Tips On Keeping The House Cool This Summer!

About five months ago as we were cursing the icy air and abundance of snow, we longed for the carefree summer months. Well, they are here and they’re HOT! It’s hard to keep things in perspective when you’re sweating through your t-shirt, but, try to enjoy the summer months as best as you can, because right around the corner is…you know.

We were searching the web for some effective ways to keep the house cool during the summer months while saving energy and we found this great list below via Care2.com. Enjoy!

1. Reduce the cooling load by employing cost-effective conservation measures. Provide effective shade for east and west windows. When possible, delay heat-generating activities such as dishwashing until evening on hot days.

2. Over most of the cooling season, keep the house closed tight during the day. Don’t let in unwanted heat and humidity. Ventilate at night either naturally or with fans.

3. You can help get rid of unwanted heat through ventilation if the temperature of the incoming air is 77 F or lower. (This strategy works most effectively at night and on cooler days.) Window fans for ventilation are a good option if used properly. They should be located on the downwind side of the house facing out. A window should be open in each room. Interior doors must remain open to allow air flow.

4. Use ceiling fans to increase comfort levels at higher thermostat settings. The standard human comfort range for light clothing in the summer is between 72 F and 78 F. To extend the comfort range to 82 F, you need a breeze of about 2.5 ft/sec or 1.7 mph. A sow-turning ceiling-mounted paddle fan can easily provide this air flow.

5. In hot climates, plant shade trees around the house. Don’t plant trees on the South if you want to benefit from passive solar heating in the winter.

6. If you have an older central air conditioner, consider replacing the outdoor compressor with a modern, high-efficiency unit. Make sure that it is properly matched to the indoor unit.

7. If buying a new air conditioner, be sure that it is properly sized. Get assistance from an energy auditor or air conditioning contractor.

8. Buy a high-efficiency air conditioner: for room air conditioners, the energy efficiency ratio (EER) rating should be above 10; for central air conditioners, look for a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating above 12.

9. In hot, humid climates, make sure that the air conditioner you buy will adequately get rid of high humidity. Models with variable or multi-speed blowers are generally best. Try to keep moisture sources out of the house.

10. Try not to use a dehumidifier at the same time your air conditioner is operating. The dehumidifier will increase the cooling load and force the air conditioner to work harder.

11. Seal all air conditioner ducts, and insulate ducts that run through unheated basements, crawl spaces, and attics.

12. Keep the thermostat set at 78 degrees F or higher if using ceiling fans. Don’t air-condition unused rooms.

13. Maintain your air conditioners properly to maximize efficiency.

14. Install white window shades or mini-blinds. Mini-blinds can reduce solar heat gain by 40-50 percent.

15. Close south and west-facing curtains during the day for any window that gets direct sunlight. Keep these windows closed, too.

16. Install awnings on south-facing windows, where there’s insufficient roof overhang to provide shade.

17. Hang tightly woven screens or bamboo shades outside the window during the summer to stop 60 to 80 percent of the sun’s heat from getting to the windows.

18. Apply low-e films.

19. Consider exotic infills in your windows, a new technology that fills the space between panes with krypton or argon, gasses that have lower conductivity than air, and which boost R-values.

19. Provide shade for your room A/C, or the outside half of your central A/C if at all possible. This will increase the unit’s efficiency by 5 percent to 10 percent.

20. Clean your A/C’s air filter every month during cooling season. Normal dust build-up can reduce air flow by 1 percent per week.

22. Turn off your A/C when you leave for more than an hour.

23. Several studies have found that most central air conditioning systems are oversized by 50 percent or more.

Read more

Posted in Resources, things we like | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Philadelphia Summer Fun: 2014

When the weather gets hot, Philadelphia really comes alive! With more and more people coming into the city for the 4th of July Celebrations and the mounting summer festivals popping up, you should never be at a loss for something to do in the sweltering summer months! Here are a few hand-picked events happening in the upcoming months complements of VisitPhilly.com:

The Visit Philly Beer Garden Happy Hour Series: 12 Weeks. 6 Beer Gardens. Endless Good Times.

In order to take advantage of Philly’s wealth of awesome beer gardens, we’ve created a brand new rotating happy hour series called the Visit Philly Beer Garden Series. Launching on Friday, June 6 at Morgan’s Pier, and visiting a single beer garden each week through August, the pop-up happy hours will run from 4 to 7 p.m. on Fridays and include specials on food and local craft beer.

