It’s hot out there and sometimes it feels like no matter what you do, you can’t escape the stickiness of it.
Many families across Ontario want to reduce their reliance on the air conditioner. We’re all for saving money, so take a look at some of the tips below and stay cool and comfortable all summer long without blasting the AC 24/7.
It isn’t all done inside, but some of it is.
- Generate as little heat as possible inside. When you can, avoid activities like running the dishwasher or cooking with the oven (a little harder) until the sun goes down.
- Don’t leave doors or windows open, even a crack. The cool air escapes very efficiently.
- If you have ceiling fans, use them. The average human is comfortable in the summer between 22 C and 25 C. You can extend that by about 3 degrees with a ceiling-mounted paddle fan set to low. It’s not much, but you can feel it.
- Plant shade trees like Eastern White Pines around the house. Don’t plant trees on the south if you want to benefit from passive solar heating in the winter.
- If you have an older AC, consider upgrading to something more powerful and efficient. You could also look into ductless air conditioners for the areas in your home where ducts don’t make sense.
- Buying a new air conditioner? Get the right size. A proper heat gain/loss calculation which takes into account square footage and a host of other variables helps ensure your new air conditioner is the right size for your home.
- Make sure that the air conditioner you buy will adequately manage high humidity. Models with variable or multi-speed blowers are generally best. Try to keep moisture sources out of the house.
- Don’t use a dehumidifier when air conditioner is operating. The dehumidifier will increase the cooling load and force the air conditioner to work harder.
- Make sure your ducts are sealed well, and insulate ducts running through unheated basements, crawl spaces, etc….
- Get maintenance every year. It’s the best way to avert any major repairs down the road.
Can I do something to my windows?
Yes, you can!
- Install light coloured (white is best) window shades or mini-blinds. Mini-blinds can reduce solar heat gain by 40-50%.
- Close south and west-facing curtains during the day.
- If renovating, install awnings on any south facing windows with direct sun through the day.
- Experiment with bamboo shades outside some windows during the summer to stop most of the sun’s heat from getting to the windows in the first place.
JUST FOR YOUR AC
- Clean the Furnace air filter monthly. Dust and debris can cut back cooling power by 1-2% every month.
- Don’t leave the air conditioner on when you leave the house (unless you have a pet).
And that’s it, 16 ways to help keep your house cooler and more comfortable this summer.