One of the best ways to prevent heat related illnesses is to cool your home.
Low Cost Ways to Keep Your Space Cool
Keeping suites cool can be challenging especially in existing buildings where neither passive cooling strategies nor mechanical systems were incorporated into the original design. Here are some no-cost ways to keep spaces cooler:
- Minimize heat entering the space - close blinds or drapes during the day
- Use natural ventilation if available - keep windows closed during the day and open at night when it is cooler
- Use a fan to increase airflow across the body if the air temperature is below 35°C
- Stay in shaded areas
- Use a fan when showering and range hood when cooking to remove heat and humidity
- Limit heat from appliances: like stoves, ovens, dryer, dishwasher
Cooling during Covid-19
More information about cooling centres can be found in the BC CDC Guidance for Cooling Centres in the Context of Covid-19
Make sure fans are used with extreme caution. Do not create a directional airflow that connects the breathing zones of multiple users. If using fans in an area with multiple people, direct fan air flow towards the floor or ceiling. Check out our Fan Use Note for more information.
When sized and used correctly, mechanical cooling systems like fans and air conditioners can help keep indoor temperatures comfortable. Using mechanical cooling building-wide, or in a designated “cooling room” can help tenants survive in extreme heat. Look at our Cooling Strategies sheet, and our Air Conditioner Sizing Guide to see what mechanical cooling system is appropriate for your space.
Want more information? Check out our webinar on Preparing for Extreme Heat Poor Air Quality.
New buildings need to be designed using future climate data. The Overheating and Air Quality Design Guide Supplement helps builders create housing that is prepared for future extreme heat events. This document looks at risks and resilience, guidelines for future climate modelling, and design strategies for dealing with poor air quality and ensuring thermal comfort.
Building Overheating and Air Quality: Considerations in New Construction webinar covers topics as climate projections, how overheating affects a building’s Step Code targets, and what are active and passive building design strategies to mitigate and prevent overheating.
- Lisa Westerhoff, Principal, Integral Group
- Chris Doel, Managing Principal, Integral Group
- Sadia Afrin, Senior Manager, Construction Services, BC Housing