Ah, summer. The season of popsicles and patios, sunscreen and sno-cones. And for many Canadians, forget the Beach Boys – the soundtrack of summer sounds a little like this:
That’s the sound of an air conditioner, running around the clock.
If you’re like me, summer in Ontario can often be about trying to stay comfortable and keeping your energy use in check. After all, the less energy used, the less we pay, so it’s important to be aware of the many things we can do to form good usage habits.
Of course, the most obvious way is to set our thermostats a few degrees warmer, which will instantly reduce stress on our air conditioners (and energy bills!). However, there’s much more you can do, and it’s actually easier than you think! I watched an interesting animation on the new Save on Energy website about a family who was finding it hard to keep their home cool during these hot summer months. Since our current heat wave looks like it’s here to stay – for at least a little longer – I wanted share some tips for keeping your house cool:
– Open your windows and enjoy the fresh summer air while you cool off without air conditioning. This is particularly effective early morning and late night when summer breezes can really help reduce the home’s temperature.
– Keep your blinds closed during the day to block out the sun’s rays. If you work away from home, the last thing you want to do is come home to a hot, stuffy house!
– Invest in ceiling fans, a great way to keep cool and keep the AC off. Ceiling fans generate airflow and are a more energy-friendly way to cool off on hot days.
– Get out your green thumb: gardening around the home can help, too. Plant deciduous trees on east and west facing walls to help block out the sun’s rays in the summer. Don’t forget around the AC, too! Keeping the air conditioner properly shaded can help make your AC run more efficiently.
– Proper and well-installed attic insulation can reduce heat transfer, preventing the summer sun from heating up the rest of your house. If it’s been a while since you’ve forayed in your attic, now’s a great time to ensure you’re summer-ready!
– Look for lights that burn cooler, but let natural light do the work whenever possible. Remember, LEDs do not run as hot as traditional bulbs and reduce the amount of times you have to change bulbs in hard-to-reach areas (LEDs last up to 25x longer).
Need more ideas? Save on Energy has great ideas on keeping your house cool and the many benefits energy-efficiency can bring. Visit saveonenergy.ca for more information, incentives and links to your local hydro company.
What are your tips for keeping cool in the summertime? (If it involves sangria, I’m all ears!)