Spruce Street Harbor Park: A Pop-up Summertime Village on the Delaware River

From Friday, June 27 through Sunday, August 31, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation transforms the Penn’s Landing Marina at Columbus Boulevard and Spruce Street into a pop-up summertime village with a beer garden, restaurant and more. The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation’s new jewel boasts all of the essential elements for a summertime revery — ample outdoor seating, local beer offerings and higher-end grab-and-go food available from a cargo container — and will be free and open to the public every day from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. The pop-up spot also features a hammock garden, boardwalk, urban beach, fountains and a series of floating barges with lily pad water gardens.

Fireworks and Fountains at Longwood Gardens: Celebrate Summer in a beautiful setting with some jaw-dropping fountains and fireworks!

The entire family will enjoy Longwood Gardens’ light and sound spectacular, a summer tradition at the internationally celebrated gardens. These extravaganzas combine lavish fireworks, stirring music and the celebrated colorful illuminated fountains of the 1,050-acre horticultural showplace created by industrialist Pierre du Pont (1870-1954). The result is an unforgettable display that lights the evening sky. Fireworks have been used at Longwood since at least 1907, the year after du Pont purchased the property. Each display typically attracts approximately 5,000 people. The fountains and fireworks are operated by carefully synchronized computer programs, and the music is chosen to complement the displays.

Wawa Welcome America! Fireworks: Celebrate Philadelphia’s biggest day of the year with some of the best fireworks you’ll ever see!

When it comes to celebrating America’s birthday, nobody rocks it like Philadelphia, America’s birthplace, and 2014—the country’s 238th birthday—will be no exception thanks to festive happenings before, during and after the Fourth of July. Celebrate during the Wawa Welcome America! Festival from June 28-July 4, a week of festive events, including the largest free concert in America starring Philly hometown heroes The Roots.

It wouldn’t be Independence Day without fireworks and this year there are several explosive shows happening in Philadelphia during the week of July 4th. Get the best view with our guides to watching the fireworks displays at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Delaware River, below.

PLEASE NOTE: All fireworks shows and events are scheduled rain or shine. In case of inclement weather, follow @July4thPhilly on Twitter and Wawa Welcome America on Facebook for up-to-the-minute information.

Upcoming Fireworks Shows

Philly 4th of July Jam & Grand Finale Fireworks

Date: Friday, July 4 | Where to Watch Map – Parkway
Fireworks: Estimated to begin around 10:30 p.m.*
Location: Benjamin Franklin Parkway between 20th Street and Eakins Oval
Concert: The week-long celebration culminates with the “Largest Free Concert in America” on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Enjoy performances from The Roots, Ed Sheeran, Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Hudson, Aloe Blacc, Ariana Grande and Vicci Martinez before the explosive fireworks finale over the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Adventure Aquarium Waterfront Fireworks Spectacular

Date: Saturday, July 5
Location: Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing | Where to Watch Map – Penn’s Landing
Fireworks: Immediately following final performance, between 9:30-10 p.m.*
Concert: Enjoy a patriotic evening of music with the United States Army Marching Band “Pershing’s Own” followed by the Adventure Aquarium Waterfront Fireworks Celebration.

Posted in philadelphia, things we like | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

9 Houses With Slides Inside!

Who wants to take the stairs when you can slide between floors in style? If thinking outside the box is your thing, you’ll appreciate this slideshow of houses with built-in slides. Check it out HERE!

 

 

Posted in distinctive homes, things we like | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How Philadelphia’s Neighborhoods Got Their Names

We all know that Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods, but did you ever wonder how they were named? We found a pretty comprehensive list on Mentalfloss. Follow the link and enjoy!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Elfant Wissahickon Realtors to host The Friends of The Wissahickon Forbidden 10k this Weekend!

The Friends of the Wissahickon (FOW) is hosting a 10K race along Forbidden Drive in the northwest section of Philadelphia on May 18.  The 10K, 6.2-mile loop course begins at 9 a.m. and takes place in the Wissahickon Park, along Forbidden Drive and will pass by many historic points of interest including the Thomas Mill covered bridge, the Tedyuscung Indian statue and Valley Green Inn. The race is perfect for both the serious runner and the occasional runner/walker.

There will be awards for male and female divisions as well as various age groups. Bryn Mawr Running Co. will be doing the chip timing for the race.  The cost of registration is $40 per entrant. After May 1, it is $50. Register for the race at fowforbidden10k.org.

Funds raised from the race will assist in the continued restoration and preservation of the historic Valley Green Inn and Wissahickon Park.

Click HERE for more info!

