Technically, summer won’t begin for a couple of weeks (although the 90 degree weather this past week says otherwise in our opinion). Nevertheless, it sent us rummaging for useful tips for coping with the Grand Forks area’s hot weather. Most everyone can guess the commonsense ones, like the NAR’s number one Home Showing Tip in Hot Weather: “Keep the house cool;” or the lead safety tip from the National Weather Service: “Stay out of the sun.”
Seriously, here are some ideas that don’t appear often. Some are only applicable in special instances, but all of which make a lot of sense:
1. Comb your fins. This tip for coping with heat spells has nothing to do with keeping any tropical fish well-groomed: it’s about your air conditioner. You’ve probably noticed that the sharp metal ridges that populate the exit side (the “fins”) are easily bent: just brush up against them, and they crumple. The problem is that when bent, they retard airflow. What you probably didn’t know is that there is actually a tool called a “fin comb” to straighten the condenser fins. Sub-tip: turn off the power before you comb.
2. Vacuum the pollen. This tip for summer pollen is already applicable here in Grand Forks, where springtime pollen is equally evident. The idea is to vacuum the front door flashing and window jamb crevices where pollen lurks, eliminating lingering allergy or asthma issues.
3. Rethink expensive suntan lotions. I can’t vouch for this one (I don’t have the lab equipment to test out CR’s findings)—but was surprised that Consumer Reports says that WalMart’s in-store brand (“Equate”) tests highest for effectiveness and lowest in price (less than half of some). If true, it might be practical to leave those fancy French-sounding versions in the shade.
4. When the house is empty, don’t turn the A/C off. Instead, set the thermostat up a few notches so that the place doesn’t absolutely bake. Sub-tip: when you enter a too-hot home, resist the temptation to set the thermostat ‘way cold: it won’t cool the house any faster.
5. Plant for shade. This is a strictly long-term tip, yet it’s one that’s probably the most valuable of the lot. Homeowners whose roofs and walls are shaded by majestic trees and plantings have the best of it: lower cooling bills and the pleasure of shady porches and yards. When you are thinking about improving your Grand Forks area home’s landscape profile, this is the tip to remember!
6. Visit the grocery store. A lot. The wikiHow site explains that not only are grocery stores air conditioned (they are here in Grand Forks, though that’s not universally true)—but for extra chill, you can “visit the freezer section and peruse for a while.”
All right—we admit we threw in wikiHow’s tip to round out the half-dozen. Another summertime tip that you could take advantage of right now, before Grand Forks’s summer solstice arrives to kick off our true summer: give us a call if you’re ready to plan your next real estate venture!