How to Get Your House and Yard Ready for Summer Heat

May 19, 2015

It’s that time of year again: the kids are anxiously awaiting the end of a long school year, and the temperatures are already rising! Summer is here, and if you’re a native of Arizona or have lived here in the summer, you know what that means: extreme temperatures and monsoons. It also means planning vacations out-of-state so you can get a break from the heat.

Just like you prepare for summer activities and getaways, you should also prepare your house and yard for the summer heat! In this article you’ll find tips to get your home ready so you can stay cool inside and enjoy your beautiful yard while you’re outside grilling dinner or swimming in the pool.

The A/C unit

The most valuable piece of equipment in your home, hands down, is the air conditioning unit! It’s what makes living here in Arizona possible. To keep it running smoothly and prevent it from dying on a scorching summer day, there are a few things you can do right now.

Replace the air filter

Air filters need to be replaced often here in Arizona; every one to three months is what’s typically recommended. We live in a dry, dusty environment, and that dust ends up in the air filter! A dirty filter restricts air flow and affects the efficiency of your air conditioning unit. Fortunately, it’s quick and easy to replace the filter. You can do it yourself! Your A/C will be ready for the long summer season once you finish this quick task.

Get a professional tune-up

A professional A/C tune-up is highly recommended by the U.S. Department of Energy as well as APS and SRP (local utility companies), and should be done at least annually. An HVAC expert will make sure the unit is running safely and efficiently, and identify any issues before they cause problems. Schedule an appointment as soon as possible, before their busy season arrives!

Check for air leaks around the house

Air leaks make it harder for your air conditioner to cool your home. Check the areas around doors and windows for cracks or gaps. Replace broken weather-stripping, use caulk to fill any holes, and replace seals around plumbing fixtures.

Lawn & Garden

Here in the desert, your lawn and garden need extra TLC during the summer. Prepare your lawn and garden for the summer heat with the following tips.

Lawn Care

  • Water during the early morning hours to minimize water lost to evaporation. Any time before 10 AM is best.
  • If you have Bermuda grass, now through June is the best time to aerate your lawn. A manual aerator is all you need for a small lawn.
  • Mow the lawn regularly to keep grass healthy and prevent weeds from growing. Check the mower blade; if it’s dull and thin, it’s time to replace it.
  • If you have a drip system, inspect the drippers every other day or so to make sure none of them have popped out. The sun and heat make hoses softer, which can cause them to pop out of place.

For tips on efficient irrigation for your lawn now, and any time of the year, read The Benefits of Efficient Irrigation.

Garden Care

  • Keep the plants in your flower bed cool by applying mulch wherever the sun shines directly on dirt. Mulch can also help prevent weeds from growing!
  • Get rid of weeds (before they get out of hand!) using a hoe, shovel, or bare hands. A good time to do this is in the morning after the lawn and garden have been watered and the soil is moist.
  • Move potted flowers or other sensitive plants out of direct sunlight and water twice per day, as needed, to keep them healthy and vibrant.
  • Prune shrubs to get rid of any frost-damaged leaves from the winter and encourage new growth.
  • Plant annuals that can take the summer heat, such as summer snapdrapons, sunflowers, and lantanas.
  • Are you growing vegetables? To prepare for a bountiful harvest come fall, plant cantaloupe, pumpkin, and winter squash in your vegetable garden now!

For more tips on maintaining a healthy lawn and garden, check out the article Arizona Lawn Care Tips.

The Grill

Now is the perfect time to prepare your grill for hamburgers, hot dogs, and lots of delicious barbecue dinners. Using the grill instead of the oven will save you some money on the A/C bills, and there’s nothing like meats and vegetables grilled to perfection!

Here are a few tips to get your grill ready for the season and keep it clean after every use:

  • Inspect the burners thoroughly and remove any old food items from the grill.
  • Do a full cleanout of the grill, scraping off any burnt pieces and food particles with a wire brush.
  • Clean the lid with a wet, soapy sponge to remove stains.
  • Check the gas levels in your propane tanks. If they’re getting low, stop by Shoppers Supply to refill them—so you don’t run out of gas in the middle of cooking dinner!
  • After each use, clean your gas grill with a dry wire brush (make sure the burners are off first), and spray the grates with a cooking oil.
  • Use a grill brush that dispenses water for easy steam-cleaning of your charcoal grill. Clean this type of grill while it’s still warm.

Ready for a new grill? Check out our article on 5 Ways to Cook Your Dinner Outside for a comprehensive guide!

Other ways to prepare for summer

After you get the big jobs done, there are a few more things you can do to prepare your house for the summer:

  • Stock up on flashlights and batteries in case the power goes out during the night. High electricity usage during the summer can lead to intermittent blackouts here in the valley!
  • Invest in electric fans to circulate air throughout your house.
  • Install an awning. Shade helps your home stay cool, so if you don’t have many trees that provide heavy shade or a patio cover, an awning is a great solution.
  • Install window shades or mini blinds on your home’s windows.
  • Keep curtains closed on south and west-facing windows during the day.

With these tips, you’ll ensure you have a great summer season, and you’ll even save some money on your electricity bills!

Beat the heat at Shoppers Supply

Get ready to beat the heat this summer by visiting your local Shoppers Supply! We have all the supplies you need to keep your yard looking great, as well as air conditioning filters and fans to keep you cool and comfortable while in the house. Stop by our Apache Junction or Chandler location today!