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Chill Out, Calgary: Your Guide to an Efficient Summer Home

Ken Rigel

Ken Rigel comes from true pioneer stock and was born and raised on a small farm in southern Alberta, where he learned the value of honest hard work.Te...

Ken Rigel comes from true pioneer stock and was born and raised on a small farm in southern Alberta, where he learned the value of honest hard work.Te...

Jun 10 1 minutes read

As Calgary welcomes the warm chinooks and sun-drenched days of summer, the battle against high temperatures and climbing energy bills begins. But fear not, fellow Calgarians! Achieving a cool and energy-efficient home during our short, yet sometimes intense, summer months doesn't have to be a daunting task. With the right approach, you can enjoy a comfortably cool home without sacrificing your hard-earned savings. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Seal and Save

Before Calgary's weather decides if it’s summer or just another spring tease, inspect your home for air leaks. Drafts around windows, doors, and vents are public enemy number one for energy efficiency. A little weather-stripping or caulking goes a long way in keeping the cool air in and the warm air out. It’s a simple and cost-effective first step in fortifying your fortress against the heat.

2. Insulate to Regulate

Good insulation is like having a superhero barrier against Calgary’s sometimes bipolar weather tendencies. It’s not only about staying warm in the winter; proper insulation helps beat the summer heat too. Check the insulation in your attic, walls, and floors to ensure they’re doing their job. If your home is older, you might be due for an upgrade. Remember, keeping cool in Calgary begins with keeping the heat out.

3. Appliance Alchemy

Turning appliances into allies in your quest for energy efficiency is smart strategy. If your appliances are older than the Flames’ last Stanley Cup win, it might be time for an upgrade. Look for those with the ENERGY STAR label—these are the cream of the crop in terms of efficiency. Not only do they lower your carbon footprint, they’re kinder to your wallet over time too.

4. Breeze-Capture Expert

Calgary’s evenings can bring cooler air perfect for natural home cooling. Make the most of these breezes with smart window management and perhaps a strategically placed fan to encourage cross-ventilation. It’s an eco-friendly way to welcome a little outside chill into your abode.

5. Smart Shades for Sunny Days

With Calgary’s summer sun comes the heat, sometimes more than we bargain for. Light-colored curtains, blinds, or shades can block out those intense rays during peak hours, keeping indoor spaces cooler. Opt for reflective backings to further reduce solar heat gain and keep your cooling efforts from going out the window—literally.

6. Thermostat: The Brain of Your Home

Smart thermostats can be a game-changer for maintaining a cool, energy-efficient home in Calgary. Setting your thermostat to a comfortable yet efficient temperature (think 76-80°F) can make a significant difference in your energy consumption. Auto-adjust features can save cooling power when you’re not home, optimizing your energy use without sacrificing comfort.

7. HVAC Health Check

Keep your cooling system in top shape with regular maintenance. This means annual check-ups by a professional and regular filter changes. Calgary's air can be full of surprises, from spring pollen to summer wildfire smoke, so keep your system clean to keep it efficient.

8. Windows: Your Clear Path to Efficiency

Energy-efficient windows can be a game-changer in Calgary's climate, helping keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. If your windows are as vintage as Heritage Park, consider an upgrade to models with low-emissivity (low-E) coatings and insulated frames. They’re an investment that pays off year-round in comfort and savings.

9. Fan Club President

Ceiling fans are the unsung heroes of energy-efficient cooling. They require far less power than air conditioning and can make a room feel up to 4 degrees cooler. Remember, fans cool people, not rooms, so flip them on when you’re there to enjoy the breeze and off when you leave.

10. Natural Cooling: Landscaping and Shade

Calgary's unique climate offers opportunities for natural cooling through strategic landscaping. Planting deciduous trees on the south and west sides of your home can offer shade during the summer months, naturally reducing your reliance on air conditioning. Plus, they add a touch of green beauty to your property.

By adopting these tips tailored to Calgary's unique summer climate, you can keep your home cool and your energy bills in check. Remember, staying comfortable during our beautiful Calgary summers doesn't have to mean compromising on energy efficiency or breaking the bank. With a bit of preparation and smart home management, you can chill out and enjoy the season to its fullest.

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