Nobody in New Brunswick wants to complain about the summer heat when we know winter is never very far off. That said, we do need to manage the heat through July and August.
Depending on where in New Brunswick you live, summer can be warm, very warm or way too warm. While it may be easy to escape into woods, lakes, rivers or the ocean on weekends, most of the time we’re around home.
If your house gets uncomfortably warm during summer, follow these cooling tips. They will help keep you more comfortable and save energy too.
Keep your home cool on the hottest days with these simple tips.
1. Set ceiling fans to run counter-clockwise
In the summer, switch the your fan to a counter-clockwise rotation to push the air down. (Most ceiling fans include a switch to change the direction of the blades.) The movement of air over your skin will create a cooling effect. Stand-up fans provide the same relief. Remember, fans cool people, not rooms, so turn off fans when you’re not using the room.
For the best energy savings, ENERGY STAR®-rated ceiling fans are 60% more efficient than standard models. Ceiling fans use less energy than air conditioning, making this an excellent energy-saving hack during the hot summer days.
2. Close blinds during the sunniest times of day
Natural light is a great way to boost your mood but sunlight streaming into your home is like turning on the furnace. To help keep your home from becoming a sauna, close your blinds or curtains during the sunniest times of day.
3. Use large appliances (like an oven) at night
Your oven, clothes dryer and other large appliances release heat when in use. If you need to use your oven during the hot summer days, try cooking in the evening only. Or, prep meals the night before to help you avoid using your stove or oven during the hottest times of the day. Instead of using your dryer use a clothes line or drying racks. Unplug any appliances you're not using.
4. Close off unused rooms
Closing doors to the rooms you're not using means you won’t waste energy cooling them. It also keeps the warm air trapped in the unused rooms. If you use an AC, focus on only cooling rooms that are in use.
5. Operate a dehumidifier
Hot summer days can come with a high humidex. Using a dehumidifier in your basement can help reduce this summer humidity in your home, making it feel cooler. ENERGY STAR® certified dehumidifiers use up to 15 percent less energy than other current models. Also, most models are portable and have intelligent humidity controls that switch the unit on and off, which allows you to maintain your desired humidity setting.
6. Ensure the insulation in your attic and walls is up-to-date
Proper insulation does more than keep your home warm during the cold winter months. It is also excellent for keeping your home cool in the summer. If you believe your home needs some added insulation this summer, check out the insulation incentives available in New Brunswick.
7. Weather-stripping to prevent cool air from escaping
Everything that’s great about weather stripping in winter is great in summer too, especially if you use air conditioning to cool your home. Weather stripping will help to keep cooler air in your home and block the hot humid summer air from entering. Weather stripping can only do so much. If you’re doors and windows are inefficient to begin with, replacing them with high efficiency models will benefit you in winter and summer. If it's time to replace your window and doors, maximize your savings with New Brunswick's Total Home Energy Savings Program.
8. Install smart thermostats
Smart thermostats give you more control over the exact temperature in your house. If you are cooling your home with an air conditioner or heat pump, a one-degree change in the temperature can make a significant difference in your energy bill. Increasing the thermostat by just 1°C in warm weather can reduce cooling costs by 10%. Aim to set the temperature between 23°C -25°C and always turn it off when you’re not home.
9. Use your heat pump for air conditioning
There are three heat pump modes for summer. “Fan” uses the least energy and may suffice when you need a little relief, but it will not cool the room so be sure to turn it off when you leave. When it’s warm and muggy, “Dry” mode can reduce the humidity and make the room feel more comfortable. “Cool” mode is the best choice for lowering the temperature and may suit the hottest days
10. Grill outside and prepare no-cook meals more often
Keeping your stove turned off is a great way to help keep your home cool in the summer. Get the most out of the gorgeous summer weather by cooking meals outside on your BBQ. NO-cook meals using fresh summer ingredients is another way to keep your kitchen (and the cook) cool.
Keep your home cool and save energy this summer
Keeping your home comfortable in summer can be done efficiently. Closing your curtains and closing doors to unused rooms, and using fans are easy and practical ways to stay cool. Minimizing your use of large heat emitting appliances like the oven and dryer will also help to keep your home more comfortable. Other low-cost options include installing smart thermostats and new weather-stripping.
These energy-saving tips can reduce your energy bill and help to keep your home cool during the summer.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I keep cool in the summer without AC?
Keep yourself comfortable this summer by drinking plenty of cool water. Hydration is essential to your body's cooling system. Using a simple fan will make you more comfortable as well. If you’re truly uncomfortable take a cool shower or use an ice pack.
How can I keep my home cool in extreme heat?
Keep rooms cooler by closing your blinds and curtains to keep the heat out. Use your BBQ for cooking to avoid turning on the stove. Keep the cool air inside by sealing all the gaps in your doors and windows. Even changing out your incandescent lightbulbs can help keep you cool and save you money on your energy bill. ENERGY STAR®-rated light bulbs produce 70-90% less heat than incandescent lightbulbs.
What are three methods for cooling my home?
- Get a heat pump: Heat pumps are efficient for summer cooling as well as winter heating. You should still keep efficiency in mind when using your heat pump as an air conditioner. Aim to set the temperature no lower than 25 C and always turn it off when you’re not home.
- Use fans: Both standing fans and ceiling fans are a great way to help your home feel cooler. This lower-energy option works best in smaller closed spaces, like a bedroom. Pro tip- put a bowl of ice in front of the fan for a DIY air conditioner.
- Install an air conditioner: While these are among the most popular choices for cooling your home, they also use the most energy. To help with energy costs, choose an ENERGY STAR® certified unit. ENERGY STAR® recommends you keep your home no cooler than 23°C to 25° C for optimal cooling while staying energy efficient. (For every degree you raise the temperature you can save 3% on your air conditioning costs.)
How can I cool my room naturally?
Adding shade outside your home, like an awning or umbrellas, can help keep the sun off your home and keep your rooms cooler. Open your windows at night to flush out the hot air from the day and allow cooler air in. Unplug any devices you're not using in your room.