As summer temperatures approach their peaks, we’ve got 10 tips to help you keep cool while conserving energy.
1. Set to save
Set your thermostat to 25°C when you’re home and 28°C when you’re out. For every degree you dial up the temperature, you use about 3 to 5 per cent less energy. Or get a programmable thermostat, then set it and forget it.
2. Draw the drapes
Draw the curtains every morning to keep out the heat. Blackout curtains, blinds, window film, awnings and other coverings greatly reduce solar heat gain and save your air conditioner (A/C) from working harder to maintain temperature.
3. Invest in a fan
Consider a ceiling fan: it lets you keep your thermostat 4°C higher without affecting your comfort. Set the blades counter-clockwise for a downward cooling breeze. The best angle for maximum cooling is 12 to 16 degrees.
4. Cut the humidity
Humidity makes it feel hotter than it is – the “feels like” temperature measures both relative humidity and air temperature combined. Keep your A/C running to reduce humidity, and use exhaust fans in kitchens and baths to expel humid air.
5. Seal it in
Blasting your A/C is an inefficient way to cool a drafty home. Inspect windows, doors and vents to spot areas where cool air can escape and hot air can seep in. Then use caulking and weather-stripping to seal the leaks.
6. Move the air
Get the air circulating – especially if you don’t have A/C. Create a cross-breeze by opening windows on opposite sides of your home. If you have multiple storeys, open windows on upper and lower levels.
7. Power down
Plug your electronics into a power bar with a timer, and turn it off during on-peak and mid-peak hours – see how electricity prices change based on Time-of-Use. Keeping devices plugged in all day draws power, even when they’re off.
8. Cool your kitchen
When cooking, opt for smaller appliances like crock pots, toaster ovens and microwaves. Ovens use more electricity and raise the temperature, forcing your cooling system to work double-time. Or head outdoors and use the barbecue.
9. Give your A/C some TLC
Check your air filters regularly and replace as needed. And don’t forget the condenser – your A/C’s outdoor unit. Clean out dried leaves or other debris, and trim foliage back at least 2 feet for good air circulation.
10. Schedule a tune-up
If you’ve done all you can to keep your cooling system humming, call in the experts. Annual servicing by a licensed heating and cooling contractor can reduce your cooling costs by up to 10 per cent.
If you don’t have a reliable A/C to cool your home, check out these safety tips for extreme heat waves. And when hot, humid days give way to rain and thunder, beware the hazards of electrical storms. For more ways to save year-round, see our Tips and Tools to Save Energy at Home.
Hydro One Inc. is a fully owned subsidiary of Hydro One Limited, Ontario's largest electricity transmission and distribution provider with almost 1.4 million valued customers, almost C$25.5 billion in assets and 2018 annual revenues of almost C$6.2 billion. Our team of approximately 8,600 skilled and dedicated employees proudly build and maintain a safe and reliable electricity system which is essential to supporting strong and successful communities. In 2018, Hydro One invested almost $1.6 billion in its 30,000 circuit kilometres of high-voltage transmission and 123,000 circuit kilometres of primary distribution networks and injected approximately $1.3 billion into the economy by buying goods and services in Ontario. We are committed to the communities where we live and work through community investment, sustainability and diversity initiatives. We are one of only six utility companies in Canada to achieve the Sustainable Electricity Company designation from the Canadian Electricity Association. Hydro One Limited's common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: H).