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Summer Energy Savings Tips

Summer Energy Saving Tips for Ontario Homeowners
How to keep your cool…and your $$$

Solar gain – Ask any Ontario Homeowner when the greatest solar heat gain to their home is… the usual answer is noon or 1pm. That’s the time of day when the sun is at its strongest; however it’s not the time of day when Ontario homeowners will experience the greatest heat gain into their home. The actual answer is over the dinner hours, around 4 – 7pm. The sun has had all afternoon to bake down on the roof and walls of the house. By dinner time the heat buildup in these building materials and areas is great enough to start penetrating into the living space. Attics can heat up to 140 degrees F, and this heat will radiate into bedrooms in the evening when there isn’t sufficient attic insulation or attic ventilation, causing Ontario homeowners to crank up the air conditioning for sleeping. One of the easiest ways to save on energy for the summer is by adding insulation to the attic.

Trees & Landscaping – Well designed landscaping can generate energy savings by reducing cooling costs by lowering summer heat gains in Ontario homes. Summer solar heat gains through windows is a major contributor to the cooling load on air conditioning. Trees and shrubs planted on the west and south sides of a one-or two-story house can effectively reduce system demand. Trees and shrubs that lose their leaves are best as they will allow solar gains for the winter months allowing Ontario homeowners to save on energy in the heating season as well.

Blinds/Awnings – Ontario homeowners on a tight budget can save on energy by simply installing thermal blinds or curtains and keeping them closed throughout the day, effectively blocking out all solar gains. This is the “good old fashioned” form of energy savings that our grandparents used. Natural daylight is also blocked so, remember to keep the lights off in darkened rooms. Architectural features such as awnings and overhangs allow solar control without affecting visibility from indoors.

Insulation – A professionally installed home insulation upgrade will provide energy savings in perpetuity. Attic insulation at a R50 level will keep the heat out of the house in the summer, reducing the demand on the cooling system. Having an insulation contractor, like Insta-Insulation add spray foam insulation to air seal the attic prior to adding insulation like blown cellulose will also inhibit the movement of heat.

Ontario homeowners are pleasantly surprised at the low cost of attic insulation upgrades relative to the ongoing energy savings it provides. Homes with unfinished basements can save on energy by having spray foam insulation applied to the basement walls and headers prior to drywall. Spray foam insulation will provide a good monolithic air and vapour seal, eliminating the common issue of mould in a damp basement. Ontario homeowners that have designed and built their entire home with spray foam insulation have cooling and heating systems that provide the most energy savings. The HVAC system simply isn’t required to run very often!

To have a Smart Comfort Advisor explore your energy saving insulation options call 1.800.668.0311