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Seasonal maintenance

If you’re not careful, basic and seasonal home maintenance can cost you a pretty penny and a lot of time. By taking a few steps to inspect your environment, you can simplify these tasks and reduce your costs.

Air conditioning

•Have air conditioning systems professionally inspected and cleaned before the season.

•Keep the area around the exterior condensing unit clear of obstructions to ensure adequate airflow.

•Clean or replace the air conditioner filter monthly to save up to 10 percent on your bill.

•Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for unit maintenance.

•If your air conditioning system breaks down, a home warranty can help protect you from unexpected repair costs. It covers the repair or replacement of many of the most common home system component breakdowns regardless of age, and can be purchased any time, not just when a home is bought or sold. Last summer, American Home Shield responded to nearly 700,000 requests for air conditioning repairs during record-breaking heat waves. To learn more about home warranties, go to www.youtube.com/theahsteam.

Termites

Termites cause more than $5 billion in annual damage across the country. Unfortunately, termite destruction can go unnoticed for years and is rarely covered by homeowners insurance.

“If you detect a termite swarm, it could mean your house has already suffered damage,” Terminix entomologist Paul Curtis says.

While eliminating termites requires the help of a trained professional, there are ways to make your home less inviting to these wood-destroying pests:

•Fix roof and plumbing leaks.

•Clean gutters to avoid water accumulation near the foundation.

•Don’t pile mulch, firewood or soil against your house, which can hide termite activity and allow easy access into the home.

•Prompt treatment and annual inspections can save thousands of dollars in damage repair.

For more information on this year’s termite swarm season or to schedule an inspection, go to www.terminix.com.

– StatePoint

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