Posted on 11 July 2012 by Mathew White
Last week the Osoyoos Times, with help from the B.C. Ambulance Service and Children’s Hospital, brought you a list of 10 helpful tips to stay safe during the summer.
This week, City Green Solutions is offering up a couple of tips for keeping your house well below the boiling point during those sweltering months.
The first tip comes from Torsten Ely, a certified energy advisor and thermographer with City Green Solutions.
Properly insulating your house will not only store heat in the winter, but will also keep the home cooler during the summer, he said.
“Just like a thermos, a well-sealed and insulated building can not only keep the heat in during the winter, but can also help you keep you cool during a heat wave,” said Ely.
Ely added it is also important to ensure all of your vents are properly working, with the air flowing freely. In particular, he said it is important to check the attic vents.
“When vents are blocked by insulation, dirt or debris, attic temperatures can reach 60°C or 70°C, making it very hard to keep the rest of your house cool,” said Ely. “Check with your roofing contractor to make sure you have the right ventilation balance in the attic to avoid overheating in the summer and to avoid heat loss and moisture problems in the winter.”
The third tip may not come as a surprise to anyone, especially in this day and age, but having an energy-efficient house can increase the comfortability of your home by leaps and bounds.
For example, something as simple as the orientation and size of your windows can dramatically reduce the amount of heat a home feels in the summer.
Although this isn’t something you can necessarily decide upon when initially purchasing your home, it is something that can be addressed at a later date. Just remember to select the most energy efficient window models and ensure they are properly installed.
Also, simple things like adding shade with shutters, awnings or foliage can make your home much cooler in the summer.
“Most people keep the curtains closed on hot days to keep the heat out, which helps a little, but still allows most of the heat in eventually. It’s much more effective to block the sun’s heat before it gets through your windows,” said Ely.
A few other low-cost solutions to beating the heat include:
- Closing your fireplace damper.
- Opening your windows at night and then closing them in the morning to keep the cool air inside.
- Turning off appliances like TVs and computers when they are not in use.
- Switching out heat-producing light bulbs with energy efficient, CFL or LED bulbs.
- Adding weather stripping to doors, windows, attic hatches and other air leakage areas.
If turning your home into a make-shift meat locker to beat the summer heat is on your mind, remember, there are a number of grants available for things like insulation, draft proofing, ENERGY STAR qualified windows and efficient heating and cooling systems available through LiveSmart BC.
To access these grants, it would be wise to book a home energy assessment with an energy advisor.
Energy advisors are certified by the federal government to provide expert, independent, energy-efficiency advice and a customized retrofit plan for saving energy in your home.
Contact City Green Solutions at 1-866-381-9995 or visit www.citygreen.ca to find an energy advisor serving Osoyoos.