Tips on beating the heat this summer

July 17th 2009
Tips on beating the heat this summer

As the "Dog Days of Summer" are already upon us, many people are looking for ways to keep their homes cool. Here are some tips, and products that can help you enjoy summer while maintaining a cooler and more comfortable environment in your home.

Skylight Shades

Skylights are a great way to let natural light enter your home, but the intense heat and light of the sun can heat up the interior of your home in a hurry, and make that natural light almost unbearable. An easy solution to this is the Sun Blocker by Newco Products.

The Sun Blocker is a mesh screen that will fit snug over any skylight, and attaches easily by bungee cords on each corner. This allows natural light in through your skylight while filtering out the more intense rays of the sun. Newco Products also has many other products available that you may find helpful, such as window films and tints and security products.


Awnings are a simple way to beat the heat on your back deck or patio. An awning can keep the sun off your deck and in turn help preserve the life of your patio furniture and deck.

Awnings can either be retractable or fixed. The advantage of a retractable awning is that it can be put away to be protected from wind, rain, and other damage that can occur. A Fixed Awning is installed permanently, and are usually made from either wood or aluminum.


Planting a tree is both a smart and environmentally sound idea for home owners looking to add beauty and natural shade to their home. When planted south or west of house, trees can provide adequate shade in the summer and allow light through in the fall and winter after the leaves have fallen.

Windows and draft proofing

Replacing your old windows with a new energy efficient model will help you keep your home cooler in the summer. Keep in mind that the installation is just as important as the window. Choose a vinyl framed window that has substantial chambers or air cavities in the structure of the vinyl extrusion. Also, using the warm edge white super spacer product will provide you with one of the best glass spacers. Using laminated glass will help reduce the road noise and proper installation is crucial to the performance of your new windows.

Make sure that the glass includes Low Emissive or Low e2. Low-e (low-emissive) windows have a clear coating on the glass to keep heat out during the summer and heat in during the winter. This is very energy efficient and reduces the heat and ultraviolet gains. Most window supply and installation services would recommend doing the entire home at the same time and will offer a payment plan. If your budget doesn't allow you to change all your windows at once, plan to install new windows in phases starting with where your family spends most of their time

By caulking around your windows, and sealing electrical outlets and other areas that air will escape or enter your home, you are increasing the efficiency of your home, so the air you cool with your air conditioner is not just escaping outside through these areas. It's a simple job that takes minimal effort, but the energy savings are definitely worth it.

Open Doors and Windows

Create naturally cooling cross ventilation by keeping the doors and windows open to allow the breezes to flow through the house. Installing retractable screens on patio doors and entry doors is a great alternative to traditional screen doors that can hideaway when not in use and do not obstruct views.

Air Conditioning

Air conditioners can be costly to operate if used ineffectively. It's important to ensure that your homes windows are closed before you turn on your air conditioner, so as to ensure the warm air from outside is not working against the air conditioner attempting to cool your homes interior. Also check your homes humidity levels. Moist air is substantially more difficult to heat or cool, and the drier the air is, the easier it will be on both your heating and cooling equipment. Bakerview Heating and Cooling provides a variety of air conditioners to customers in the lower mainland.

Mitsubishi's Mr. Slim Ductless or split air conditioning systems are an ideal choice if you are looking to cool a home more efficiently without cutting holes and taking up window space. This is a ductless air conditioning system that is designed for homes and condos without using ductwork or windows. The indoor unit mounts on your wall and the outdoor unit which houses the compressor are connected by a small refrigerator line. The unit from Mitsubishi, called "Mr. Slim," is one of the quietest units around. The Mr. Slim heat pump models have an air-conditioning mode that is ideal for cottages!

Other handy Tips

In the summer, ceiling fans should rotate counter-clockwise. If you stand beneath the fan, you should feel a cool breeze. In the winter, reverse the blades and operate the ceiling fan at low speed in the clockwise direction to create to force warm air down.

Ensure you have adequate ventilation and insulation. A well-insulated house will stay cool in summer and warm in winter. Roof or attic insulation is most important for keeping cool in warm weather. Upgrade your ventilation while you upgrade your insulation for healthy air and moisture balance. Ensure all exhaust fans vent outside your house, not into your attic or exterior walls.

Avoid using appliances on hot days that contribute to indoor heat such as stoves and dryers. Barbecue outside and use a microwave to cook. Don't run a clothes dryer during a hot day and hang your laundry to dry or limit use of dryers to early in the morning or in the evening.

By following some of these tips, you can make your home more comfortable not only in the summer, but also throughout the winter heating season.

For more information or a referral to any of the products or services mentioned in this article, call us at Shell Busey's Home Services 604 542 2236 or toll free 1 888 266 8806.

It's Just That Easy!