During Summer in the City of San Francisco, we are often reminded how rarely any of us use air conditioning. #Karlthefog moves in around most of the summer months anyway, and eventually a peninsula breeze can cool your house down. However, if you live in and maintain a Victorian or Edwardian home, with charming period details, you are often are faced with special architectural details that make keeping the house cool especially important when there are those few hot days in late September and October. The original buildings in San Francisco were designed to be sturdy, and breathe naturally – maintaining an average cool temperature from the inside without air conditioning – unlike a slab foundation or attic that typically serve for the climate in the central valley or other parts of California Real Estate. Therefore, it is best to work with the natural layout and flow of the building to keep it cool.

For those days when you are at work and wish to come home to a refreshing home to sleep in; or you are working from home and wish to keep the place cool, here are #7 tips for staying comfortable:

  • Keep the heat out; Draw the shades in the sunniest areas of the home so that the sunbeams don’t have a chance to warm the furniture, the rugs, and the wood floors…[this can often raise the inside temperature more than the outside and it will later be more difficult to cool down.] Lace curtains can reveal light, yet reflect it also – preventing it from getting too hot inside. Accordion blinds can block moving sun particularly well and preserve privacy.
  • Create a cross-breeze; open a few of those double-hung windows from the top so that the hot air can escape and cool air can be drawn-in from below. Opening windows or doors from both sides of the house (especially the shady side) can help create a natural draft (even if it’s ever-so-slight).
  • Buy a ceiling fan for the tallest ceiling or largest room or foyer. This can be placed into reverse direction to pull down warm air, or pull-up cool air from below.
  • Use a box fan in the top of the double-hung window (or the bottom) to circulate the air while pulling in fresh air too.
  • Turn off the lights, and any extra computer, printers, the television and /or cable TV & internet box; cut the power to anything the ‘always runs’ and you will likely dampen the emitted heat from your electronic devices. To accomplish the greatest savings of energy, it is best to remove the plug from the socket. CFL bulbs emit less heat too, along with using less power.. (something to keep in mind)
  • Use lightweight, cotton sheets on the bed, of a light color, to promote ventilation and breathing while you sleep
  • Cook minimal in the oven or on the stove; eat fresh Watermelon and fruit, or better yet: batch cook so that you can nibble on cold food, ready-made from the refrigerator throughout the day and week.

What is #8? Do you have any additional tips that I might have missed?

Until the next weekend BBQ on the beach, let me know how you combat the heat while enjoying your home in the City by the Bay.