Mr. Brydon is currently a Senior Account Executive with Reliance Home Comfort where he supports New Product Development projects within their Builder Markets Group.
He is both a LEED Accredited Professional, and an NRCan Certified Energy Evaluator with the EnergyStar and Energuide programs. In addition to his role as Vice Chair with Sustainable Buildings Canada, he has also served as Chair of the Canada Green Building Council – Greater Toronto Chapter and is a past Board Director for BILD, the Building Industry and Land Development Associations (formerly Greater Toronto Home Builders Association and The Urban Development Institute).
Stay Cool This Summer Without Breaking The Bank
Summer is here and it’s a hot one. When temperatures break 30 degrees in Ontario, the humidity often makes it feel like it’s above 40 degrees. When it’s that sticky and hot, keeping your family comfortable and safe climbs to the top of the priority list.
Here are the top 10 ways to keep your home comfortable this summer without breaking the bank.
1. Pay attention to when you run your air conditioner.
Your energy bills fluctuate depending on the time of day. Keeping your air conditioner off during peak hours will help you keep your energy bills down so that you can spend it on the things you actually want and need. Peak hours tend to be during the day when you are at work or at school, so set your thermostat a couple of degrees higher and you’ll notice the savings on your bill.
2. Seal up the house.
Remember when your mother told you to keep the doors closed so that you didn’t “cool the entire neighborhood”? Although keeping doors closed will prevent cold air from escaping your home, you can also use spray foam on any openings around the house and even replace any old door seals that may be letting the humidity in.
3. Maintain your air conditioner.
Although your air conditioner is a durable piece of equipment, consistent maintenance will ensure it is running at full capacity while keeping costs down. Consider changing the filters regularly and keeping the condenser coils on the unit clean. You may even want to consider a Comfort Protection Plan from your home comfort provider. This plan includes regular maintenance on your air conditioner.
4. Switch to CFL light bulbs.
Believe it or not, the light bulbs in your house may be producing unwanted heat. Not only should you keep lights off during the day, but try using CFL (energy efficient) bulbs instead of standard bulbs.
5. Turn off your electronic devices (completely).
In addition to the light bulbs in your house, electronic devices such as computers and televisions are also producing unwanted heat. Even when a device enters “sleep” mode, they are still drawing energy (wasting money) and producing heat (making your home less comfortable). So use a power bar to turn off those computers and TVs completely!
6. Get outside and use the BBQ!
Summer is a great time for food and friends, but the heat produced by your indoor cooking appliances make your home even harder to cool down. What better way to enjoy the summer weather and keep your home comfortable than to get outside and use the BBQ? Of course, you could always use the microwave, but who wants chicken or steak from the microwave?
7. Install Energy Star ceiling fans.
Have you ever noticed that a cool breeze in the summer makes you feel 100 times better? You can create that same effect indoors by installing a ceiling fan. This is especially effective for cooling down rooms that tend to be warmer than others without having to set the thermostat lower to compensate. Just be sure you get an Energy Star rated fan to keep the energy costs to a minimum.
8. Plant a tree!
Quick – how do you make your home more comfortable, save on energy costs and save the enviroment all at the same time? Plant a tree! When that summer sun beats down on your south and west facing windows, it’s making things a lot warmer than they need to be in your house. Plant a tree that loses its leaves in the fall and you’ll still let the sun through in the winter. You can also consider planting some shrubs around your air conditioner to keep the condensing unit nice and cool, which will increase its efficiency.
9. What if you don’t have air conditioning?
If you don’t have air conditioning in your house, you can use the “passive cooling” method. If your house is two stories or more, you’ll be familiar with the “cool basement” and “hot upstairs” combination. To combat this, simply open a window in your basement and one on the upper floor. The warm air rising through your basement will draw cool air throughout your house. You can increase the effect by opening up a second window on the upper floor, which will allow for cross ventilation.
10. Get out of your house and into your community.
Wherever you live in Ontario, there are places in your community where you can get out for a fun family trip and cool down at the same time. Whether it’s a lake, river or community park, there are plenty of places to keep cool while discovering this great province of ours.