SUMMER HOME MAINTENANCE TIPS

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Temps start to soar when days start to get longer. Stop your energy and water bills from soaring, too, with these summer home maintenance tips:

#1 Stop Buying Cheap Tools

Repairs and home improvement projects go much smoother with quality tools — and you’ll like the results more. Take advantage of sales to buy quality brands for less or buy used tools at a local auction or estate sale. Then ditch those make-do tools that have always frustrated you.

#2 Stop Heat-Drying Your Dishes

You’re already paying extra to pump cool air into your house. Don’t pay even more to use the heat-dry setting on your dishwasher. It can double your electrical load.

Instead, open the dishwasher immediately after it runs, and pull out the racks. The evaporating steam will speed-dry the dishes. Some dishwashers have an air-dry button that will automatically prevent heat drying.

#3 Stop Watering Your Lawn So Much

Lawns are a bit picky about their drinking schedule. Rather than daily soaks, they prefer deep, infrequent watering, which promotes deeper root growth. In general, lawns need about 1 inch of water per week. In a well-watered lawn, you can stick a screwdriver 6 to 8 inches into the dirt without resistance.

#4 Stop Putting Bricks in the Toilet

Summer may be water-conscientiousness season but putting a brick in your toilet is the wrong means to that well-meaning end. Brick crumbles when exposed to water for too long. Instead, switch to a high-efficiency toilet. At $100-$300 per toilet, the $230 annual water savings is worth it. Or just swap your brick with a half-gallon milk jug filled with sand.