THIS SATURDAY — Sell alone or join a neighbor! All streets in the Ridgway Historic District are invited to participate. Signs will be displayed and an ad will appear in the Press Democrat. We will also advertise on Craigslist. Feel free to make additional signs for your home if your street did not receive lots of traffic in the past.
Note: To help with the expenses for the summer neighborhood BBQ, we would like to present the opportunity for you to donate 5 - 10% of your proceeds to assist with this event. This is on the honor system and is strictly voluntary. If you care to participate and would like to share a portion of your proceeds from your garage sale, please place your cash donation in an envelope and deliver it to 321 Benton Street. This would be greatly appreciated and would lessen the expenses on volunteers organizing the Neighborhood BBQ. Thank you very much.
Either way, please join your neighbors by selling and/or shopping at our 10th Annual Ridgway Historic Neighborhood Sale. If it rains, the date will change to June 24th.
Questions, comments, and requests relating to this meeting may be made to the Association via email at email@example.com.
An Excessive Heat Watch has been issued by the National Weather Service for Friday through Sunday.
Temperatures in the Inland areas, including Santa Rosa, are expected to peak in the 90s and 100s. Following unseasonably cool weather, the rapid increase in temperatures to 20 degrees above normal may not provide adequate time for acclimation. These rising temperatures could increase heat-related illnesses for the young, elderly, or other sensitive groups, especially those exposed to prolonged outdoor heat.
- Drink plenty of water
- Limit outdoor activities during the hottest portions of the day
- Seek air-conditioned buildings
- Help elderly and kids stay cool
- Make sure pets and animals have cool areas to rest
An Excessive Heat Watch, as defined by the National Weather Service, means that a prolonged period of hot temperatures is expected. The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are possible.
For information on the heat and fire season, visit www.srcity.org/emergency.
The modern air conditioner was invented only in the 1920s, and it didn’t become a common home feature until the latter half of the 20th century.
But, while some of us might wonder how our grandparents survived hot and steamy summers, the fact is those older homes had a few tricks up their sleeves. They were designed and built with features to help them stay cool without AC.
Mary Wheeler Schap is a registered architect who designs and restores historic buildings to their former glory in Cincinnati, Ohio. She offered this expert insight into the features that made older homes livable in the heat.
In northern states, it was common to create a "stack effect" by opening windows in the basement and top floor. This generated a cool breeze through the house. Further south, before AC many homes were built on blocks, allowing breezes to flow underneath and help keep them cool all summer long.
Ceilings as high as 10, 12 and even 14 feet were common in older homes. As heat rose to the ceiling, lower areas stayed cool and comfortable. Ceiling fans—powered by electricity or elaborate rope systems—also facilitated air movement.
A transom—a small window over a door—allowed warmer air at the ceiling to circulate up to higher floors, providing more air movement throughout the house. Transoms over exterior doors often had hinges and special hardware. This allowed easy access to open and close, helping create airflow while still providing security.
Many older and historic homes had large, double-hung windows. Opening the top sash would allow hot air near the ceiling to escape. Opening the bottom sash, especially at night, allowed cool air to flow inside. Rooms had many windows, some as large as doors. Thick, long draperies were often used in these large windows to keep out the heat. People would “draw the drapes” to help keep a room cool without sacrificing light.
Wraparound porches offered shade from the direct sun while still allowing light to pour through windows. Screened and furnished sleeping porches were also very common. People would sleep outside to catch the cool breeze of the summer night without all the bugs. Many believed that fresh air had health benefits.
Many older homes had light-colored or silver-metal roofs made of lead, tin or copper. This was a great way to reflect heat away from the home to reduce interior temperatures. It’s quite a contrast to today’s dark asphalt shingles that can absorb a lot of the sun’s rays.
If you could afford them, thick brick masonry or stone walls were a great insulator and kept homes cool before AC. Walls 12 to 24 inches thick were common in the Deep South, blocking the heat from the inside as the day wore on, and providing some warmth as the evening chill set in.
Here’s an expert tip: If you own or are considering buying a house built before the age of air conditioning, Mary recommends contacting an architect or energy advisor who focuses on historic homes: “An hour or two walk-through can help you identify a home’s potential for energy savings. He or she can even help you find ways to preserve the ‘look’ of an older home using modern, energy-efficient materials.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also offers some energy tips for owners of historic homes.
And, regardless of your home’s vintage, you can save money on electricity to power a modern cooling system by going solar. Solar panels can complement any home’s architectural style. And SolarCity makes installation and ownership a snap.
Summer is an ideal time to enjoy the variety of outdoor activities Sonoma County has to offer. However, for adults and children alike, additional risks for injury or illness are present, including heat-related illnesses, drowning, and diseases from bug bites. With some preparation, these types of injuries can be avoided.
So take a few minutes to review the Summer Safety tips and be safe and stay healthy this summer. Make this summer memorable for outdoor fun, not for a trip to hospital.
For children ages 1 to 4 years, swimming pools pose the greatest risk. It is important to make safety a priority in and around the water.
Beat the Heat
Whether you are working or playing outside in the summer, if you are not use to the heat, or if the weather is hot, you can be at risk for a heat-related illness. Take steps to protect yourself:
Stop Bug Bites and Disease
Protect yourself and your family by preventing bites and diseases, like West Nile virus, which can be transmitted by insects.
Read the full press release for more information and useful links from the County of Sonoma Health Services: www.sonomacounty.ca.gov/Health/Press-Releases/Summer-Safety-2017.