In the warm months, think of the ventilation provided by windows as your thermostat. You can open windows and close window coverings to maintain a comfortable temperature all day, indeed all summer long.

Replace inefficient windows

Double-glazed window pane iconMulti-paned windows with a low U-factor for heat conductivity will not only retain heat in the winter but also help regulate temperature changes over the course of a warm summer day. The lower the U-factor, the better insulated the window is. Look for ENERGY STAR®-rated insulating windows.

 Apply heat-reflecting film

Consider coating your south- and west-facing windows with a low-emissivity film to reflect heat while continuing to let in light.

Install windows that open

The thinking on building design has come full circle: windows that you can open to let in fresh air are now considered best for year-round comfort and energy savings.

Add window coverings

Between 40% and 65% of the heat entering your home on hot days comes in through windows. Make sure you have blinds or curtains on all windows exposed to direct sunlight to help keep it out.

Use fans, not air conditioning

Electric fan iconEven the most efficient air conditioners use a lot of electricity. In parts of B.C., a portable or fixed ceiling fan will generally do the job of keeping a room cool while using about one-tenth the energy of an air conditioner. If you must buy an air conditioner, choose an ENERGY STAR® model designed for the size of room you intend to chill.

Upgrading your home? Look for ENERGY STAR®

Energy Star logoWhether you’re doing a full-on renovation or just replacing something, there’s an easy way to identify energy-efficient products that will save you money on your electricity bills without sacrificing performance, features or comfort. Look for items bearing the ENERGY STAR® label, backed by Natural Resources Canada. Following strict technical specifications, the ENERGY STAR® symbol signifies that the product has been tested and certified by a government-approved agency in the top 15% to 30% of its class for energy performance.
When renovating your home, always look for windows, doors and skylights bearing the ENERGY STAR® rating in addition to lighting, water heaters and most household appliances and electronics.