While it may feel like a long ways away yet, summer will eventually be coming back. In our climate, a furnace of some sort is mandatory for keeping your house warm. However, getting by without AC is not such a great feat. In Alberta, a lot of our electricity comes from fossil fuels, and as much as we may not like to admit it, we should probably start thinking now about ways to save energy. Not using AC is a great example. But, how do you stay cool in summer without it?
Windows & Curtains. Because of the insulation needs that come with winter, we suggest having window with at least two panes of glass. When it comes to keeping heat gain and heat loss (depending on the season) to a minimum the more glass the better. Three or four panes of glass and an energy efficiency window film can really help make a difference. Check your weatherstripping and make sure everything is sealed tight. If the temperature outdoors is hotter than in, ignore the temptation and keep the windows closed. At night, open them all up and let cool night air in. Curtains and blinds follow the same rules. Closed during the day, open at night.
Fans & Vents. Vents in your washroom and kitchen are made to suck up hot, moist air. By turning them on, you’ll help circulate the cooler air from the basement into the rest of your house. Fans are also a great tool for keep cool. The breeze helps evaporate sweat and water from your skin. However, a fan only helps to cool people not rooms. Turn it off when no one is using it.
Plant Trees & Use Houseplants. In Canada, most of the solar energy comes through southern windows. Plant deciduous (leafy) trees that grow tall on the south side of your house. In summer, their bushy crowns will shade your home, in winter they’ll lose the leaves and sunlight won’t be prevented from warming up your home. If you can’t bare to keep all your curtains closed, choose a few smaller windows to leave the curtains drawn back, and place houseplants in front of them. The plants will use up some of the solar energy.
Cool drinks, going swimming, eating cold meals, there are a ton of other ways to help survive the summer heat. At Plumbing Paramedics, we hope that these tips help you keep your home cool without the need for AC.