Skip to main content

How to keep cool during the latest Maritime heat wave


Heating and cooling expert Sandy Hines can remember a time when air conditioners weren’t needed in homes in Nova Scotia, but he says that's all changed due, in part, to climate change.

“When the temperatures don’t go down overnight below 20 degrees, it’s very challenging to get your house cool,” says Hines, who owns and operates Shines Energy in Dartmouth.

In the past, Hines says a typical summer might see seven days where a cooling system was needed to be switched on, but it’s a different situation lately, with summers getting hotter.

“Our summers are getting warmer and they are getting longer and Nova Scotia is no different from the rest of the world,” he says. “We’re going to see temperatures this week of 30 plus degrees, which are reasonably unusual for Nova Scotia, and so we are seeing a real demand for cooling.”

With a heat warning in place across the region, many Maritimers are looking for ways to beat the heat.

Experts say there are ways to stay cool in your home during a heat wave without purchasing an air conditioning system.

“Making sure that your blinds are closed during the hotter parts of the day,” says Claire Morley, an energy efficiency officer with the Ecology Action Centre in Halifax.

She adds that closing the blinds will cut the sun from shining through the windows and a heating up the house.

“In the cooler parts of the day, you want to open your windows, maybe create a cross breeze by opening windows on opposite sides of the house,” says Morley.

At the Ecology Action Centre headquarters in Halifax, sustainability is the name of the game. The facility is one of the most efficient buildings east of Montreal, according to Morley. The organization performed a deep energy retrofit on the building, which is more of a long term heating and cooling solution. In the meantime, there are some other immediate solutions people can incorporate in their homes to cool off.

“Do your baking and washing at night and in the evening when it’s cooler,” says Morley. “Use a clothesline instead of a dryer. A dryer creates a ton of heat in the house.”

The sweltering heat has sent people scrambling, and for some businesses, the hotter it gets the better.

People lined up outside of Atlantic Splash Adventure in Hammonds Plains, N.S., before the gates even opened Thursday morning.

"The warmer we get, the more traffic we get,” said manager Kileigh Benedict. “I really figured today, with the heatwave, we'd have people going to the beach, but they decided to come to us and that is amazing. We appreciate everybody who's been here today and taken refuge with our beautiful slides and wonderful park.”

For Hines, he says business is booming. When the mercury is up, so too is the demand for cooling systems.

“The heat pump revolution is upon us,” he says. “People are really starting to adopt the technology.”

But, a heat pump is no means instant relief.

“What you see in our warehouse is basically completely sold and we’re about four to five weeks out for the delivery,” says Hines. “If you were to sign up today, four to five weeks from now we would be able to do your installation.”

People in Charlottetown were beating heat the old fashioned way Thursday, by heading to the water.

“I like to go in the pool a lot,” said young pool-goer Summer Arnold. “Yeah.”

“I like pools, have one at home,” said Lindsey Stuart. “We go in it every day.”

Soaring temperatures have people doing what they can to cool down.

“I like to eat ice cream and go for rides on motorcycles,” said Caitlyn Arnold. “You know you get the full effect of the breeze blowing your hair.”

Fans and air conditioners were also front and centre at big box stores in the region ready to be picked up, but those aren’t the only way to stay cool.

There are other options outside of the home, or the pool, to beat the heat. Visiting a public library continues to be a place for Halifax residents to cool off.

As of Thursday evening, the city has not opened any additional cooling centers, but says they are monitoring the situation. Top Stories

Stay Connected