Keeping your home cool is probably the last thing on your mind right now but another Calgary summer is just around the corner. If you rely on air conditioning to keep your home cool in summer, you might reconsider if you knew just how damaging it is for the environment. In the US alone, 11 billion dollars is spent every year on air conditioning. All of those air conditioners release about 100 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year – that’s two tons from every house that has an air conditioner.
If you love having air conditioning but you dread your summer power bills and you want to reduce your impact on the environment, here are some tips for using window coverings to keep your house cooler in summer, while saving you money on electricity.
- Blinds – interior and exterior blinds are very effective for reducing summer heat. Reflective blinds can reduce heat gain by up to 45% when they are closed. Blinds can be adjusted to aim sunlight at a light coloured ceiling, diffusing the available light without causing glare, and heating up the room.
- Drapes – medium dark coloured drapes with plastic backing reduce heat gain by up to 33% when used on windows that get a lot of sun exposure.
- Window Films – films can reduce the amount of solar energy passing through windows by up to 68%. Mirror-like silver films are more effective than coloured films for blocking sunlight. Some homeowners like to sacrifice a bit of light blocking effectiveness and choose a neutral colour for aesthetic reasons.
Naturally regulated temperatures inside your home are actually healthier than an environment regulated by air conditioning. Smart use of window coverings can reduce heat gain in your house by up to 77%.