How To Keep Your Home Cool This Summer

It was a strange winter in Southern Ontario this year, with spring weather creeping up over much of the province as early as February, but you can be sure that summer will be hot and uncomfortable. Ontarians are used to dealing with extremes and embrace them both, hitting the slopes and the hockey rinks for one half of the year and escaping whenever they can to the cottage or the lake the other half. Still, the heat can lead to some pretty unbearable afternoons (and sleepless nights) if you don’t like to use the AC, and overusing it can also make your home uncomfortable, as you wake up shivering in a chilly house.

There are several strategies you can use this summer to keep cool, even when the weather starts to get sweltering, and minimize your AC use to cut down on your energy consumption. Take advantage of the physics of air: hot air rises, a fact you can exploit to create a draft in your home. It’s not hard to tell which way the wind is blowing (in southwestern Ontario, the wind generally moves from west to east, with currents angling from either north or south). Open up windows that are going to catch the breeze on the lower floors of your home, while opening upstairs windows on the leeside; this means cool air will push warm air out.

A similar principal is at work in double hung windows, which you can have custom made at Golden Windows. People often wonder what the point of them of is, and it all has to do with the physics of airflow. When you open them both top and bottom, you allow hot air to escape from the top while cool air can enter from the bottom, and it’s a great solution when your home doesn’t allow for you to create the kind of wind tunnel described above.

In addition to ventilation, insulation is an important part of not only keeping your home toasty and cozy in the cold, but also keeping the heat out during the sweaty, sweltering months of July and August. Golden Windows Energy Star products help insulate your home in all seasons by preventing infrared heat energy from transferring through the glass, without obscuring sunlight. Low-E coatings and argon gas fills prevent heat transfer between inside and outside, improving the insulation of your home.

Finally, if you’re building a home on a large lot from scratch, use siting to your advantage, a traditional practice that takes into account the angles of the sun in your region. Siting allows you to build a home that optimizes both direct and diffuse sunlight; for example, you can maximize heat gain with south-facing windows, while using low angles on west-facing walls will minimize painful glare from long summer sunsets. The art of lighting is a delicate one, but energy efficient windows will always make it easier to manage, whether you’re building a home from scratch or just redesigning. Give us a call at Golden Windows and we can lend our expertise.


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