Keeping Your House Cool In The Summer Heat

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Summer in El Dorado County…

El Dorado County goes from El Dorado Hills up to Tahoe, so we have quite a variety of average summer high temperatures. I live right in the middle and while I love that it’s cooler than the Sacramento valley, there are a couple of weeks in August when I prefer to just stay cool indoors with the evaporative cooler running. I know there are a lot of homes in El Dorado county without air conditioners, and I feel for you, especially in August!

flickr photo credit: vagawi
flickr photo credit: vagawi

No AC? No Worries. Really.

It’s no mystery, when showing houses, that some houses without an air conditioner are far cooler than others. Many variables which range from construction to landscaping and decorating all play a role in whether or not these homes stay comfortable or make you sweat. If a potential buyer is sweating while walking through your house, chances are they won’t want to buy it unless they can afford and don’t mind the effort of upgrades that will keep the house cool.

Contact me, John Conca; 530-306-3494, if you are searching for a home anywhere in El Dorado county, or if you are ready to sell your home. I’d be happy to discuss your options with you. You can find new Placerville listings here.

Keep Your House Cool In The Summer Heat

Smart Construction

  • Roofing material plays a major part in how cool your home stays. Cool Roofs can keep your roof 50-60F degrees cooler than conventional roofing materials. Be mindful though, these roofs do not help the house stay warm in the winter. Note: As of July 1, 2014 if you replace your roof the County will require Cool Roof Tiles. They reflect most of the sun’s heat so your home is  more energy-efficient in summer. If this is not an option for you then your attic space needs to be minimum R-30 and all ducting must meet SEER 13 standards set by title 24 (doing this would help in both winter and summer). Read about the changes here.
  • Though a raised foundation is often preferred due to the increased storage area, a slab foundation can keep the house much cooler and is less expensive.
  • Proper insulation is a key to keeping your house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Call your favorite contractor if you need to check your insulation for accurate answers. (Mine is Abby Palmer, 530-391-3268.)
  • If you think your home may be leaking air then you can follow this tutorial for sealing air leaks in your home.
  • Upgrade your A/C unit if you have one, or buy one if you don’t and if it’s within budget. The newer systems are more efficient and less expensive to run.

Landscaping Helps

flickr photo credit: Fiona Shaw
flickr photo credit: Fiona Shaw
  • Plenty of trees around help shade your home from the sun. Planting deciduous trees offers smart shade because their leaves shade you in the summer and fall away so your home receives more sun when it is desired in the winter. When you sign up for an Arbor Day membership ($10) they will ship you 10 flowering tree saplings for free to plant around your home.
  • Plant trees or vines on trellises near windows in the path of the summer sun to shade your windows from direct sunlight.

Seasonal Décor

  • Add an awning to your patio or buy an inexpensive and attractive shade sail to keep the sun off of your patio, windows and walls.
  • If you have hard floors, especially tiles, then lift the rugs off of them clearing as much as the floor as you can and let a fan blow over the floors (a ceiling fan works very well too) to spread the cooler air throughout the house.
  • Install lockable screen doors on exterior doors. As the temperature finally goes down outside, sometimes the indoors are then more humid and benefit from the cross-currant of air, even if it’s still several degrees warmer outside.
  • Never underestimate the power of a fan. Ceiling fans are indispensable and a whole house fan is a very wise purchase, but even portable fans and box fans can make a huge difference in your comfort. In the evening your house will feel much cooler if you place a fan in front of an open window, especially of windows on the other side of the house are open. Remember to turn fans off as you leave rooms or the house. The fan motor actually warms the air and doesn’t lower the temperature in a room; it’s the movement of the air over your skin that makes you feel cooler.

Self Care For Staying Cool

flickr photo credit: Karen and Brad Emerson
flickr photo credit: Karen and Brad Emerson
  • Dress in light, breathable, widely woven clothes to let the air through. If it’s very dry then covering your skin will help shade your skin from the outdoor heat which can keep you cooler.
  • Drink plenty of water. The more hydrated you are the better your body can regulate its own temperature.
  • Eat cucumber. Cucumber added to water or eaten during a meal will help your body keep cool. Cucumbers are loaded with water, potassium, and electrolytes to keep you hydrated. They’re also very rich in vitamin C and caffeic acid, both compounds help prevent water retention on hot days.

Thank you for stopping by! Please feel free to browse my website. Follow my blog for updates on local events, real estate news, timely home maintenance suggestions and tips for buyers and sellers. Enjoy your day.





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