Summer has finally arrived in the Ontario’s Capital, and it’s great to see people outside enjoying the warm weather. It’s now July, traditionally the hottest and most humid month in our area, and with this weather most homeowners will turn on the air conditioning to keep their living spaces cool and humidity free. Energy costs have risen over the past few years, so the Hooper Home Team thought it would be helpful to list some summer energy saving tips – some of them are free and can be used on a daily basis, others are simple and inexpensive actions you can take to ensure maximum savings throughout the summer months.
When your air conditioning is on, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting by about 4 degrees with no reduction in comfort. Turn off ceiling fans when you leave the room, fans cool people by creating a wind chill effect, but they do not cool rooms.
When you shower or take a bath use the bathroom fan to remove heat and humidity from the room. The laundry room might also benefit from spot ventilation. Make sure bathroom and kitchen fans are vented outside not into the attic.
- REGULAR MAINTENANCE
Schedule regular maintenance for your cooling equipment. Avoid placing lamps or TV sets near the air conditioner thermostat, as the heat from the appliance will be picked up and cause the system to run longer than necessary. Vacuum registers regularly to remove any dust buildup. Ensure that furniture and other objects are not blocking airflow from the registers.
- APPLIANCES & LIGHTING
On hot days avoid using the oven, cook on the stove, in the microwave or barbeque outside. Install efficient lighting that runs cooler. Only about 10 – 15% of the electricity consumed by incandescent light bulbs is used for light - the rest is turned into heat. Take advantage of daylight through open curtains, but avoid direct sunlight. Limit use of activities that generate heat, like computers, televisions, dishwashers and even hair dryers. Take short showers instead of baths, and wash only full loads of laundry and hang outside to dry.
- OPERATE YOUR THERMOSTAT EFFICIENTLY
Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be. Keep your home warmer than normal when you are away during the day, and lower the thermostat when you get home and require cooling. Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner, it will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expense.
- KEEP HOT AIR OUT
Seal cracks and openings to prevent warm air from leaking into your home. Add caulking and/or weather-stripping to seal air leaks around doors and windows.
I hope these tips will help you choose effective ways to reduce your energy bills while staying cool and comfortable this summer.