The weather may be heating up in Ottawa, but luckily there are lots of ways for you to keep cool. Try some of the following tips to survive even the hottest days of summer. You can also save money with these energy-saving techniques.

  1. When the days are hot, make sure that your windows and curtains are closed. The darker the curtains, the better, so that you can keep the sun from heating up your house. As the sun goes down, and the air outside becomes cooler, turn off the air conditioner and open the windows. If some rooms still never seem to cool down during the day, shut the doors, so your air conditioner does not have to work so hard.
  2. Make sure to provide extra shading to the windows on the north and west sides of your home. Trees, window shades, or even reflective film that can be applied directly on the windows can all help. In the winter, trees will help block cold wind, and you need to remember to remove the film from the glass.
  3. Try to spend your time in one or two main rooms, and shut them off from the rest of the house. Cool these rooms only, and let the rest of the house go. You can even use weather stripping to ensure that there is not any air flow between rooms.
  4. Use a fan when you can. When the heat is not too bad to withstand, you can use a fan rather than running your air conditioner. This will save energy, money, and be better for the environment.
  5. Cut back on wasted energy by installing more insulation in your walls and attic. The insulation will keep the hot air out and the cool air in, which will mean you need your air conditioner less. This means both lower bills and less impact on the environment.
  6. Do not set your thermostat too low. Generally, if it is set around 26 degrees Celsius, you should be able to stay cool enough, without going overboard on energy usage. There is no need for your home to be so cold that you need to put on extra clothes. Even one or two degrees difference can make a major impact on energy bills.
  7. Keep up with regular maintenance your air conditioner. The part of the unit that is outside should be in a more shady area, and filters should be cleaned or changed as often as necessary. The better shape your air conditioner is in, the more efficiently it will run.
  8. Spend more time outside, especially in the evenings. Obviously, there is no need for you to be hanging out in the yard and sweltering at noon, unless you want to be, but when the sun is lower in the sky and a cool breeze sets in, the outdoors can be a very pleasant place, and it will get you off the couch and away from the TV as well.

Although Canada is known for its cold winters, Ottawa residents know all too well that the summer heat can be a challenge to deal with as well. Following all of these steps can help you stay cool, even when outdoor temperatures become unbearable.