Posted in Community Service, things we like | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

No Place Like Home: Dollars and $ense!

Saturday, May 10th was the kickoff event for a week-long program on issues related to senior housing.  “No Place Like Home – Dollars and $ense” is a collaboration between Elfant Wissahickon Realtors, Mt. Airy USA, Center in the Park, and Ralston My Way.  Marilyn Silberstein, an EWR Realtor and a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES), had the idea of providing a forum for seniors and/or their children to learn about resources for seniors as they cope with the serious dilemma of housing.

“Do I stay in my home?”  If so, how do I manage?  How can I find reliable contractors?  What do I need to do to make my house safe?  How do I cope with rising taxes and insurance on a fixed income?

“Do I sell my home?”  If so, how do I do that?  What do I do with 40 years of accumulated treasures?  Where should I go?  What’s available?

The kickoff event featured Estelle Richman, former Secretary, PA Dept. of Public Welfare, who is now retired and a Chestnut Hill resident.  She talked about the issues of health, Housing and Community – all issues that impact seniors.  She later joined a panel with Lydia Hernandez Velez, Deputy Managing Director for Aging for the City of Philadelphia and Bette McTamney, Immediate Past President of the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors.  They discussed the issues presented by Ms. Richman as well as topics that will be presented in workshops throughout this week.

Those topics include

  • Understanding the Affordable Care Act
  • Budgeting and Financial Management
  • Protecting Yourself from Financial Exploitation
  • Letting Go: Emotional Aspects of Moving
  • The Process of Selling your Home
  • Reverse Mortgages and Tax Liens
  • Household Needs and Safety
  • Managing Finances and Stress
  • Tools to Manage Mortgage Challenges
  • Understanding Advanced Directives and Wills

The workshops will be held at Mt. Airy USA, Center in the Park, and at the office of Elfant Wissahickon Realtors.  It’s not too late to sign up!  To register, call (215) 844-6021 or visit NO PLACE LIKE HOME

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

PGW EnergySense Event at Citizens Bank Park

Elfant Wissahickon Realtors Rena Asher, Jacob Markovitz and Cathy Davis attended the PGW EnergySense event yesterday morning at Citizens Bank Park. While eating breakfast in the Executive Dining Room, they sat through a program created to educate Philadelphia Realtors about the various Home Rebate Programs available to either upgrade a building to natural gas usage or to a more efficient system. After several informative speakers and question-answer time, the group set out on a full tour of the stadium, including visits to the press box, broadcast booths, batting cages, and most exciting – the Phillies dugout and locker room.

Posted in general, philadelphia, Resources, things we like | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Philly Eats: GRADUATE HOSPITAL

Philadelphia has always been a world class city. For many years it has thrived in the areas of arts and culture, historical significance and architecture. However, until recently, Philly has never been known as a culinary hotbed.  Sure, there were a few heavy hitters, but nothing like it’s current offerings. These days, it seems Philadelphia gives cities like Chicago, New York and San Francisco a run for their money in edible excitement. We are a city of neighborhoods filled with BYOB’s, Iron Chefs and Ethnic Delicacies.

Though the large medical institution that gave this south-of-Center City swath its name is no longer in operation, Graduate Hospital — or “G-Ho,” to fans of brevity — has solidified a reputation independent of its common moniker. South Street West is the neighborhood’s main thoroughfare; it’s clean, well-lit and extremely pedestrian-friendly thanks to a vibrant entrepreneurial energy coming from the neighborhood’s restaurants, bars, cafes, shops and more. Characterized by a mix of single-family homes new and old and thriving places of worship, it’s a remarkably kid-friendly place (just look at the stroller-filled sidewalks), but Graduate Hospital also has the distinction of possessing some of the best neighborhood bars in the area, from long-running institutions to gastropubby newcomers. (Visit Philly)

ETHNIC:

Balkan Express: (Eastern European) “Mediterrenean grilled dishes and slow cooked stews. Breads and desserts are baked in house.”

Fortune: (Chinese) ” Fantastic Chinese food for a hungry crowd! Try classic dishes like General Tso’s Chicken or something new like Chicken with Black Bean Sauce.”

