Keep your home cool
Find helpful tips to save on air conditioning and reduce your climate impact.
As the days heat up, Canadians are looking for ways to keep their homes cool — and with half of all Canadian homes using air conditioning systems, that can lead to a lot of unnecessary energy use and carbon pollution.
Putting the simple ideas outlined below into action can reduce heat build-up in your house and help you conserve energy, reducing your personal contribution to climate change. Following these steps also means your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to keep your space cool on the days when you can’t get by without it, which will in turn save you energy and lower your home’s cooling bill.
Of course, these aren’t your only options, especially if you’re looking for longer-term fixes.
For example, don’t underestimate the potential energy savings of a well-placed shade tree! In regions with hot summers, planting deciduous trees on the south and west sides of the house can work wonders. Shading stone, brick or concrete patios and driveways, as well as the area around your air conditioner, is also a good strategy to prevent heat build-up and maximize the cooling potential of your AC unit.
And if you’re able to undertake a bigger project, consider upgrading your attic insulation and sealing air leaks to keep cool air in and hot air out. You’ll reap the benefits of a well-sealed home in every season!
Save on AIR CONDITIONING
Simple solutions to cool your home with less energy
- Shade your windows to keep the sun out. You can use white shades or blinds, curtains, awnings or external screens.
- Cook on an outdoor grill instead of using the stove or oven, or use smaller, more efficient appliances like a microwave to cook. You can also keep your kitchen cool by preparing meals like fresh salads that require little or no cooking time.
- Use the dishwasher or clothes dryer later in the evening when it’s cooler. Or dry your clothes on the line instead!
- Use fans wisely to manage airflow. Use standing fans in the evenings to draw in cooler nighttime air; use ceiling fans when the room is occupied to produce a breeze to make you feel cooler. Don’t forget to close windows tightly in the morning to keep the day’s hot air out.
- Don’t add to the humidity in the house — exhaust your kitchen range hood outside to remove steam from cooking, and turn on the bathroom fan during your shower.
- If you have an air conditioner, set the thermostat on your unit to between 25ºC and 27ºC when the house is occupied. If you’re going to be away for more than four hours, set it to 28ºC, and turn it off if you’re leaving for more than 24 hours.
- Install efficient lighting. Incandescent light bulbs convert about 90% of the energy they use into heat. Use efficient compact fluorescent or LED bulbs instead, and don’t forget to flip the switch when you leave the room.
- Make sure your AC unit has an EnerGuide rating of SEER 17.0 or higher, and that it is the right size for your needs.
- Upgrade inefficient appliances. Inefficient refrigerators use more energy and generate excess heat when they operate.
Do you have an idea for an article?
Tell us what’s on your mind and your eco-friendly suggestion might be turned into a story.