Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Apartment Cool this Summer

At Franklin West, apartment living is our bread and butter. We value making sure residents are able to comfortably call our apartments home.

Though occasionally, the sunny season throws a few curve balls in apartment life. Today, we’re arming you with convenient, easy, and life-changing tips so you can get back to enjoying Pittsburgh’s summer activities.

Curtain and Fan Tricks

Summertime in city apartments can get a little too roasty toasty for comfort. Your home should bring cool relief after working all day. We rounded up nifty little tricks to help you stay cool without having the AC on high.

  • Keep curtains closed during the day. Up to 30% of unwanted heat comes from your windows, simply closing and covering the windows can dramatically impact indoor temperatures.
  • Spray ice water on your curtains! When a breeze comes, your curtains become a homemade air conditioner.
  • Toss a water bottle or two in the freezer during the day so by bedtime, you have an ice pack to keep your bed chilled.  
  • Consider replacing your flannel sheets with lighter, cooler alternatives. Pillows, too, like natural buckwheat hull, are actually designed to keep heat away from your head while you sleep.
  • Place fans strategically around your apartment to circulate the air and create the perfect cross breeze. Go old school by placing a shallow bowl filled with ice in front of a fan for a nice cool mist.
  • If you have ceiling fans in your apartment, set them to rotate counter-clockwise during the summer. If you do not know how to do this or if they are out of your reach, please call our office and one of our maintenance technicians would be glad to do it for you.

Appliances that Generate Heat

  • Save on your electric bill by keeping lights turned off when not in use.
  • Your stove, oven, and dishwasher create more heat when in use. So, avoid using these during the day.
  • Do laundry in the evening. Generating a lot of heat and humidity, whether you have your own washer or dryer or shared laundry in the building, remember that heat rises. Your upper floors neighbors will thank you!
  • Exhaust fans aren’t just for smells. When cooking, use the exhaust fan to draw out excess steam and humidity. The same goes for the bathroom. Without it, all of the humidity that builds up will leak out making your apartment feel a lot warmer.  
  • Have an overabundance of electronics? Even when not in use, computers and televisions generate heat. When these items are not in use, consider unplugging them. Doing this will help your electric bill, too!
  • Close off the rooms/areas you are not using so that the cold air stays where you want it to be and doesn’t go where you don’t want it.

Air Conditioning Tips and Maintenance

  • If your apartment has central air conditioning, set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible. The more cooling you do with your central or room air conditioner, the higher your electric bill will be.
  • Setting the thermostat to a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner won’t cool things down any faster, and if you forget, you’ll end up paying for it when the bill comes.  
  • Also, don’t place large appliances near your thermostat. These emit heat and can cause your central AC to run longer than necessary.
  • If your apartment has wall-unit air conditioning, only turn it on in the room(s) you want to have cooled and turn it off if you are no longer using that room.
  • Whether you have central air-conditioning, wall-unit or window air conditioning, make sure that your registers and filters are clean and that they are not being blocked by furniture or other items.

We want to make sure our properties are a haven from the summer heat. Residents are encouraged to call right away if you find that your air conditioning unit is not functioning properly.

For best service, report air conditioning problems early in the workday. This way our maintenance technicians will have sufficient time to diagnose the problem, can purchase any parts that may be needed, and then fix the system for you.

 

There you have it. All the do it yourself tips and old school tricks to keep you and your family cooler than cucumbers. Besides, if all else fails, we hear homemade popsicles become a wonderful family activity and a perfect remedy for any summer heat!

Celebrate Fourth of July Pittsburgh Style


If there’s one thing we can say about Pittsburgh, it’s that we know how to throw an Independence Day celebration. Our city, businesses, and locals all come together to celebrate freedom during this patriotic holiday.

Flashes of Freedom

Enjoy Independence Day, start to end, with a bang! Pittsburgh’s Flashes of Freedom celebration is a free, must-go experience. You can expect patriotic ceremonies, re-enactments, children’s activities such as patriotic crafts and animal balloons, food vendors, live music, and so much more. Don’t even get us started on the fireworks. Pittsburgh won’t leave you disappointed.

Point State Park may only be 20-minutes from our Shadyside apartments, but that’s no reason to deal with the hassles of parking downtown. Residents can conveniently take the PAT bus lines straight into downtown.

For a schedule of events, and further detail visit: EQT’s Celebrate America

Fourth of July at The Frick

Looking for something in walking distance? The Frick Pittsburgh is hosting their own Fourth of July celebration including an outdoor hot dog bar at the Cafe with gourmet toppings and refreshments. Plus, Christopher Mark Jones & The Roots Ensemble will play live folk, blues, and Americana music on the lawn from 12 to 2 pm.

Grab the kids, a blanket, and stop by The Frick for a wonderful afternoon.

Hosting Your Own Celebration?

Add a little piece of Pittsburgh to your party! Here are five ways to turn that gathering into a yinzsplosion.

  1. For porch decor, pair the red, white, and blue with the old black and yellow. Have those two flags waving side by side in the wind for a beautiful, vision of ‘burgh pride.
  2. Hot dogs are good, but any Pittsburgher will explain kielbasa is better. Top it off with a shamefully large amount of sauerkraut and Heinz Ketchup and you have yourself one patriotic sandwich.
  3. Pittsburgh snacks are simple. All you need for an Independence Day party are 5 bags of freeze pops and one impressive red, white, and blue cookie table. Believe us, there won’t be any complaining kiddies with those treats!

Bonus: Did you know you can fish anywhere in PA without a license on Wednesday, July 4? Your whole family can enjoy the natural outdoors and bring home the supper! Even out of state visitors can join in on the fun. We highly suggest visiting Highland Park in the East End of Pittsburgh. The incredibly lush park will have you fishing for hours without care.  

See details of the first Youth Fishing Derby this Saturday, July 7th, at Highland Park’s Lake Carnegie.

Wherever your plans take you this 4th of July, we are wishing our Pittsburgh family one exciting and safe holiday!   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Header image from Celebrate America PGH Facebook page