Rebecca’s Tips: How to Stay Cool and Save Energy at Home During Summer

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Some will argue that Summer is actually San Francisco’s coldest season but lately, the days have been beautifully warm and sunny. There’s also the good 10-12 days of excruciating (at least for San Franciscans) heat that we seem to experience anytime from July through September. Here are some tips homeowners can use to minimize indoor heat and stay cool during summer really warm days.

Dishes

The dishwasher uses less water than washing by hand. Let dishes air-dry to save electricity! Pro-tip: Run it at night and let them air-dry, if you can.

Fridge

Having a full fridge keeps it from warming up too fast when the door is open. Do this so your fridge doesn’t have to work as hard to stay cool.

Microwave vs Stove

Although this method is questionable and definitely not advisable for continuous usage, microwaving apparently saves a whole lot more energy than using the stove. Again, use your better judgment with this method.

Laundry

Save 4% energy by using cold water setting for both washing and rinsing. Clean the lint filter after every use. Run the dryer (full loads!) at night to minimize indoor heat during daytime.

Ventilation

Keep the blinds and windows closed during the day and open at night. This is a no-cost way to keep your home a little cooler.

Fans are a low-cost way to keep cool.

Set your thermostat to 78 degrees when you’re home and 85 degrees or off when you are away. Using fans allow you to set the thermostat higher because the air movement will cool the room. 

Other Electronics

Save 2% energy by turning off appliances, lights and equipment when not in use. Unplug electronic devices and chargers when they aren’t in use- most new electronics use electricity even when switched off.

Plants

Having potted plants not only create ambiance for your home. It also purifies and cools the air! Orchids, palms, ferns and anthuriums are some favorites.

South Beach (SOMA/Mission Bay)

South Beach is a hip, trendy, up-and-coming neighborhood with plenty of commercial and residential options; tech hub; great water views; busy and lively due to yuppy demo make-up.

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Residential: High/mid rises predominantly

Commercial: South Beach is home to a multitude of startups, tech headquarters and big box retailers. 

Tech HQs include Foursquare, GitHub, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Trulia, Dropbox, IGN, Salesforce, Yelp, among others. Big Box Retailers include Costco, REI, Nordstrom Rack and Best Buy.

Dining:

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Saison by Chef Joshua Skenes is popular for offering Bay Area’s most expensive meal. Currently, the meal is supposed to be over $1,000 pre-wine. That’s what you get for dining somewhere where they’ve gotten the unattainable 3rd Michelin star. 

The Sea Cucumber stuffed with Shrimp at Benu restaurant in San Francisco, Calif., is seen on Friday, February 3, 2012.
The Sea Cucumber stuffed with Shrimp at Benu.

Benu, the 2nd and only other 3 Michelin starred restaurant in San Francisco is also a must-try. Chef Corey Lee, also a published author now is the mind behind the less conventional menu. 

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Waterbar is regarded as San Francisco’s foremost seafood restaurant- offering sustainable various preparations of seafood. The breathtaking water views coupled with the menu gets locals and tourists coming back. Check it out for yourself over Happy Hour champagne and oysters! 

Schools:

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Golden Gate University, Marin Day Schools, Youth Chance High School

Public Transportation:

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Caltrain, Montgomery BART Station, MUNI, Greyhound Station, Cable Car via Embarcadero

Notables in Recreation:

ATT Park- Home of the Giants!
Exploratorium