When heat waves hit the Pacific Northwest it can be tough to stay cool in homes designed for a temperate climate! Here are some tips to help release the heat!
1. Close Your Windows
This may seem counter-intuitive, but closing your windows will help keep cool air in and hot air out. You can open them back up at night when the temperatures drop but then close them in the morning before leaving the house.
BONUS: Get a window fan that blows hot air out in the early evening & brings cool air in over night.
2. Let Nature Be Your Air Conditioner
With the help of fans of course! Strategically place fans throughout your home and open windows and doors to create a cross breeze if the air outside is cooler than inside. They have window fans that will work in both directions so you can blow hot air out and cool air in.
BONUS: Put a shallow bucket of ice in front of the fan, take caution of the water created from the melted ice.
3. Eat Cool
Turning the stove or oven on will only increase the temperature in your home. Eating cold foods for dinner such and salad or gazpacho can help to keep your core temperature down as well as your home temperature. If you do want to eat hot food the grill is the best way to go so all the heat will stay outside.
4. Hang Out in all the “Cool Places”
If you’re lucky enough to have shaded areas in your home or yard, or super luck and have a below-ground basement, try to spend most of your time in these spaces. That might mean moving y our computer to the kitchen table for the day, folding laundry in the living room, or prepping your dinner on the patio.
BONUS: Open windows + doors across rooms from each other to create a cross breeze.
In celebration of each Mighty House anniversary we make a donation to an outstanding non-profit in the area. We like to give back to this community which has given so much to us. There are so many organizations doing such great work it makes it very difficult to choose. In celebration of our 6th year in business we have chosen to donate to Homestead Community Land Trust.
Homestead’s mission is to empower individuals, stabilize families, and strengthen neighborhoods by creating and preserving affordable home ownership opportunities for low to modest-income homebuyers in the Seattle area. Through this program individuals and families are able to achieve homeownership and stay in their community – ever increasingly areas they may have otherwise been forced to leave due to rent increases. Homeownership helps to increase financial stability for these families because their resources are no longer tied up in commuting, paying high rent, or relocating frequently. And unlike the traditional housing market, homes purchased through Homestead remain affordable for every new buyer even when the previous owner decides to sell. Each dollar spent on a Homestead home is a lifetime investment towards sustainable homeownership and community stability. What is not to love about that! Learn more here.
This year’s West Seattle Summer Fest was a warm one! Although it was a bit too hot, we were grateful that it didn’t rain, as well as for the ability to connect with all our neighbors in West Seattle and beyond. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to say “hi!”
While temperatures reached into the low 90’s, Laura braved the GreenLife Stage to share information about “Building with Reclaimed Materials” (co-presented with Second Use Building Materials) and “Smart Home Maintenance.”
If you didn’t get a chance to catch Laura’s presentation on Smart Home Maintenance at the West Seattle Summer Fest, here are her tips. Enjoy
PS – We are always looking for ways to spread the good word about sustainable building and living. Please let us know if you you are involved with a community group that would appreciate hearing some tips on the topic.
Mighty House’s Tips for Smart Home Maintenance
- Keep it Local by actively seeking products that are ideally manufactured locally and sold by a locally owned business.
- No- or Low-VOC Paints are produced with less harmful chemicals and won’t make you or your family sick. Any manufacturer can color match these days, allowing quality to be your guide.
- Flooring such as bamboo, cork, FSC or reclaimed hardwoods, marmoleum (a non-toxic sheet material) and tile are easier to keep clean and don’t allow for build-up of toxins. If you must have carpet, use a super-dense, natural wool carpet.
- Reduce Energy Consumption using Energy Star® certified appliances to save you money in the long-term through reduced energy use, and often in the short-term as well through rebates via city, state, and federal programs. Use “smart” powerstrips with master controls. Put a hot water timer on your hot water tanks. Install solar!
- Use Water Sense® certified fixtures which reduce water consumption without compromising water pressure. It’s functional, good for the planet, and your pocketbook.
- Salvaged Building Materials are sustainable, cost-effective, and unique solutions to home improvement! Your friends and family will ooh and ahh when they learn the story of your salvaged materials.
- Batten Down the Hatches with insulation and air sealant. Don’t forget above your can lights and behind exterior wall outlets.
- Abide by the Three R’s: Reduce your consumption. Reuse what you can. Recycle the rest.
- Educate Yourself and Make Mindful Decisions by using our methodology.•Is it healthy? •Is it eco-friendly? •Is it financially smart? •Is it functional? •Is it unique?
- Clean Green – homemade cleaning solutions create a healthy living space and save money.
- All-purpose Cleaner — 1:1 ratio of water and vinegar, 4 drops of essential oil (optional), a drop of dish soap. It’s a great window cleaner! (You will need to use it 2-3 times before it will cut through the wax build-up from commercial products, after which you can stop using the dish soap).
- Soft-Scrub — 1 c. baking soda, 1/4 c. liquid castile soap, 2 tsp. vegetable glycerin (as a preservative), 2-4 drops antibacterial essential oil such as lavender, tea tree, or rosemary (optional). mix and store in a sealed glass jar.
- Natural Disinfectant Spray — 1 c. distilled water, 1/2 c. vinegar, , 2-4 drops antibacterial essential oil such as lavender, tea tree, or rosemary.
- Relevant websites: • lung.org/healthy-air/home/resources/cleaning-supplies.html• ewg.org/research/greener-school-cleaning-supplies
Looking for ideas on how to use salvaged materials? We are regularly inspired by our friend and co-hort Sheena’s blog. A self proclaimed “Salvage Warrior Princess”, she is also a thoughtful and outstanding designer, whose salvaged design consultation services are available through Second Use Building Materials.
Antibacterial products are getting a bad rap these days, since their effectiveness and
safety is a controversial topic.
The good news is you can make your own cleaning products at home using naturally antibacterial ingredients such as tea tree, peppermint and lavender oil.
As always, cleaning products should be stored away from children and pets since natural doesn’t necessarily mean edible – ingesting large quantities can be harmful.