How can I maintain my home in the summer?

Memorial Day has come and gone, and with it the official introduction to the summer months. You may be wondering how to keep your home in the best of shape during this warm time (although around here, the real warm time probably won’t come until September), so wonder no more. Here are a few tips to help you preserve your property and even your sanity. No guarantees on the latter, though.

Help prevent house fires the easy way: clean your dryer vent. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, nearly 16,000 dryer fires occur on a regular basis. It’s easy to clean your vent: use a vent-cleaning brush kit. Start by using a smaller brush to remove as much dust and lint as possible, and then disconnect the duct to clean it as well. Finally, use a brush to clean the outside vent so that both ends are good to go.

Cleaning should also extend to your gutters, which accumulate both debris and water over the rainy months. To avoid water damage, get a ladder (don’t lean it against the gutter or near electrical wires) and scoop out debris as well as wet leaves. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, get a professional.

Want to save money while staying cool? Get a ceiling fan. By switching the fan’s blades so that the leading edge is higher with each turn of the fan, you’ll push down cool air, which in turn lets you set your air conditioning lower and cut your energy bills.

Finally, keeping your deck healthy is as easy as visually inspecting for curling, rotted or cracked wood. Also, be sure that the support structure is well maintained and keep an eye on the sealant or stain. Consider refinishing it annually to keep it looking great.

Dreaming of San Francisco? Cece Blase offers local advice to San Francisco buyers, sellers and owners– and feeds the dreams of those who wish they could live in Tony Bennett’s ‘City by the Bay.’ Call 415-577-0809 or email cblase@paragon-re.com. www.ceceblase.com