How to Beat the Summer Heat in Vancouver
As you know, the summers in Vancouver can be brutal. With the high humidity on those 90-plus degree days, it can literally feel too hot to handle. But there are things you can do, both inside and outside your home, to combat the sweltering heat. And in the dog days of summer, we can all use whatever help we can get to stay cool.
First of all, when you’re inside your home, make sure your unused appliances are unplugged. A common culprit is your computer. Most of us leave the computer (even laptops) plugged in 24 hours per day. The constant power usage emits heat, which ultimately increases the temperature of your home.
This will lead to excessive use of the air conditioner, which will raise your electric bill. An additional expense is not what we’re looking for when we combat the summer heat wave. You can also limit the use of your dryer after running a cold wash. It seems like a habit from days long ago, but a traditional clothesline still does the job. You’ll use less electricity, and therefore will emit less heat. Also, if you get into this habit, the savings on your electrical bill could be substantial.
Also, avoid keeping your appliances on standby mode. This happens with a lot of things associated with the television because pushing one button immediately gets the appliance to power up quickly. Are we in that much of a rush that we can’t afford to wait for something to start up from the off position? We doubt it. Avoiding standby mode can save you electricity, which again affects heat in the home. It’s all about the little things. Remember that.
This one’s obvious. If the house is very hot, then go out. Take advantage of the cooler options around that have air conditioning, or maybe put on your bathing suit and take your family or friends to the local pool or lake. Not only will you be avoiding the heat, but you’ll save the air conditioning costs that you’d incur while being at home.
This one may seem silly, but keep a spray bottle nearby. If you’re outside in the heat, spraying yourself with cold water from time to time will be helpful, and if you put a lemon or cucumber in the water, you can get an aromatherapy pickup as well! The risk you run, if you’re in the heat, and especially if you’re doing an intense activity, is that the water will immediately transform into sweat. But the spray bottles will provide temporary relief, and you can use them over and over.
Another idea is to carry those pocket fans. While they may not emit a ton of air, the difference will be well worth it when you’re out and about and desperate for a little relief. Keep extra batteries on hand just in case you run out of power while you’re on the move.
Plenty of water should also be consumed during the sweltering summers as well. Keep a water bottle with you, and make sure you drink it. With constant heat comes sweat, and you need to stay hydrated. If you don’t drink enough water, you can get light headed or dizzy and may even pass out. Always take extra precautions to make sure your health is your number one priority.
Do you have blinds in your home? If not, you should. They can be of big help when it comes to the heat. Before you leave for work in the morning, close the blinds. This blocks the strong rays of the sun from getting into your home, which ultimately raises the temperature. This way, when you and your kids get home from work or camp, the house will not only be comfortable, but you will not have to worry about pumping up the air conditioner for hours on end.
Also, if the heat is unbearable, be sure to keep an eye out for available cooling centers. This way, you and your family can escape the heat until it becomes more manageable, which is particularly important for young children and elderly adults who are more prone to overheating.
Do you have a good amount of trees outside of your home? If not, consider planting some to the west and south sides of your home. Deciduous trees do a great job providing shade during the summer months for your property while allowing the sun to creep through when temperatures tick down in the fall.
Before contracting with anyone though, make sure you get references. Also ask for proof of insurance. A good Vancouver contractor should expect those requests and have the necessary resources ready for you quickly. Again, do your research, which includes not only the references, but reviews online and such. This means that, just because someone is coming to give you a quote, doesn’t mean you need to sign up then and there. You’d rather do the leg work up front to be safe in the long run.
The bottom line? Summers can be downright awful in Vancouver, but you need to be ready to change things up a bit if you want to combat the high temperatures without breaking the bank. If money’s no object, feel free to use the air conditioner liberally, but be ready for the exorbitant electric bill. For the rest of us, who do whatever we can to save a buck, small things, like a pocket fan or spray bottle, could make all the difference in the world. It’s all about how much you are willing to do to stay cool.