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5 Easy Projects to Start Your Summer

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer here in Georgia.

If you’re like most Americans, you’ll spend a portion of the weekend barbecuing with family and friends. But the long holiday weekend is also a great time to knock out a few easy projects to improve your home’s energy efficiency this summer.

Here are five DIY projects you can complete before it’s time to break out the burgers.

INSPECT YOUR AIR CONDITIONER(S). Clean out or change all of the filters in your AC units. Then clean the vents both on the unit itself and in your home. Look for leaves and debris in the central air conditioner’s condenser unit. If it’s clogged, consult your owner’s manual or call a professional for cleaning. Cut and remove any weeds or vines that may obstruct airflow through the condenser unit.

CLEAN REFRIGERATORS AND FREEZERS. Wipe down interior surfaces of all refrigerators and freezers. Vacuum the condenser coils on the back or bottom of the appliance to clear out dust and gunk. Removing the dust and dirt will make it more efficient at keeping the inside of the refrigerator cold.

clogged dryer ventCLEAN DRYER VENT. The vent on a clothes dryer can become clogged with lint over time, causing the dryer to dry less efficiently and resulting in dangerous house fires. To clean, remove the outside cover on the vent, and use a special lint brush with an extendable handle to thoroughly clean the inside of the pipe.

TEST DOORS AND WINDOWS. Check for leaks through which cool air may escape – and then caulk or weatherstrip the gaps.

INSTALL A PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT. Experts say a programmable thermostat can save as much as 10 percent on cooling and heating bills. With units running from $30 to $300, there’s a model to fit every budget. An experienced DIY-er can install most models, however you may wish to watch an online tutorial before attempting the project.

You can complete all of these pre-summer chores over the Memorial Day weekend – and still have ample time to fire up the grill.