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If you’re a new homeowner, this may be your first summer in your new house, and one of the things you should be doing to take advantage of the warmer weather is replacing your glass windows with window screens, and adding screen doors to your entryways.

There are myriad advantages. First, they can limit sunlight and heat gain, which will lessen sun damage to furniture and floors, plus keep cooling costs at bay. They also allow plenty of fresh air, yet protect from bugs or debris getting into the house. Plus, an open window with a screen will allow far less water in during a downpour than one without a screen.

For those who purchased in the fall or winter, you may not have even thought of this, but the screens could be stored in the basement or garage. It’s rare for a home seller to take the screens with them, so they are most likely around.

Always start by cleaning the screens before putting them up. Simply spray them down with a hose before putting them in the windows and use some laundry cleaner to get out any tough dirt that may have built up. Once the screens are in for the season, use a duster to remove dirt or vacuum with the brush attachment to lightly go over the surface.

If you notice a small tear on the screen, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need a new one. Your local hardware store should have screen patch kits, and the mend is as simple as adhering it to the problem spot. A really small hole can be fixed simply by using clear-drying glue.

For those who do need a new screen, it’s not too expensive to replace but be aware there are lots of options. Window screens can be made of aluminum, fiberglass, metal wire, nylon or polyester, and depending on where in the home you’ll be adding them, different options work best for different rooms. Fiberglass is usually recommended for the main rooms of the house.

When it’s time to take out the screens come fall, place a piece of masking tape or other label on each one identifying what window it goes in (such as play room), so when it’s time to repeat next year, there’s no confusion.