Keeping your cool!

In order to make life more fun, I've enlisted my Meeting of the Minds real estate mentor group to take turns writing our blogs - here is one by the fabulous Justina LeeStolz!

Boy is it roasting out there! How about in your house?
The summer heat is in full swing here in the Okanagan and jee-whiz it’s a scorcher! Without much transition or warning, we went from gloomy, rain and flooding to 35 degree plus spit-roast weather!
If you’re like me, you’ll want to keep the inside of your house as a nice cold sanctuary from the hot, hot sun. Here are a few tips and tricks on how to make that happen!
Now, the obvious solution that we’ll get out of the way right-quick is that you go and buy an air-conditioning unit, either installed in conjunction with your furnace or a window or wall unit that you can install on your own. If the cost of doing this major upgrade is beyond your scope, no worries, this blog is designed to help you MacGyver your way to a cool summer house!
1. First, if you’re rocking old school, single pane or anything other than double-pane, new(er) windows in your house spend the money and upgrade. You don’t have to do all the windows at once, but do one or two a year and watch as the savings kick in! Your windows are a MAJOR source of heat loss (in the winter) and heat absorption (in the summer). Simply by replacing the big windows upstairs that get the most direct afternoon sunlight, you’ll save yourself some handy pocket change. The downstairs windows you can do last because cold air sinks to the basement anyways! 2. Keeping on theme with the windows, make sure to keep your windows shut tight from mid-morning (or whenever the heat starts to hit them) until the sun goes down in the evening. Be sure that when you close the windows in the morning that you also draw the curtains or lower the blinds to stop those strong sunrays from cooking through the glass. As soon as that sun hits the horizon at night, open those windows wide and stick a fan in front to suck all the cool night/morning air into your home and help circulate that hot stuff right back out. If you can keep up with this window cycle, you’ll notice a significant improvement in the overall temperature of your home. 3. Heading to the tricks that you can’t necessarily see, but that make a world of difference, be sure that the insulation in your walls and attic are to the highest R-value that you can get to help keep the heat from the sun out (in summer) or keep the heat from your furnace inside (during the winter). You can’t see your house working for you, but if you give it the right R-value insulation, it does a wonderful job. 4. Another obvious tip is to have the exterior of your house painted a lighter colour so that the walls and that handy-dandy insulation you put in, don’t have to struggle to reflect so much heat. 5. Last but not least, if you have a basement in your home that has loads of nice cool air hanging around in it, pop a fan at the bottom of your staircase on law and aim it up so that all that lovely refreshing air gets pushed upwards and acts as a natural air-conditioning system.
For those of you who don’t want, don’t like or aren’t ready to make the purchase of an air-conditioning unit, but also don’t want to turn into shish kabobs in your own house, if you implement the 5 tips above in combination, you should find that your home is quite bearable and relaxing all throughout our desert-like summer here in the Okanagan.
Keep cool out there and stay tuned for next month’s blog from the Meeting of the Minds!
Written by: Justina LeeStolz

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