Published On: Mon, Jul 2nd, 2018

Summer in Toronto: how to prepare your home for one of Canada’s hottest towns

Canada may be known for its long, harsh and cold winters but, with average temperatures exceeding 26 C, it does have its fair share of hot summer days too. Toronto ranks #9 on the list of towns with the hottest summers in Canada, along with five other towns: Windsor, St. Catharines, Brantford, Cornwall, Woodstock. The average summer temperature in Toronto can get as high as 25.38 C, but the high humidity levels make it feel like 30 C or even more. This happens because the warm humid air coming from the Gulf of Mexico extends further up North and because the heavy snow that falls in the cold season enters the ground to become groundwater. These conditions make Toronto’s summer climate particularly challenging for homeowners, who have to take a series of measures to keep out heat, humidity and their unwanted side effects.

Downtown North York photo/ PFHLai

Is AC the best option?

Although installing an AC unit might come as the number one solution for Toronto homeowners, many experts say that air conditioning isn’t as crucial as it seems and that it could even make heatwaves worse. On the one hand, buying, installing and maintaining an AC is expensive and for the same amount of money you could make other home upgrades that can help you reduce energy costs and keep your home cool. On the other hand, not using your AC properly can expose you to a number of health risks. With the comfort and convenience of adjusting room temperature from a remote comes the temptation of overcooling your house and putting your body through heat shock when you go outside. So, install an AC if you must, but make sure you don’t set the temperature too low or forget to clean it, because you’re doing more harm than good.

Summer is the best time to update your insulation

When Toronto residents insulate their homes, they mostly think about how this home improvement will help them stay warm during winter without relying so much on boilers and heaters. However, insulation is just as beneficial during summer. No matter if it’s made from cellulose, fiber, spray foam or fiberglass, the insulating layer acts as a thermal barrier preventing heat exchange, so the warm humid air doesn’t get in. If your home was insulated in the 1980s or earlier, this summer might be a good time to inspect the state of the insulation and see if you can strengthen it with new, more sustainable materials. Proper insulation doesn’t just help you stay cool in summer, but also reduces the need for electric fans and AC, and helps you save on bills.   

Poor attic ventilation makes your home warmer

Frequently overlooked, the attic is mostly used as storage, but that doesn’t mean you should exclude it from your home improvement projects. For example, did you know that a poorly ventilated attic can make the air in your home several degrees warmer even if the rest of the house is well insulated and well ventilated? As a result, your AC unit will have to compensate and work harder, which leads to higher energy costs. So, to survive the occasional heatwave without breaking the bank make sure you install a vent or attic fan in the attic.

photo/ Русский, pixabay user Sid74

Mold – a side effect of humidity

Mold thrives in hot and humid places, which makes homes in Toronto particularly susceptible to them and mold removal in Toronto one of the most requested services. Rooms such as the kitchen (where appliances generate a lot of heat) and the bathroom (where there is a lot of water and steam) are favorable for the formation of mold and fungi and it can take as little as 48hr for the first spores to appear. In the best cases, signs of mold are visible on the wall or around pipes, but mold can also hide within the walls, making it harder to get rid of. Leaving the windows open and installing dehumidifiers in humid rooms are great preventive measures, but, to be safe, you can call in a team of trained professionals to check for hidden mold formations. Also, if you notice that mold is starting to spread on the walls, don’t try to remove it yourself because you might not manage to get rid of all the spores. The expert consensus is that the best way to get rid of mold is to address the cause (humidity), not the effect, so try to keep your home as dry as possible.

Energy Star windows

Apart from insulation, Energy Star windows are another great way of keeping your home cool in summer. As added benefits, they also reduce noise pollution and help you save money on energy. Although these windows cost more to install compared to traditional options, local problems such as the Green ON Rebate make them more accessible.

Author: Cynthia Madison

photo/ Adam Hill

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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