As Winnipeg and most of Manitoba grapple with extreme heat warnings, many residents without air conditioning are searching for ways to keep their homes cool.

Tracy Sterdan, the communications and customer experience manager at Efficiency Manitoba, offers practical advice to stay comfortable during this intense heatwave.

Use your blinds

"Closing the blinds is a great way to block the sun's rays and create a cooler indoor environment," said Sterdan. The heavier the blinds the better for blocking out the heat (and bonus, heavy blinds help keep heat inside in the winter).

Using fans effectively is another key strategy. "You don’t want to open your windows when the outdoor air is warmer than your indoor air. But at night or early morning, when it cools down, opening windows and using fans to create a cross-breeze can help."

Restrict sources of heat like electronics

Sterdan also highlighted common sources of indoor heat that people might overlook.

"Electronics like computers, TVs, and gaming consoles generate heat when in use. Turning these off, especially during the hottest parts of the day, can help.

"Additionally, cooking with ovens or stoves adds significant heat to your home. Opt for outdoor grilling or use smaller appliances like microwaves or air fryers to minimize indoor heat."

Head to the basement

For those living on upper floors, where heat tends to accumulate, Sterdan recommended some unconventional but effective strategies.

"Sometimes it’s best to relocate your sleeping arrangements. Growing up, my sister and I would move to the cooler basement on really hot nights."

And if you do have AC ...

While these tips are crucial for those without air conditioning, Sterdan also shared advice for those who do have AC units. "Setting back your air conditioning when you’re away from home can save energy. Smart thermostats can make this process more efficient by adjusting the temperature automatically based on your schedule."

Maintaining your air conditioning unit is equally important. "Ensure your unit is clean and free of debris to keep it running efficiently," Sterdan advised.

With these strategies, Manitobans can better manage the sweltering temperatures, even without air conditioning, ensuring both comfort and energy efficiency during this extreme heat wave.