Windows are a primary source of heat absorption for your home. I am happy to say that there are many ways to combat the problem, and many of the solutions are rather simple. Here are some tips to make your windows work for you:
- Make sure they are up to date and as energy efficient as possible. Caulk all cracks and crevices.
- Close the blinds/curtains, especially on south and west-facing windows. Using blackout curtains or curtains with a reflective lining will be even more effective. Installing window films can also prove very effective.
- Install awnings or plant trees to shade your windows.
Know when to open your windows and when to keep them closed. It is best to keep your windows closed during the day and open them at night when the air is cooler, especially if there is a breeze. If there is no breeze, then you may want to use a window fan to create one. Open the top section of the windows on the downwind side of the house and the bottom section on the upwind side of the house. Then leave all the interior doors open throughout the home to ensure proper airflow. Just make sure you remember to close the windows and close off unused rooms of the house in the morning before it warms up again outside.
Did you know that there is a proper way to use fans to
ensure maximum effectiveness? Ceiling fans should run clockwise in the winter
and counter clockwise in the summer. This method will keep air circulating in
the winter and provide a refreshing breeze in the summer. Need a little more
breeze? Place a bowl of ice tipped at an angle behind a desk fan. The air
moving over the ice will be colder than the room air. Also, consider venting
hot air out of the home when possible. Place a box fan in the window facing
outside and consider turning on the bathroom, laundry and stove vents to pull
the warm air out of your home.
Unplug all electronics and appliances when not in use.
Leaving them plugged in draws energy and releases heat as a by-product. One
appliance you may want to plug in though is a dehumidifier. Removing excess
humidity from the air will allow your sweat to evaporate and leave you feeling
much more comfortable. Also, consider installing a clothesline in your yard if
you don’t already have one and do laundry and ironing at cooler points in the
day. Don’t even consider turning on your stove or oven during hot days. This is
the time to learn to grill either on a bbq, camp stove or a good old fashioned tripod
over the fire. Keeping these large appliances off will have a dramatic effect
on your home’s atmosphere.
Discard incandescent lightbulbs and make the switch to LEDs. You’ll be glad you did. When possible, don’t even flip the switch and use natural lighting instead.
Cotton is your friend in the summer. Use white or light cotton fabric everywhere you can from clothing to bedding and even to furniture covers. White reflects the sun’s energy while black absorbs it and cotton breaths. Buckwheat pillows naturally hold air and won’t hold your body heat, so if sleeping in the summer is a problem for you, you may want to consider trying one out.
Home Insulation Installation
Finally, check your insulation. If your home isn’t adequately insulated, then all of the above efforts are in vain. Some insulation (like those used in attics) settles over the years and may benefit from a top-up. Love your mid-century not sure why it is freezing in the winter and roasting in the summer? Check the wall insulation as it may have sagged over the years. Even for new builds, it is a good idea to go over what insulation was used and if it has enough R-value to keep you and your family comfortable without cranking up the AC. If you are not sure where the problem lies, then give us a call. We can use thermal imaging to find your home’s problem areas and help you create a solution to fix the issues. It may be you need more or different insulation in that area, or it may be that a little caulking will do your doors and windows good. Whatever it is, we are happy to help.
London, Ontario & Area
Give us a call at 519-768-3977 wherever you are in Southwestern, Ontario. We will come to you, inspect your home and help you develop a plan that will keep you cool as well as give your AC and the environment a much-needed break.