backed up water. Then deep clean and deodorize it by running a cycle with a cup of vinegar. You’ll also want to empty and clean the filter (which is underneath the spray arms in most models) with soap and water.● Washer and dryer. Check your washing machine hoses for any leaks, cracks, or bulges. Replace the hoses if needed. You should clean your dryer hose and exterior vent annually or hire a professional to do the job.Enjoy Your SummerBy keeping on top of your home and appliances, you can enjoy a relaxing summer. And if you want to give your house a fresh look this summer with window treatments for your patios, dining rooms, or living rooms, look through our idea gallery and then call us for a free in-home consultation at 847-250-6544. We’ll show you all your window treatment options in Chicago and do all the work and installation so you can sit back and enjoy your summer.