The warm, sultry temperatures of summer are coming and with them, a high energy bill! But using your air conditioner to cool your home doesn’t have to break the bank.
Keep air filters clean
A dirty air filter means your air conditioner will run less efficiently, causing it to use more energy. Palmer recommends checking your air conditioner’s filter at the start of the summer season and replacing it if it’s dirty. Air filters typically last three months (our typical summer), but if your A/C is running from June well into September, you may want to have an extra filter on hand.
Use a programmable thermostat
A programmable thermostat can reveal the largest energy savings by allowing you to turn up your air conditioner two or three degrees while you’re out of the house at work or while you’re away at the cottage for a week. Palmer recommends setting the temperature down an hour before you’re set to arrive home so your home’s temperature is comfortable when you arrive. You can also set your thermostat to increase the temperature of your home in the evening. “You don’t need the same level of cooling as when you’re awake and you won’t notice if your home is a few degrees warmer,” says Palmer.
Who doesn’t want to save money on their energy bills, right? If you were to turn down the temperature on your thermostat by 1 degree for 8 hours overnight, you’d save 1% of energy.
By reducing the temperature regularly, you’d be reducing your energy usage. Here are the best times to program the thermostat:
- Overnight for 8 hours;
- When you’re away for extended periods of time.
Of course, when you’re home, you’ll want to turn on the thermostat, but utilizing those hours when no one is home can reduce your energy bill by 10 to 30 per cent.
Close basement vents
The basement is the coolest part of your home and doesn’t need a lot of cool air pumped into it. “Hot air rises, so you want that cold air to be pushed up through your house to cool down the main living areas,” says Palmer. The cool air will then come down to the basement from the bedrooms and main floor. To close off basement air vents, purchase magnetic strips that fit on top of the vent.
Avoid furniture obstructions
To maximize your home’s efficiency, you may want to rearrange your furniture to ensure it doesn’t obstruct any of your home’s cooling vents. If you do have a couch placed over top of a vent, you can use a deflector to direct the air coming out of the vent into the main living space so it’s not bouncing against the back of the couch.
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