For a few months each year, summer hits this part of the world and we often struggle with how to deal with the heat. Particularly indoors. While cranking up the AC is an option, it isn’t always the most effective, or the most cost or energy sensitive solution. There are few tips we can share that will maximize the cool factor in your home or cottage—with or without AC.
Use nature’s umbrella
Trees provide a natural coolant from their shade. When you purchase a house or cottage, consider how much foliage will cover your home, and help to cool the indoors in the summer. If you’re in the market for a renovation, perhaps it’s time to include landscaping; strategically plant trees that will provide a canopy over rooms that get the most sun (usually, they are the ones facing south).
Don’t let the cool seep
Even for home or cottages that are outfitted with air conditioning, it’s important to conserve the coolness by keeping it indoors. Insulation and home maintenance is key. Every few years, check that your windows (caulking) and doors (weatherstripping) are properly sealed and that air isn’t escaping through cracks in the floors, ceilings or roof. There are highly effective exterior insulation products and procedures that will help you combat seasonal temperature fluctuations.
Create your own cool
Where does the sunlight penetrate the most in your home or cottage? Windows. If you do not live in a particularly treed neighbourhood or area, there are clever ways to create shade. For example, window awnings are both attractive and effective. They will act in the same way trees do, blocking direct sunlight that makes a huge difference in the temperature of your home. Our advice is to consider awnings that are retractable for when you want the sunlight to warm your home in later months.
In most cases, a simple remodel of your home will go a long way to saving energy, and optimizing your space.