What can you do if you are also in one of these older homes that are a higher risk due their original design limitations? I know that some of the same features that keep a home warm in winter can help to keep it cool in summer.
The first step for me is to sign up for an energy audit to get a complete picture of heat loss in winter and, my current concern, heat gains in summer. An energy audit will inform us of which retrofits to focus on first, in order to maximize the efficiency of our efforts. Some of the following efforts may not be recommended as part of an energy audit, but could be helpful, including exterior awnings, window shutters, insulating blinds or reflective window films to limit the amount of heat gained from windows that are in direct or partial sunlight.
While some retrofits may be fairly simple, others will require a little more effort and likely a lot more money. Home energy grants are available to support some efforts, including Edmonton’s Home Energy Retrofit Accelerator and Canada’s Greener Homes Grant program.
This is just a taste of the complicated inner workings of our personal decisions and how they affect our resilience to current and future extreme weather conditions that are on the horizon. If you’d like to explore more climate resilient features for your home, you can check out Climate Resilient Home. I know I’ll be making a few changes to make our home more comfortable, perhaps not in time for the next heat warning, but I may sleep better knowing that a little progress is better than none.
- Typical 1950s bungalows in Edmonton: City of Edmonton stock photo
- Man splashing water on his face: vargazs from Pixaby
- Infrared image of office window: Andrew Read