Five tips for keeping your home cool without air conditioning this summer

It’s only June, but Calgarians have already gotten a taste of the 30-degree temperatures usually reserved for the peak summer days of July and August. This summer could be a hot one, and it’ll feel even hotter if, like many Calgarians, your home doesn’t have air conditioning.

Here are five tips for keeping your home cool without A/C this summer:

1) Cover up windows

A ton of unwanted heat can come from solar energy entering your home through the windows, creating greenhouse-like conditions that will have you sweating in no time. The solution is as simple as ensuring your blinds or other window coverings are closed during the day to block the sun. At night, once the sun has set and temperatures have dropped, you can open your windows to let cool air back into the space.

2) Hack your fan

It’s possible to mimic the feeling of a chilly sea breeze using a standard fan and a couple extra materials you should have lying around. Fill a large mixing bowl with ice cubes or ice packs then place it in front of your fan. When you turn it on, the air blowing through the fan will be chilled by the bowl of ice, offering sweet relief from high indoor temperatures.

3) Adjust ceiling fans

Ceiling fans usually run in two directions. Make sure your fans are set to run counterclockwise during the summer to direct airflow downward, which will create a cooling wind-chill effect. If your fans are set to run clockwise, they will actually create an updraft that can push hotter air near the ceiling down to ground level, making the space feel warmer.

4) Ditch incandescent lights

Many people replaced their inefficient incandescent bulbs long ago, but if you still have a few scattered throughout the home, make sure they are turned off when outside temperatures climb. Incandescent bulbs throw off a ton of heat, so if you need to keep things well lit during a heatwave, replace them with more efficient LED or fluorescent bulbs that stay cool during use.

5) Avoid hot appliances

Your oven, stove, dishwasher, washing machine and dryer can all heat up your home’s interior. Try to avoid using these appliances, or use them sparingly, during the hottest parts of the day. If you have a barbecue, now’s the time to start grilling – you’ll get a chance to enjoy the weather and keep your home cool at the same time.

By Tyler Difley - June 14, 2021