Summer tips to survive the Great White-hot North

一个被称为大白北方的国家, Canada sure is surprising us with record-breaking summer heat waves this year. British Columbia began their official 2021 summer with some of the highest temperatures the country has ever seen - reaching an unbearable high of 49.6摄氏度. 不幸的是, this heat wave doesn’t start and end there - it is sweeping across the country with new records in Alberta and Northwest Territories, and heat warnings being issued in nearly every other province.

Temperatures like these are no laughing matter when it comes to our health, staying cool and managing power supply and demand. 当事情变热时, the air conditioners get going (understandably), but if you don’t have an air conditioner or if a power outage happens as a result of surging power demands, 这是一场艰苦的斗争.

To help equip you for additional heat waves that Mother Nature may have in store for Ottawa, we thought we would share some tips that will not only help you stay cool (with or without an air conditioner), 还能降低你的电费.

  1. 今晚窗户开或关?
    Sometimes nighttime temperatures and humidity levels drop enough for you to cool your house just as effectively as with your air conditioner. Keep an eye on the weather to make your judgement call. For ongoing, daily advice from an Ottawa leader in energy efficiency, follow Dave Shipley在推特上写道.  
  2. 水是你的朋友
    在那些特别炎热的日子里, 首先,也是最重要的, be sure to stay hydrated in order to help your body stay cool. Sweat is your body’s mechanism to help it stay cool through evaporation - you can expedite this cooling process by using a spray bottle or a washcloth to wet your skin. This is not only highly effective, it will help prevent your body from producing too much sweat. Combine this with tip #3 for an even greater cooling effect. Other wonderful water options to help you stay cool are cold showers, 跳过洒水喷头, 或者填满你家后院的儿童泳池.
  3. 你的# 1风扇
    Turning on your ceiling or pedestal fan is a great way to stay cool as it helps your body lose heat via a process called convection, 帮助汗液更快蒸发. 不幸的是 you can no longer lose heat through convection once temperatures rise above 35 degrees Celsius; however, the good news is that fans will still help with sweat evaporation in the high heat - especially when the humidity is high.
  4. Avoid cooking with heat and turn off appliances that generate heat
    The more ways you can minimize any additional heat being generated inside your house, the better. 要做到这一点, 考虑一下需要加热的烤肉, or prioritize cold / no-bake meals like salads or sandwiches. Take-out is of course always an option as a special treat to forgo meal preparation altogether. Likewise, avoid turning on appliances like your dryer. 而不是, use the hot outdoor temperatures to your advantage and consider line drying your clothes or using a drying rack if possible.
  5. 关闭那些窗帘
    Your sunbathing cat or dog may not be a fan of this tip, but avoid letting the sun beam through your windows throughout the day as this can generate a lot of unwanted heat. 而不是, make a habit of keeping your curtains or blinds closed, particularly on the south and west sides of your home during the hot afternoon sun.
  6. 趁热穿衣服
    Whether your wardrobe is a hundred per cent casual these days, 或者你有打扮的需要或欲望, 有各种各样的策略来保持冷静. For casual days, stick to cottons and sports gear for breathability. You can even go barefoot or wear slides around the house. 在正式的日子里, 试试亚麻面料的衣服, lighter colours and that limit the number of required layers.
  7. 考虑长期的家庭能源审计
    缺乏气密性, poor insulation and inefficient systems can all contribute to uncomfortable living spaces when temperatures dramatically fluctuate. 房主, it can be valuable to create a long term solution for improving your home’s energy efficiency through hiring a professional to perform a home energy audit. The great news is that the federal government is currently offering the 加拿大绿色家园资助计划. 首页owners are eligible for up to $600 for the cost of pre- and post-retrofit EnerGuide evaluations and up to $5,000 total for the implementation of eligible retrofits. Another program launching in late summer/fall 2021, is the City of Ottawa’s 改善住房贷款计划, offering applicants a low-interest loan of up to 10 per cent of the current value of their home to cover the cost of home energy improvements. With options like these, there really is no better time to pursue these upgrades.

As most Canadians can attest, summer is way too short not to make the most of it. But let’s face it, hot weather is only fun when you have some opportunities to cool off. We hope these tips help you get the most out of Ottawa’s summer weather while also managing your energy consumption.

For even more energy saving tips, check out our list of 管理家庭能源使用的65种方法.