Skip the A/C and try these tips for keep­ing cool!

The Hamilton Spectator - - REAL ESTATE -

With the cool and wet spring we had in south­ern On­tario this year, many home­own­ers were able to keep the A/C turned off un­til at least mid-June. But now that the hot and hu­mid days of sum­mer have ar­rived, keep­ing cool at home has once again be­come a pri­or­ity. If you're look­ing for ways to re­duce the tem­per­a­ture in your home with­out blast­ing the cen­tral air, take a look at these tips:

Since the sun's pow­er­ful rays are very ef­fec­tive at heat­ing up a struc­ture, the first step is to con­sider how you can ef­fec­tively block some of those rays and de­flect some heat away from your home. A strate­gi­cally placed awning, per­gola or a few trees will block the sun from hit­ting your win­dows and doors 12 hours a day.

One of the eas­i­est ways to keep the heat out is by clos­ing blinds, drapes and shut­ters dur­ing the hottest part of the day. For those look­ing for a more per­ma­nent so­lu­tion, ex­te­rior rolling shut­ters might be a good op­tion. They are ef­fec­tive at help­ing to main­tain a com­fort­able in­te­rior tem­per­a­ture, will re­duce noise lev­els and also add an ex­tra layer of your se­cu­rity to your home. The only down­fall is price‚ good qual­ity rolling shut­ters are ex­pen­sive. "Dou­ble glaz­ing" your win­dows can cut the in­take of sum­mer heat in­side your home by as much as 30 per cent.

Us­ing fans is an­other sim­ple and in­ex­pen­sive op­tion for keep­ing cool at home. Light­weight and portable, fans have come so far in the past 20 years, style-wise, and are still an ex­tremely ef­fec­tive way of keep­ing a room cool. Place fans in a few rooms through­out the main level of your home to keep air cir­cu­lat­ing. Dur­ing the sum­mer, ceil­ing fans should ro­tate coun­ter­clock­wise to push cool air down. This evap­o­rates per­spi­ra­tion, cre­ates a cool­ing wind chill ef­fect, and makes a room feel up to eight de­grees cooler with­out chang­ing the tem­per­a­ture in the room!

Still feel­ing the heat at home? Be­fore you switch on the A/C, get rid of all the in­can­des­cent light bulbs in your home, bar­be­cue as of­ten as pos­si­ble in­stead of turn­ing on the oven, al­ways use the bath­room fan to re­move hot steam af­ter show­er­ing and open the win­dows af­ter the sun goes down to let in the cool evening breeze! (RMM)

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