One of the great things about summer is that it’s nice enough out to allow for some of those do-it-yourself repair jobs, some of which can wind up saving you money over the winter by helping reduce energy bills.
One of the best places to start is windows and doors; both parts of your house that might be letting a lot of cold air in during the winter, and out during the summer. These are also places where you don’t need a professional repair person to come in and do it for you, as most of these kinds of repairs are relatively easy to do, don’t cost much and can be done with a minimum of tools.
For windows, the problem can be cracks in the sash, which is the part of the window sill that actually holds the window. If there are cracks, or if the window doesn’t seal well when closed, you could have a lot of air moving in and out, which can wreak havoc on your energy bills. Fixing these problems is sometimes as easy as applying some caulking; other times, you might have to replace the whole window, which isn’t really that difficult either.
Another place where air can get in and out is the doors that lead in and out of your house. These are probably some of the worst offenders when it comes to letting in cold air in the winter, and it’s also something that you needn’t let happen, as it’s not that hard to fix. In most cases, it’s just a matter of buying the molding that fits around the front, top and bottom of your door that helps to form a seal. Though, if your door doesn’t hang well to begin with, you might want to either re-hang it, or replace it altogether if it can’t be fixed. Doing either rarely requites more than a screw driver, some time, and some patience. If you do replace your door, be sure to buy one that has been energy approved.
Another part of your home that you might want to work on is the roof. If there is a problem, summer is the time to find it, because you really don’t want to be doing roof repairs when it’s cold and nasty out. Get up on the roof and walk around; look for shingles that need replacing, for weak spots under your feet as you walk (that indicate a leak that has rotted the wood underneath) and especially anyplace that joins any other. This is where most leaks happen. Fixing these generally means replacing the caulk, which is actually pretty easy to do. All you need is putty knife and pre-filled caulking gun.
Finally, summer is a good time to check out your chimney, because if it’s letting cold air come in when it’s closed, you really need to either clean it, fix it, or get a new on in there before it gets cold again.