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Prepare Your Home for Summer

You may have been ready for summer since January, but what about your home? Here are some great ways to efficiently prepare your home for the warm weather.

You should take advantage of every opportunity to open your windows and let in the fresh air. A great way to improve the air quality in your home is to add air-cleaning plants like snake plants, spider plants, English ivy and small-leafed rubber plants. Plants also add to the aesthetics in your home.

You'll love entertaining in this fabulous home featuring a gourmet kitchen and formal dining room that share a two-sided fireplace. There are plenty of outdoor living spaces including a lanai, grilling porch and in-ground pool.

Since cold drinks are a necessity in the summer, you'll want to make sure that your refrigerator is working properly. Now is a great time to break out the manual and clean your condensing coils. If your refrigerator is old, you might want to trade in your old model for a new ENERGY STAR® refrigerator. Many states offer appliance rebate programs to help save you money.

You don't want to miss out on enjoying the warm summer breezes, which is why you should clean, repair or replace your window and door screens.

The last time you probably had overnight guests was during the holidays, so now is a good time to spruce up your guest rooms. Simple things like changing the linens to a lighter fabric, adding new window treatments to let the sun and fresh air in and a really good cleaning will make this room fresh and inviting to summer guests.

While most of us can't get through the hot summer months without turning on the air conditioner, you can certainly help save energy costs by installing a ceiling fan wherever possible. Set the fan blades to revolve counterclockwise to force the hot air near the ceiling to mix with the lower, cooler air to help level out the room temperature.

Even the best cooling system will have difficulty operating at optimal efficiency if your windows allow the sunlight in. Install solar window treatments to help fight the sun. If replacing your windows is one of your upcoming home improvement projects be sure to install energy-efficient windows. That means they need to at least have double-pane insulated glass, heat-resistant (Low-E) glass coating, airtight frames and an ENERGY STAR® rating.

This contemporary house plan is designed for great outdoor living with a large covered patio featuring a kitchen and fireplace. The open kitchen and great room feature a stunning retractable glass wall by NanaWall®.

Getting your garage organized will make going to the park or spending a day at the beach a lot easier and enjoyable if you know where everything is. They're plenty of storage solutions available in various price points at most home improvement, hardware and retail chains.

If you're like most homeowners, you enjoy cooking out so make sure you have all your grilling essentials in order. Don't wait for that first barbeque to find out your propane tank is empty.

After being unused during the cold months you will need to do some cleaning and preparation so you can enjoy your backyard swimming pool all summer long. Be sure to stock up on filters and chlorine.

Don't let the setting sun end your time outside. By adding outdoor lighting you can turn your patio or deck into an outdoor room that you can enjoy. Look for energy efficient fixtures like solar and low voltage lights. For added ambience try lanterns, a wood-burning stove, fireplace or fire pit.