The summers are getting hotter and hotter with every passing year. Last year the humidex measurement in Ottawa reached a record breaking 47 °C and 70 people, many of them seniors, died from heat related causes in Quebec. BC and Alberta also had record breaking heat. In Calgary, we broke our hottest day of all time, with a record 36.1 °C, while Lethbridge hit 40 °C. As we head into summer once again, it’s important to have strategies for keeping your house cool — especially if you don’t have A/C.
Close Your Drapes & Blinds.
The last thing you need in your house when the summer highs hit is more solar energy. Invest in high quality blinds and drapes to seal out heat and keep your home cooler. On average, 33% of a house’s heat gain comes through the windows, so choosing the right window coverings can make a significant difference. For blinds, choose an option that is honey-comb shaped. Thick, blackout drapes are your best choice for curtains. When the sun is shining directly on your house and windows, keep the blinds and curtains closed on that side. Wait until the sun moves on before you let in the light.
Focus on Your Body — Not Your House.
It doesn’t matter how hot your house is if you feel comfortable. Stay hydrated with ice cold beverages to cool your core. Soak in a cool bath, and wet then freeze sweatbands to help keep yourself comfortable. If your home is overwhelmingly warm, head to Chinook mall, your local library, or another air conditioned location until the sun sets and night brings some relief.
When your house is already too warm, you don’t want to turn on the stove. Baking chicken at 400 °F is absolutely going to heat up your house further. Instead, take out the barbeque. Everything from steaks to potatoes and asparagus to bananas can be grilled up on the barbeque. Experiment with your favourites or something new!
Use your Kitchen & Bathroom Fans.
If you do need to boil something or choose to take a hot shower (rather than a cool one), be sure to turn on your kitchen and bathroom fans. They’ll help to suck up the steam and send it outside — instead of letting it heat up your house further.
During the summer, the heat can get a little crazy. Water use usually goes up, as Calgarians use water to keep cool, help their lawn to thrive, and more. If you’re concerned about how high your energy and water bills are getting, our team can you look for leaks, replace old, inefficient appliances with new, high efficiency models, and more. Keep cool, Calgary! July and August are on their way, so we haven’t seen the worst yet!