Ah, summer. The season of popsicles and patios, sunscreen and sno-cones. And for many Canadians, forget the Beach Boys – the soundtrack of summer sounds a little like this:
That’s the sound of an air conditioner, running around the clock.
If you’re like me, summer in Ontario can often be about trying to stay comfortable and keeping your energy use in check. After all, the less energy used, the less we pay, so it’s important to be aware of the many things we can do to form good usage habits.
Of course, the most obvious way is to set our thermostats a few degrees warmer, which will instantly reduce stress on our air conditioners (and energy bills!). However, there’s much more you can do, and it’s actually easier than you think! I watched an interesting animation on the new Save on Energy website about a family who was finding it hard to keep their home cool during these hot summer months. Since our current heat wave looks like it’s here to stay – for at least a little longer – I wanted share some tips for keeping your house cool:
– Open your windows and enjoy the fresh summer air while you cool off without air conditioning. This is particularly effective early morning and late night when summer breezes can really help reduce the home’s temperature.
– Keep your blinds closed during the day to block out the sun’s rays. If you work away from home, the last thing you want to do is come home to a hot, stuffy house!
– Invest in ceiling fans, a great way to keep cool and keep the AC off. Ceiling fans generate airflow and are a more energy-friendly way to cool off on hot days.
– Get out your green thumb: gardening around the home can help, too. Plant deciduous trees on east and west facing walls to help block out the sun’s rays in the summer. Don’t forget around the AC, too! Keeping the air conditioner properly shaded can help make your AC run more efficiently.
– Proper and well-installed attic insulation can reduce heat transfer, preventing the summer sun from heating up the rest of your house. If it’s been a while since you’ve forayed in your attic, now’s a great time to ensure you’re summer-ready!
– Look for lights that burn cooler, but let natural light do the work whenever possible. Remember, LEDs do not run as hot as traditional bulbs and reduce the amount of times you have to change bulbs in hard-to-reach areas (LEDs last up to 25x longer).
Need more ideas? Save on Energy has great ideas on keeping your house cool and the many benefits energy-efficiency can bring. Visit saveonenergy.ca for more information, incentives and links to your local hydro company.
What are your tips for keeping cool in the summertime? (If it involves sangria, I’m all ears!)
install ceiling fans to help circulate the AC
My family is all out in Ontario for most part and have been saying how hot it is this summer..again! We visited this year but came in April so as not to melt..lol.
Anything you can do to stay cool and save energy is a must for sure.
Thank you for the tips!
My Electric bill is high every summer from running multiple Air Conditioners at full blast!
I won’t open my windows if it’s humid or hot and this year my AC has run almost constantly. My hydro bills are much higher this summer but I want to be comfortable and I don’t want things to get musty & mouldy as that is not healthy at all and ost way more in repairs than I am paying for AC.
Good idea about ceiling fans! we actually do not even have one in our house but would be such a great way to stay cool! ill have to remember to keep my blinds closed when it is really hot out and see if that helps <3
I live by the ocean and my windows are always open,i love the smell of the sea…we never get too hot here always windy
Great tips! We have window fans that pull fresh air in from the outside and it’s especially beneficial on those nights it drops down a bit!
Some great tips, you definitely need to try and conserve hydro with the prices here in Ontario so anything else you can do is great.
Everyone is trying to keep cool this summer, thanks for your tips
Great tips! We miss our ceiling fan so much lol
We have gone the entire summer without AC in Southern Ontario. I think your body adjusts to the heat if you aren’t contstantly putting in shock moving in and out of air conditioned environments. We’ve had a handful of sticky days, but for the most part its been fairly comfortable!
We had a massive water fight yesterday!!
another tip: new double walled water bottles will keep your drinks cold for 12 hours
when it becomes more comfortable I open all the windows and at night I put a fan in the window to suck the cool night air in
lots of good tips. this summer has been so hot, it has been hard to cool the house down, even with the fan and keeping the shades down
Great tips! As much as I love having the blinds open to get the sun in – having them closed lowers the temperature significantly! It’s a trade off though – sun for cool!
We have occasionally run through the sprinkler in the back yard with the kids when it gets really humid.
I have been considering getting one of those window fans that helps to circulate the air better – I live in a townhouse and the top floor gets really hot sometimes!!!!
All great tips, we all need the help we can get with the rising costs, but I can not live without my air, I would die!!
These are all great tips!I especially like the tip about
keeping the air conditioner properly shaded can help make your AC run more efficiently.I didn’t know that.
a good black out curtain can do wonders during the height of a summer heat wave
We have to put up some black out curtains I think – we have some east facing balcony doors that are curtain-less!
These are great tips. To keep cool on the worst days we move to the basement for as many activities as we can. It is cooler down there.
I find closing the blinds makes a huge difference later on in the day.
the fan blows on me all day long, even with the air conditioning on
so many good tips, thanks for sharing
Great tips for staying cool this summer! The heat waves were bad this year!
Thanks for the info! I didn’t think of planting trees to help with shade! Will look into that for next summer! I have the a/c on too much this summer!
A cheap man’s A/C for extreme circumstances is to place a buckets of ice or cold water in front of a moving fan; it blows cold air. Great tips.
These are great tips. We just got a ceiling fan installed this year and we love it! It is definitely worth the investment.
I love the look at that retro fan and orange is my colour
bring on the fall with the cooler temps!
Christine Tuomi Holliday
Some really good ideas here…now that summer is almost over..hehe… I’m a little late. That yellow fan btw is adorable.
Debbie White Beattie
You got it right our hydro bills are getting higher with not an end in site. Thanks for these tips maybe they will help even though we’re heading into winter
No matter what we do, my house really holds the heat. Can’t wait for autumn!!!
Those are great tips,it never gets too hot here in Newfoundland
I live in the Rockies and this really isn’t a problem for us. I don’t know anyone who has an air conditioner. Don’t talk to me about the long cold winter though!
I keep my blinds closed all summer and run lots of fans!
Thank you for all these great tips!
Well here we are half way through October and still running fans. I can’t believe it’s going to be in the high 70’s temperature wise today and feeling like 80 degrees with the humidity. Where’s our beautiful fall cooler weather?
We do keep our blinds 80% closed in the summer and turn the fans on in the 2nd story bedrooms, even with the air conditioner running all summer long.
Great tips thanks for sharing , i a a person that needs a fan going every night i can’t sleep without one !
Thanks those are great tips,living by the ocean we seldom need fans!
Lots of great tips here to keep in mind when warmer weather comes!
Since the weather is starting to warm and we are getting 30+ today here in Halifax it’s beautiful fans soon !l ! Going to need those fans soon!
awesome tips , thanks for sharing , air conditioner is in the window , starting to get hot :)
Thanks for the great tips.
Good tips. I love the colour of that fan.
Pretty soon we will be dealing with cold :(
Great tips! Thanks so much!