Who’s ready for summer? While Sacramento doesn’t have incredibly humid weather like other parts of the country, the dry heat can be just as challenging. The hottest season is Sacramento is typically from June to late September, with an average daily high temperature above 86°F. So if you’re looking for ways to beat the heat, you’re in good company. Keep reading and we’ll share some of our best tips.
1. Install Some Shade
Want to enjoy your backyard, but not get scorched? Think about ways you can install and use shade throughout your backyard to make the most of it. Options include:
- Portable deck umbrellas: If you’re purchasing a patio table, look for one that comes with a built-in umbrella! Consider how much shade you want, as obviously the size of the umbrella will give you more or less shade. Keep your deck or patio size in mind as well—you don’t want to have a huge umbrella that overpowers the space. You can also tilt most umbrellas, so you can move it throughout the day and maximize your shade. In the fall and winter and during any inclement weather, make sure to close and stow your umbrella away so it stays in good shape.
- Pergolas and gazebos: A pergola is a free-standing structure with four columns supporting it, and your choice of a fabric or solid roof. You’ll want to keep the size of your space in mind again here, as you don’t want it to be too large. A gazebo is similar to a pergola, but typically features eight supporting columns that are larger and more stable. Both pergolas and gazebos are great for providing shade over your existing outdoor furniture.
- Shade sails: These are triangular pieces of nylon that you can stretch and attach over your patio or backyard. They are easy to assemble and can be moved easily if needed. You can find a variety of colors and patterns to add some personality to your space, as well as different fabrics (including some that are UV-resistant!). You’ll need to regularly clean your shade sail, as mold and mildew from wet leaves and bird droppings can damage it.
2. Plant Greenery Strategically
Other shade-providing options include fences, trees, and other vegetation “walls.” These options are great for blocking the sun’s rays as well as giving you some privacy in your yard.
Keep in mind that it can take a while for trees to grow large enough to provide shade, so plan accordingly and be patient. Also remember that this option will require some maintenance, including regular watering and spreading mulch.
But the rewards are worth it: planting trees can pull double duty as they keep your home AND yard cooler in the summer, which then saves you both money and energy. Plus, your yard will look even more beautiful surrounded by nature. Some recommendations for low-maintenance, drought-resistant trees that are perfect for Sacramento include:
- Blue oaks
- California sycamores
- Hedge maples
- Interior live oaks
If you’re a SMUD customer, you may also qualify for a free landscape assessment and up to 10 free shade trees with their “Sacramento Shade” program.
In addition to trees and bushes, choose your lawn wisely. Traditional grass can retain the sun’s heat, but some artificial turf options stay much cooler. If you choose a turf with evaporative cooling infill technology, you can expect your lawn to stay 40-50 degrees cooler. That makes a big difference when you’re spending time outside!
3. Cool Off With Water Activities
Have some fun with a kiddie pool, water balloons, squirt guns, or a Slip ‘N Slide to beat the heat with your kids! If you have artificial grass, this is another huge advantage—most synthetic lawns are designed with a perforated backing that allows water to drain through, and it also dries much faster than natural grass. Your synthetic lawn won’t get muddy like natural grass, either, so no more tracking mud into the house after playtime is over!
4. Avoid Strenuous Activity in the Afternoon Heat
When in doubt, keep your activity levels low. The hot heat of the afternoon isn’t the time to be exercising or doing yard work outside! Even better, why not avoid the yardwork overall? If you’ve ever thought about installing an artificial lawn, now is the perfect time. When you choose SYNLawn as your residential artificial lawn provider, you’re making a decision to have a beautiful, comfortable lawn that pays for itself in no time. It’s a low-maintenance option that homeowners throughout the country have chosen and loved.
5. Tune Up Your Air Conditioning
Some days, it might just be too hot to spend time outside. Make sure your home is set up for the summer with a yearly tune-up of your A/C system. If your system is on the older side, or if someone in your home has a respiratory issue, you may want to get it checked out more often (twice to three times per year).
Spring is a great time to do this, so add an annual reminder on your calendar. This preventative maintenance can save you money from costly repairs.
6. Optimize the Inside of Your Home
In addition to tuning up your air conditioning, make sure you’re using you’re not inadvertently heating up the inside of your home! Avoid using your oven if you can, opting instead for your crockpot, Instant Pot, or an outdoor grill. The same goes for your dishwasher—if you can wait to run it until the temperatures go down in the evening, do so.
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