Beat the Heat this Stampede Season!
By Corey McCloskey, Customer Response Team
Stampede 2017 is upon us and, unlike last year’s pagan tribute to the rain gods, it looks like it’s going to be HOT! When you’re on the grounds, you’ll be scarfing down a mini donut-chata or partaking in a frosty adult beverage or two, so temperatures will be under control, but you’ll be heading home eventually, right? Assuming the answer to that question is yes, here are a few tips to stay cool in your Cedarglen home this summer!
Seems like just yesterday I was penning a blog about triple glazed windows, so that feels like a good place to start! Windows are an important component of the building envelope, as they represent an obvious weak link in the insulation value of your exterior walls. Rather than filling panes of glass with spray foam and seriously hampering your view of the world around you, window manufacturers use science to mitigate the effects of ultraviolet radiation.
Low-E glass coatings help to reflect radiant energy away from your home and injections of argon into the air spaces between glass panes help to reduce conduction of heat through the glass itself, but the part of your window which doesn’t have more upgrades than Batman’s utility belt is the screen. At bedtime, opening windows at opposite ends of your home is a great way to let a refreshing breeze blow through and cool things off, but be sure to close them up in the morning, as screens don’t do a particularly good job of reflecting UV or preventing heat transmission!
Windows make a great segue into window coverings…who knew? We tend to think of window coverings as a complimentary piece of home décor and an important part of ensuring privacy, but your window coverings also accomplish much of the same functionality as the enhancements to your windows.
I hate to do this in July, but we spend a lot of time talking about condensation in the winter, and one of the things we recommend is raising your blinds or tilting the planks to ensure adequate air movement across the glass, allowing for management of condensed latent humidity. By closing your blinds, shutters, or shades during the day, the ultraviolet radiation the low E coating didn’t reflect away is stopped in its tracks by a stylish Venetian barricade.
Are you home during the day and particularly enjoy indulging in a cloudless blue sky? Close the window coverings on the windows facing the sun, at any given point in the day. My home faces east, so we keep our shutters open during the day to keep a watchful eye on the kids playing in the yard, and close them up in the evening, when the sun starts to make its way over the Rockies and directly into my eyes at the dinner table.
Air conditioning is an important part of quality of life for many but, for most Albertans, it’s a luxury we really only pine over a couple weeks out of the year. Next week is looking like one of those weeks, but never fear! Cedarglen’s HVAC standard spec is up to the task.
Let’s start with a thermostat operation refresher from YouTube sensation and site supervisor extraordinaire, Kyle! We spend a great deal of time educating our homeowners in the art of humidity control and winter interior climate management, and we tend to forget about our HVAC system during the summer. Avoid heat-stroke inducing summer nights using the power of technology!
I’ve circled the fan switch in this illustration, as this is your best tool for managing air movement throughout your home. If you actually watched the video, Kyle explains this principle, but the first thing you’ll want to consider is your fan setting. When the hatches are battened down for the winter, having the fan switch set to ‘on’ is important, as it helps control accumulated moisture on your windows, as well as facilitating the exchange of stale air in your home with fresh air from the exterior. In the summer, however, that’s a surefire way to drive the temperature up in your home! Flip the switch from ‘on’ to ‘auto’ in the morning, and leave the sweltering heat outside, and flip it back to ‘on’ in the evening, especially when things cool off after a prairie thunderstorm, which is like a breath of fresh air.
Last, but certainly not least, are your bath fans. As you know, bath fans are an important tool for managing the most significant source of concentrated humidity in your home, namely your shower, but they’re also a great companion to that cool summer breeze we talked about earlier!
Right above my sunny evening kitchen are my kids’ sunny evening bedrooms, and you KNOW putting a toddler and a “threenager” (Google it, it’s a thing) down for the night can be a challenge when it gets dark around 11. No cross draft for this guy! While having the shutters drawn and the window closed is a necessary evil, you’re no better off if it’s too hot for the little ones, or the grown-ups for that matter, to sleep.
Chances are, your main bathroom is centrally located in your home, and chances are, you sleep next to an ensuite bathroom, so substitute an open window for a running bath fan! The fan is still going to pull air out of your home, so you’re still going to draw in cool air from outside, and your HRV is still going to circulate and exchange air throughout your home. Gradually, lower temperatures will prevail throughout, setting you up to keep cool when the mercury rises the next day!
Have a great weekend!