Wednesday officially marks the end St. Cloud’s spring season, but Mother Nature doesn’t always consult the calendar before she rolls out the week’s weather. In any case, sooner or later we’ll be experiencing what happens when the summer heat hits the “sweltering” mark, at which point St. Cloud householders will want their premises to be reliable refuges.
Even though last week’s national Energy Information Administration predictions called for only moderate energy cost increases short-term (and lower costs in 2019), when the heat index registers anything less than “heat wave” intensity, St. Cloud household budget minders have some options to help them keep cool under the collar as well as under the roof. A fair number of them involve fans.
For homes which aren’t situated where cross ventilation happens automatically, the simple addition of a box fan or two can make a world of difference. The trick is to place it or them where they can move air from cooler to warmer areas without creating foot traffic jams—and to be willing to move them from place to place as conditions change.
Window fans can bring significant temperature moderation on shady sides of the house—and the ‘Reverse’ switch can evacuate hot air when the sun makes it necessary.
An attic fan is a more permanent solution. For houses that have sparse shade cover, it can provide enormous amounts of heat relief with moderate energy consumption—especially when the insulation is up to snuff.
Ceiling fans operate with minimal expense. The cooling wind chill effect on skin makes a room feel as much as 8 degrees cooler—while saving up to 40% of what turning on the air conditioning can cost. Springtime weather makes it easy to forget, but in case you haven’t done so yet, it’s high time to reverse the blade motion: summer calls for the counterclockwise direction. It’s set correctly when you are to feel the air move when you stand beneath the fan.
Of course, the real long-term energy-saver is the most ancient and natural one: shade. Strategic placement is the ticket. Now is the time to plant trees and foliage where they will ultimately shade the side of the house where the sun hits the strongest. You can also create shady areas that invite everyone to spend more time enjoying the outside. Adding a creative landscaping feature like a trellis or pergola will create more than just an oasis for deep summer days—it will add significant extra value to your whole property.
Here’s hoping your summer is an enjoyable one. If St. Cloud real estate questions come up, I’ll be here by the phone, waiting to help!
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