The early days of summer have been marked by prolonged heat waves around much of Ontario, leaving Muskoka cottage owners to find ways to beat the heat inside and outside. With plenty more hot weather on the way, it’s a good idea for cottage owners to consider ways to cool down their cottage – it makes sleeping easier, and increases your comfort on days when going outside isn’t an option due to rain blended with sky-high temperatures. Air conditioning is a no-brainer when it comes to cooling down during a heatwave.

Cottage owners without central air
Central air has become a necessity for many Canadians looking to stay comfortable all summer long, but many cottage owners don’t have the luxury of having central air – especially in older cottages. Thankfully, there are plenty of effective and affordable options if you don’t have central air. There’s a good chance that you already have a traditional window-shaker style air conditioner in your bedroom or living area, which is the perfect start for cooling down your cottage during a heat wave. When installing a room air conditioner, ensure that you have cushioning and gaskets in place so that you do not damage your window frames. Most units of this style come with the necessary accessories to do this.

If room air conditioners aren’t an option, or if you’re looking for something a little more pleasing to the eye, you should consider a portable AC unit. Portable air conditioners are easy to move from room-to-room, making it the perfect option for cooling down your home office during the day, living area in the evening, and bedroom at night. In addition to AC, you can keep things cool using ceiling fans, which should be run counterclockwise during the summer months to push cool air down. If you’re really looking to cool things down, combining an air conditioner with a ceiling fan running counterclockwise will ensure that the cool air generated by the AC is constantly pushed back down in a column, keeping you comfortable in even the hottest weather.

Keeping cool air inside and circulating it around your cottage
Now that there’s cool air making its way inside your cottage, it’s critical that you be able to keep it inside. Not only will your energy bills be lower, but you’ll be far more comfortable all day long. The best way to keep AC in the cottage is to close all the windows, blinds, and curtains to keep out the sun, and close doors to unused rooms to prevent cool air from getting into them – after all, if you’re not using it, it doesn’t need to be cooled. While cooling your cottage, try to avoid using heat-generating appliances, which means no laundry, no stove, and no oven.

After taking these proactive measures, you can work on circulating cool air around the cottage – you can do this easily by ensuring that doors to unused rooms are shut, and fans are placed strategically to circulate cool air from your air conditioned room(s) into living and working areas for maximum coverage.

The important role played by windows
If you find that you just can’t seem to keep your cottage cool on hot days, the culprit could very well be those old, leaky windows you’ve been meaning to replace. Old windows are often the cause of major energy loss in your home (up to 30%), meaning that the cool air being generated by your AC and fans is being let out of your cottage by your windows.

The only way to prevent this is to replace your windows with energy-efficient windows with low-E films. Energy-efficient windows have been shown to reduce energy loss by 30-50%, keeping the cool air in your cottage during the summer, and the warm air inside during the winter months. In addition to replacing your windows, you can do things like check your existing windows for air leaks, and install weatherstripping, storm windows, and exterior shading. The experienced team at Muskoka Window & Door Centre can help you beat the heat this summer. Our showroom features a wide range of energy efficient windows and doors that are perfect for keeping the cool air inside your cottage where it belongs. To get started on your window replacement, contact Muskoka Window & Door Centre today.