Jamaican Jerk Hut: (Jamaican) “Along with its delicious menu, one of the popular reasons for visiting the Jerk Hut is its amazing outdoor dining area. During seasonal weather, there is an awesome, 60-seat, semi-secluded outdoor seating area around the side of the restaurant that will practically transport you to Jamaica. Bright tablecloths, blooming hibiscus and bamboo plants, candle-lit pathways and reggae music playing softly in the background set the mood. There is a covered veranda area plus additional seating for groups around circular picnic tables for true under-the-stars dining. In Jamaica, “jerk” refers to the traditional method of cooking spiced meat over an open fire. At the Jerk Hut, the meat is cooked over a charcoal pit in the kitchen. The homemade jerk seasoning — with ginger, thyme, all-spice, onions and soy and rubbed onto the meat before cooking — creating a delicious tangy, spicy and smoky flavor.”

Kidari: (Sushi) “Kidari” refers to a man who is warm- hearted, handsome, and tall. “Yatai”, a wheeled snack bar on the street, is a food culture that emits a heart-warming feeling. We intend to put our heart and 23 years of experience of making sushi to serve you. We will always serve you with fresh food and do our best to become “kidari sushi” that satisfy our customers. ”

My Thai: (Thai) “Traditional Thai food on 22nd and South Sts. Solid Pad Thai”

Roberto Cafe: (Italian) “Experience a true taste of Italy. Friendly atmosphere and great food.”

PIZZA / CHEESESTEAKS:

Kermit’s Bake Shoppe: (Bakery / Pizza) “Imagine if a pizzeria and a bakery had a baby… a place where classic cakes and chocolate-everything fill cases alongside pizza pies topped with pepperoni, sausage and veggies. These are the grown-up versions of the recipes we grew up with. We use the first and freshest ingredients, and we’ve adapted to healthier times with whole-wheat crusts and gluten-free options. ”

Lazaro’s Pizza:(Pizza) “Lazaro’s Pizzeria & Grill has been serving Philadelphia, PA and the surrounding communities with the best pizza in town for over 10 years. We offer an inviting atmosphere perfect for the entire family. Our comfortable dining room and friendly staff create the perfect setting for a family dinner or a special date. Our selection of lunch and dinner choices range from thick, juicy cheeseburgers to mouth – watering gourmet pizza. With options including side salads, buffalo wings, calzones and Stromboli, there is no second guessing where you should be having dinner tonight. So come on by and indulge in our famous 18” steak, delicious seafood or a hearty club sandwich. But be sure to save room for dessert! We’re famous for our 26” jumbo pie!”

MISCELLANEOUS:

Ants Pants Cafe: (Eclectic)  “Australia-inspired cafe. Coffee, brunch, dinner and sandwiches.

Govinda’s: (Vegetarian) “Great vegetarian and vegan entrees”

La Va Cafe: (Cafe) “In 2005, Liron and Victor Agiv saw an opportunity to transform a building on the corner of 21st and South Streets from a vacant shell of what was formerly South Street Blues Bar into a bustling neighborhood cafe. Since 2006 La.Va has been the premier cafe of the Graduate Hospital neighborhood.  With La Colombe coffee, a full breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu, and free wireless internet, La.Va Cafe has become a popular place for locals to frequent to do work as well as meet new friends and get to know their neighbors.”

Pumpkin: (BYOB) “Impressive farm-to-table BYOB ”

Sidecar Bar and Grill: (Eclectic) “Cool brews, smokin’ good food and an atmosphere that warms the soul and cures what ales ya.”

Ten Stone: (Eclectic) “Located on the corner of 21st and South Streets, Ten Stone Restaurant and Bar is a neighborhood favorite because of our food, our atmosphere our outstanding beer selection and our staff. Connoisseurs of quality draught beers visit Ten Stone because we constantly rotate our selection of 16 imported and domestic micro brews and beers on tap. Our food style is “fine light fare”, reasonably priced and well portioned. You will feel comfortable in our English Pub atmosphere boasting warm woods, eclectic art and a cozy fireplace.”

Pub and Kitchen: (Eclectic) “Pub & Kitchen combines the sophistication of contemporary European cuisine with the comfort and warmth of an authentic neighborhood tavern. With a frequently changing menu created by Chef Eli Collins and an extensive list of spirits, beer and wine, Pub & Kitchen is a casual and energizing space where well-crafted food & drink happily go hand-in-hand.”

Rex 1516: (Eclectic) “REX 1516 offers quality Southern food in a comfortable, though elegant, setting.”

Magpie Artisan Pie: (Bakery) “We offer a variety of sweet pies with fresh whipped cream and savory pies with a side of homemade pickled vegetables. Magpie pies are one-of-a-kind. We take the classics and add new twists, develop unexpected flavor combinations and create pies that you have never tasted before. We can’t stop creating or baking; so don’t be surprised to come in and see new pies on the menu.”

