Spring cleaning can be a pain, but a few quick maintenance steps now will save you energy costs and hassle all summer long. To remind yourself of which jobs have been done before and which still need to be accomplished, keep an up-to-date checklist on hand.

Whether you’re planning to spend your summer weekends at the cabin or at home, here are a few summer-izing tips to get ready for the warmer months.

1. Open the windows. After a long winter, the air inside your house or cabin can become stale, dry and dusty. Open the windows to allow cross-ventilation on a breezy day and help air out the house.

2. Adjust the programmable thermostat. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save 5% to 15% on your cooling bills by raising the temperature setting on your thermostat when you are away and don’t need cooling. Try to only lower the setting to 78 degrees when you are home and need the A/C in the summer.

3. Cook on the Grill. Cooking or baking in an oven can add extra heat. Instead, pull out the grill for some fresh and tasty food. Check out my post on grilling safety for some quick tips. As far as other large appliances go, try to only use washers, dryers and dishwashers at night to conserve energy and reduce extra heat during the day.

4. Change the direction of your ceiling fans. Most ceiling fans have a winter and a summer setting. Make sure fans rotate in a counterclockwise direction during the summer to help circulate cool air.

5. Clean the fans. Both ceiling and portable fans should be cleaned for maximum efficiency and minimum dust. Make sure to turn off fans when you leave the house.

6. Run the water. If you turned the water off in your cabin for the winter, be sure to run every faucet until you see clear water come through. In addition, listen carefully and look for any leaks in the pipes or fittings.

7. Check the pilot light. If your cabin has a propane appliance and you turned off the gas supply line or the pilot when you closed the cabin up, contact your propane retailer or a qualified service technician to conduct a leak check before the propane is turned on and to re-light the pilot lights. Click here for an informative brochure on propane safety.

8. Check the heat at the cabin. Have a qualified service technician perform an inspection of your furnace and appliances to address any issues. Replenish your stock of dry firewood for those cool summer nights and campfires. You’ll be glad you did so on those chilly evenings.

9. Check the filters. Both heating and cooling systems require air filters. Check for dirt and grime and be sure to replace as needed. Washable home furnace filters can be reused—these only need to be replaced every few years and can help save you money in the long run.

10. Fill the fuel. If the fuel is low, fill it now to save time later, particularly if you plan to use the cabin come fall.

Click here to learn more about using propane as a heating source for your home or cabin this year. Don’t hesitate to contact your local propane supplier with any specific questions.

Remember, if you’re spending an extended time away from home, be sure to set a home security alarm and have a trusted friend, neighbor or family member check on your house while you’re away. Don’t leave valuables in plain sight and install light timers for extra security.

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