Summer Fun: Home Maintenance Edition

One of the best ways to be a good neighbor is to keep your own home running in top-notch shape. Each season comes with its own list of pertinent home maintenance tasks. To help make your summer upkeep a breeze and keep your community looking sharp, the Habitat Chicago Construction Crew Leaders have assembled the list of jobs they make certain to get done at their own homes this time of year. And if you're interested in taking your home maintenance knowledge to the next level, keep on reading to learn more about our Volunteer Crew Leader program.


Our Crew Leaders responded almost unanimously with what they do each summer to keep their houses in superb condition:


• Change your air filters

o Did you know that you should change the air filters in your house every one to three months? Heating and cooling make up around 50% of your energy bills and having an old air filter can decrease the efficiency of your HVAC system by up to 15%.

o Changing them is easy, too. Buy your air filter, find your hood, and then swap them out! There’s nothing like a breath of fresh air during a hot, summer day.


• Service your lawn mower

o Getting your blades sharpened and oil changed means less running around in 90 degree weather and less fuel consumed.

o Service your mower at the beginning of each summer for smooth sailing week after week.


• Change the batteries in your smoke and CO2 detectors

o We’ve all struggled to find that one beeping CO2 detector in the middle of the night. Change the batteries in your smoke detectors once a year to avoid getting woken up again (well, unless it’s a true emergency, that is).

o It’s always smart to have a couple extra D batteries around the house, just in case!


• Clean your gutters

o Clean gutters serve to control the flow of rainwater to protect your roof, walls, foundation, and landscape from flooding. Gunked-up gutters can become homes for rodents, pests, and mold.

o We know cleaning out your rain gutters is never a fun task, but spending an hour now could save you hundreds of dollars down the line. Start at the downspout and clear out the debris one handful at a time.


• Trim your branches

o Trimming dead branches lessens the potential for fire damage, reduces the risk of falling branches, helps keep away mold, and looks great too.

o Find a ladder, grab some sheers, and get going, but be careful not to damage the trunk!


Finished with this list and want to learn more? Well, great news! We are currently recruiting individuals to join our Volunteer Crew Leader Program. Once a month, our Volunteer Crew Leaders from all across the city gather on the Habitat Chicago build site to learn a new skill from the Habitat construction staff, then commit to teaching those newfound skills to other Habitat volunteers.


Through consistent, enthusiastic willingness to share their time and talents, our Volunteer Crew Leaders are a critical unit of the Habitat Chicago team, helping to build homes safely and efficiently while inspiring confidence and camaraderie in all those who visit our build site.


If you’re interested, you can learn more about the volunteer Crew Leader responsibilities and benefits here. And if not, that is a-okay, too. You can build a healthier Chicago just by staying on top of the needs of your own home.



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