Honey’s Sit n Eat: (Eclectic) “Excellent Brunch and heaping portions of tasty comfort food.”

There are also dozens of coffee shops, sandwich shops and other food options too numerous to list, and many new restaurants pop up almost daily. Bon Appétit!

Posted in general, philadelphia, Resources, things we like | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Chestnut Hill Rotary Chili Cookoff

The Chestnut Hill Rotary Chili Cook-off took place on Sunday, April 6th at the Lutheran Seminary on Germantown Ave.  This is the Chestnut Hill Rotary’s biggest fundraiser of the year and proceeds from the event provide funds to Jenks Elementary School, Shelterbox, Power Up Gambia, Hope Childrens Home in Guyana and many other worthy causes.

For the second year Elfant Wissahickon Realtors participated as a Rose Gold Sponsor along with the Larry DiFranco Team, the Wendy Schwartz Team, and the Louise D’Alessandro Team.  Local firefighters judged the chili entries from 12 different local restaurants and caterers to arrive at the following winners for the day:

Mt. Airy Firefighters judged these as the best in a blind taste test:

1ST PLACE TRADITIONAL (MEAT) CHILI
FATTY’S BAR & GRILL, WYNDMOOR

1ST PLACE VEGETARIAN/VEGAN
TROLLEY CAR DINER, MT. AIRY

1ST PLACE EXOTIC
KEYSTONE HOSPICE, GLENSIDE

FIREFIGHTER’S FAVORITE AWARD (BEST OVERALL CHILI)
FATTY’S BAR & GRILL, WYNDMOOR

People’s Choice Awards:

1ST PLACE
McMENAMIN’S TAVERN, MT AIRY,

2ND PLACE
MAGERKS’S PUB & GRILL, GLENSIDE

Over 500 people attended the event and thoroughly appreciated the great chili while their kids enjoyed the balloon animals, face painting and magician throughout the day.

Posted in Community Service, general, philadelphia, things we like | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Elfant Wissahickon Realtors Partners with Face To Face Germantown for its 2014 Anti-Poverty Initiative

From L to R: Jared E. Pontz (VP and Managing Partner, Martin Elfant, Inc.), Bob Elfant (President, Elfant Wissahickon Realtors), Susan O'Hagan Marley (Director of Development, Face To Face Germantown), Louise D'Alessandro (Partner, Elfant Wissahickon Realtors) and Larry DiFranco (Partner, Elfant Wissahickon Realtors).

Philadelphia, Pa – April 2, 2014 Elfant Wissahickon Realtors, Philadelphia’s Leading Independent Real Estate Brokerage, in conjunction with Martin Elfant Inc., Class and Northwest Abstract, and Direct Mortgage Loan Co., is proud to announce Face to Face in Germantown as its community partner for the company’s 2014 anti poverty initiative.

Face to Face is a multi-faceted service organization that works with individuals and families living below the poverty level. It is located at 109 East Price Street in Germantown and offers a Dining Room, a nurse managed health center, a legal center, social services center and children’s summer camps and after school programs for people in the region. They also have a “Washeteria” where those in need can take a hot shower and receive a new set of clothes. Face to Face serves 2,500 annually and has been a stable presence in Germantown for over 20 years.

Philadelphia’s poverty rate is at an historic high of 26% according to a recent article in the Philadelphia Inquirer. On the heels of Elfant Wissahickon Realtors’ most successful year ever, the partners of the company, along with those at Martin Elfant Inc., have decided to structure a campaign that would enable the companies to mount a significant antipoverty initiative.

The companies have set a fundraising goal of $30,000. The agents and owners of Elfant Wissahickon will donate funds every time someone does business with the company. Guaranteed Rate, Mortgage Master Inc. and First Choice Loan Services, the preferred lenders of Elfant Wissahickon, are making donations each time a Buyer client of EW secures a mortgage. Northwest and Class Abstract are making a contribution for each title insurance policy placed. The principals of Elfant Wissahickon Realtors and Martin Elfant, Inc. will make an additional donation of 50% of the total funds raised after 12 months.

Home buyers and sellers will also receive information about Face To Face at the Settlement table which will allow them to make personal donations through Elfant Wissahickon Realtors. Bob Elfant adds, “The money will be used to fund an increase in the level of service provided by Face to Face, an organization that treats their clients with dignity and respect. We hope our contribution will make a real difference in the lives of people served by Face to Face.”

Posted in Community Service, philadelphia, things we like | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment