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Keeping cool in Toronto during the dog-days of summer

236 302 Nisha Muire

It’s summer in the city – and the heat waves have everyone moving at a slower pace and dreaming of cool, breezy drinks after work. If you aren’t so lucky as to have air conditioning in your Toronto home, there are still other ways of keeping cool during the peak of summer heat.
Draw the shades
Before leaving for work in the morning, be sure that all of the curtains, shades and blinds in your home are drawn tight against the sun. Although this may seem counterintuitive when we all long to see sunlight streaming through our windows, this beautiful light will also heat up your home very quickly. The best way to prevent this is to keep the sunshine out.
Keep cool air in and hot air out
The next smart move to keeping your home cool is help hot air escape by creating a cross breeze. To create such a breeze you first need to create a vacuum that will help push the hot air out. To do this you have to open the windows on the cool side of your home along with the windows directly opposite those on the other side of your home. If you don’t have windows perfectly across from each other, no worries – as long as you have a path for the air to flow through. Just remember that air flow doesn’t work with angles, so there needs to be a path for the breeze to be created. The most efficient current is created by opening windows on a lower level that let in the cool air and cross windows on an upper level to let the air out.
Fans are always very handy at helping to create a breeze or to increase air flow in a hot, sticky room. Whether hung from a ceiling, standing on a pedestal or one of those new-fangled bladeless options, fans are terrific at moving air on days when nothing seems to move. However, be sure to turn them off when heading to work, because while they do move air around, they also tend to heat the air up as well. So, keeping them off during the day is the best way to keep a room cool for your return.
Most of us assume that in the heat we have to shed our protective layers – this is actually the opposite of what we should be doing. Instead of protection from the cold, in the summer we need long sleeves and pants in order to protective our skin from the sun’s heat. The clothing should be made of natural fibres, light and light-coloured to maximize their cooling effect – it is the reason why people is hot countries tend to cover up.
Placing a bowl of ice in front of a fan will help to cool the air naturally. As the ice melts, the cool vapor will be picked up by the fan and blown into the air. Holding ice in a cup is also a very effective way of cooling down. Holding the icy cup near your temples will lower your body temperature while breathing out into the cup will help melt the ice, which in turn will release cool mist into the air.


Nisha Muire

All stories by: Nisha Muire