July is here and the weather is hot! People may be retreating to their backyard pools, down to Wasaga Beach or hiding in their basements. When the weather goes above 25 degrees, many people turn their air conditioning on to keep their homes cool. But, air conditioning can be very costly on the hydro bill and is also not the greatest for the environment. There are some tricks to keeping your home cool, while saving money and the environment by keeping the air conditioning to a minimum.
Turn it off when you leave
There are two schools of thought on this – many believe that by leaving the air conditioning running when you aren’t home, you’ll keep a stable temperature and the air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to cool the home. Others believe that even if the air conditioner has to do extra work when you get home, it is still going to run less than if you had left it on all day. Which theory is correct? It is actually much more efficient to turn your air conditioning off when you leave the home. Air conditioners run better when they can run longer, rather than turn off and on throughout the day to cool the air by just one degree. You’ll save money and help your air conditioner have a longer life too.
Install ceiling fans
While this might seem like a basic idea, it really works. If you are really only in a few rooms most of the day, install the fans in those rooms (like bedroom, living room and kitchen). While the temperature of the air will stay the same, you will feel cooler from the moving air. But, the trick is that fans work most optimally at temperatures below 100 degrees F. You really also only want to use the fan when you are in the room, because they can actually heat up the room! It will also do no good to waste that energy (and money) when you aren’t getting the benefit. Ceiling fans are a great complement to air conditioning as well, so you don’t have to keep the thermostat temperature as low.
If it is hot outside but there is a breeze, get that breeze blowing through your house. Open all of the windows, but ensure that you have windows that are opened opposite each other. It might take some experimentation, but you can find the best crosswind (just ensure doors are propped open or they may blow shut).
Close the window dressings
Rather than bringing cool air in, by closing all blinds and curtains you’ll keep the hot sun out. By keeping the heat out, your house will remain cooler and hopefully you won’t have to turn on the A/C. If your blinds or curtains are sheer or translucent, this won’t work as well, as the room will get some light and heat.
Keep cool people!