The summer’s sweltering, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep your apartment cool. Here are some ways to turn down the heat without breaking the bank.
Keeping cool in the summer can seem like an impossible feat if you don’t have air conditioning in your rental apartment. This summer, Environment Canada has already issued several heat and humidity-related warnings in the province of Ontario alone. Even the media is going crazy over this year’s heat wave. On June 21, the National Post reported that this summer is predicted to be hotter and drier than usual for almost all of Canada. The article quotes senior climatologist Dave Phillips of Environment Canada, who says, “There’s no guarantee with weather — not in Canada, maybe in Malta or Cyprus or Honolulu… But our models are showing that we think that July and August and early September look like it’s going to be warmer than normal from coast to coast to coast.”
Despite these sweltering predictions, there are some simple, cost-effective steps you can take to ensure you remain comfortably cool in your rental throughout the dog days of summer.
Closed for the Season: The first step you can take is to close the doors to rooms you’re not going to frequent throughout the day. For example, if you’re going to be in your living room or office during the day, when the heat is at its most intense, close the doors to your bedroom and bathroom. The smaller the area you have to cool, the faster your ceiling fan or floor fan can do its work.
Lights Out: Keep the lights off during the day to prevent unnecessary heat from accumulating in your unit. While you’re at it, turn off appliances and electronics that you won’t be using anytime soon. A great example is technological equipment. Do you keep your computer running all day? The heat generated from a desktop computer can add to the discomfort level of an already-hot room, so turn it off if you will not be using it (this saves on your electricity bill, too!).
Blind the Light: It is also a good idea to keep your blinds closed during the day. The less sun you have beating into your suite, the cooler it will be. You can re-open your blinds in the evening when the sun is beginning to set and also open your windows to let in the breeze. It may seem like a good idea to open windows during the afternoon, but you will only be letting in hot outside air. Wait until the day has cooled off before opening up your windows.
Ice It: Another very simple trick for getting an air-conditioned feel to your rental apartment without incurring any cost is to place a bowl of ice in front of a fan. As the ice melts, the fan will blow the cold air from it around your room. Of course, be sure to place the bowl of ice somewhere that you will not accidentally trip over it and spill water!
Simmer Down: Cooking on hot days can make your apartment feel unbearable. If you want to cook, you can still do so! Purchase a fan that sits in your window and can blow hot air out of the apartment. When you are finished cooking, you can reverse the fan so that it now blows cooler air into your home. And, as always, ensure you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day, especially if you will be cooking in a hot kitchen for an extended period of time.
Splash Works: Taking showers in cool/cold water is a great way to quickly cool down and reduce your hot water bill. If you enjoy a cold pillow at night, try placing your pillowcases in the freezer an hour before bed – your head will thank you!
In another National Post article, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. David McKeown urges residents to “beat the heat by drinking plenty of water, remaining in the shade or air conditioned environments, and scheduling outdoor activities during cooler parts of the day.” If the day is far too hot and you just can’t seem to cool down, it is a good idea to go somewhere public where you can soak up the free air conditioning for a few hours. This means going to a movie, going to the mall or even a local swimming pool.
Stay cool and safe!
The RentSeeker.ca Team