A Dozen Foolproof Ways to 'Summerize' Your Home & Car

We all know how important it is to prepare your home and vehicle for the winter months. Especially when you live in a colder climate.

What often gets overlooked is the importance of preparing your home and car for the summer months. Depending on which part of the country you live in, summer can be rougher on energy bills and car maintenance than winter. 

And even if it isn't where you live, it's still a good idea to take care of a few things prior to higher temps settling in. 

Today, I want to give you 12 foolproof ways to "summerize" your home and car so they will be ready to handle the heat. 

Home is where the clutter is

Let's start with your home because unless you're a traveling salesperson, you'll undoubtedly spend more time there than in your vehicle. 

Spring cleaning. With about six weeks until summer, there is plenty of time for this activity. But go beyond surface dirt and do some deep cleaning. Some items that look OK in dim light, such as carpets and drapes, probably need a thorough cleaning due to accumulating dust. Also, wash the blankets you're about to toss into a linen closet until fall. The kitchen and bathrooms are probably also in need of some scrubbing, especially in hard-to-see areas. 

Change filters. This is something you should do year-round, every month or two, but it's easy to forget. The furnace filter and clothes dryer are two of the most important filters to change regularly. By the way, you don't need expensive filters. Some of them are too thick for proper air circulation, so aim for medium or lower-priced filters. 

Remove clutter. It's amazing how much stuff we accumulate that we don't really need. Over the winter, we toss a lot of stuff into piles that we should be tossing into the garbage. This is a great time to get rid of things that are just taking up space. 

Moving to the outside of your home...

Get your grill ready. The more often you grill, the less often you'll use your oven in the warmer months. And that will help keep your indoor temperature cooler. If you need to scrape junk off your grill from last season, use metal brushes and dish soap.    

Clean out gutters. Depending on when the last time was that you did this, it could be a very messy chore. But that just means it really needs to get done to avoid water backups and moisture penetration. While cleaning, look for damaged areas that may need to be caulked.   

Paint lightly. And by that I mean, paint the outside of your home with light colors, which will help reflect the light of the sun rather than absorb it. And that will help keep your home cooler this summer. Light-colored curtains and blinds will serve the same purpose. 

OK, now for preparing your vehicle for the summer: 

Check your battery. Did you know that heat can be harder on batteries than cold? Air conditioning, cooling fans, and even a stereo system can wear down a battery. Look for signs of wear and tear, and think about a replacement if it's four years old or more. 

Check your brakes. This is one part of your vehicle you don't want to mess with, regardless of the time of year. If the pads are wearing down, ask a mechanic how much more use you should get out of them and err on the side of caution.

Replace faulty wipers. Yes, bad wipers are more dangerous in the winter than summer, but if you're driving through a heavy rainstorm, you need wipers that will fully clear your windshield on every pass. Visibility is the key to safe driving.

Update your emergency road kit. If you used any of the items in your kit during the winter or this spring, this is a good time to replace them before you need them. Your kit should include flashlights, spare tire kit, water, and a blanket. And make sure your car insurance card is accessible in your glove compartment, as it will probably include a roadside assistance number.

Maintain your tires. Next time you get an oil change, consider a tire rotation as well. This will aid both performance and safety. We know that cold weather lowers tire pressure, but we tend to forget that hot weather can increase tire pressure to a dangerous level, so keep an eye on that.   

Top off fluid levels. In addition to changing your oil, make sure your vital fluids are topped off as well. Such as air conditioning coolant, transmission fluid, and brake fluid.    

The perfect meal replacement

One of the most important things you can do to get your car ready for summer is to make sure it has some food stockpiled in it in case you get stranded somewhere.

Of course, not a lot of foods are going to stay edible in a car that is often hot on the inside before you get in and crank up the AC.

But one food with a long shelf life that will stay good in extreme temperatures is Emergency Food Bars from 4Patriots. 

These delicious, ready-to-eat "survival cookies" have a lemon-shortbread flavor our customers can't get enough of. They are a great meal replacement in an emergency.

Designed to last five years under proper storage conditions, they are also non-thirst provoking.

Sealed in Mylar pouches, you can keep them anywhere you might get stranded. Such as your car, boat, RV, or cabin.

Here's how to get yours...

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