Summer Home Maintenance

Summer is just around the corner! To keep your home in tip top shape, here are a few tasks to make time for this season:
  • Prep for cooling season by cleaning ceiling fans and filters in air conditioning units
  • Install blinds (interior or exterior) to reduce the need for cooling systems
  • Stop the majority of summer dirt from entering your home with both an interior and exterior walk-off mat
  • Check for rot and any mold/mildew or pests in your basement, deck, and attic
  • Save money and energy by installing an outdoor clothesline and hang-drying your sheets, towels, and clothes in the sun
  • Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are working properly
  • If you didn’t get to washing your windows during the spring, now’s your chance
  • Have your roof and gutters cleaned
  • Plan and implement a summer schedule for landscaping and watering your lawn and plants
  • Clean and test (or consider professional service!) for the following: your range hood, bath fans, sump pump, wood stove, sprinkler system

Watering Wisely, Even in the Rain

Did you know that across the country, about 9 BILLION gallons of water are used for watering gardens and lawns every day?! By using the same practices that save water in the summer, we can keep our waterways and salmon healthy in the winter and spring. At the Natural Yard Care Series, King County provided tips for keeping rain gardens, watering the right amounts at the right times, and the benefits of compost and mulch. Making small changes in the ways we care for our gardens can have a big impact on our neighborhood waterways.

water collecting on side of the road

Read more here.

Save Water and See the Salmon!

When you work to conserve water at home, not only are you saving money on your bill, but you are also keeping water in our rivers for the salmon. This is especially important during the summer and fall, when our fish friends start their annual migration home. Want to bring your family to witness the salmon returning to spawn this fall? Visit the King County website to find out where!

Time to Replace Your Old Toilet?

toilet full of dollar billsDid you know that older, leaky toilets can use more than five gallons for each flush? That’s a real dent in your water and money-saving efforts! Newer, more efficient models use less than half that amount.

 

If you are a Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) customer, you are eligible for a $100 rebate toward the cost of a Premium toilet that uses 1.1 gallons per flush or less. See qualifying models and learn more here.

 

Waste-Free, Happy Plant Watering

As the summer sun beats down on our lawns and gardens, there is a choice to make….to water or not to water? Of course if you are growing veggies and fruits, the decision is clear….but watering grass and other perennials sometimes feels wasteful.

A cistern is a great way to make the choice easier. Cisterns capture rainwater from your roof and save it in an outdoor container, allowing you to tap into that water well into the summer, saving you money on your water bill.

Money isn’t the only thing you will save by using a cistern. Rain runoff is one of the biggest polluters of Puget Sound – rainwater comes from roofs and other surfaces, picks up oil, pesticides and other toxins on the street, and runs straight into the sound via the sewer system.

Happy Pocketbook + Happy Salmon = Happy Living

Capturing the rainwater either in a cistern or through the use of a rain garden filters the water before allowing it to slowly incorporate into the ecosystem – helping manage and filter toxins and beautifying our land. And Seattle’s Rainwise Program is still offering rebates of up to 100% (in qualifying regions) of the cost of installing a rain garden or cistern, depending upon how many square feet of water runoff is controlled by the project. Check it out to see if you qualify!

Mighty House’s Top 5 Tips for Reducing Outdoor Water Consumption in Summer

  1. Reduce the amount of lawn in your yard, let your lawn go dormant, or plant trees to shade your lawn
  2. Utilize native plants in your landscape design and consider installing functional raingardens to filter water runoff from the house and beautify your space
  3. Install and use a cistern
  4. Invest in a watering system that strategically waters plants – reducing the number of times you accidentally leave the sprinkler running for too long and allowing you to water during optimally cool times of day, even if you aren’t at home
  5. Use mulch to hold moisture and reduce the need for watering