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July 06, 2007

A lot of us who live in Los Gatos, California, do not have air conditioning. We tell ourselves that we only “really need it for two weeks out of the year” though it seems to me that each year, the number of “too hot” days grows and grows.

Are we just stubborn or what?

Like many Los Gatos residents, the Handys don’t have A/C. We bought our then 23-year old home in 1999 and it didn’t have air conditioning. To add it would cost a whopping $10,000 (because we need a newer furnace AND a new electric sub-panel for the A/C).

I don’t know if it’s global warming or what, but each year, I think that air conditioning is getting less and less optional. But even if it’s three or four bad weeks a year, that’s a lot of money for a temporary problem.

Whatever it is, it’s too hot. July is the hottest month of the year and right now there’s hardly a breeze to be found.

If your home is on the market during a heat wave, what can you do?

We have a few things we do and places we like to hide when the temps reach the high 90’s and beyond:

1 – Walk the dog early, do the dishes etc. early in the day – forget 4pm outings to the park or running the appliances in the afternoon! Do anything physically taxing, such as cleaning the house, before 9am or after 6pm. Keep your home tidy despite the heat, and keep it as cool as possible.

2 – Don’t cook indoors unless you’re using a microwave!! A barbeque is a family’s best friend (unless it’s a Spare The Air Day).

3 – Get OUT of the house when it’s all closed up (assuming you do the usual of closing everything up by around 10 or 11am and reopening it by 5 or 6pm). Favorite places to hide include the public library, Border’s Books, the coast, a movie or mall if truly desperate or at least a bit of time near the mist of the Vasona waterfall. If you anticipate the home being shown, open curtains a bit but not as much as you would on a less oppressively hot day. But take care of yourself first and foremost.

4 – Remember to water everything in the very early morning or late afternoon. A parched yard is not an asset when you’re selling your home!

Luckily it doesn’t usually stay terribly warm here for long. What are your tricks for beating the heat?