One of the easiest ways to reduce summer energy bills? Turn down the air conditioner and allow the temperature to rise a few degrees in your home. But in this weather, that’s a sacrifice few of us can make.
Here are six other sure-fire ways to reduce your summer energy bills without laying a finger on your thermostat:
- Shut summer heat outside
- Reduce the amount of heat generated inside the house
- Use an energy-efficient air conditioner
- Move certain activities outside
- Make your swimming pool more energy-wise
- Keep your air conditioner running efficiently
1. Shut Out Summer Heat
Blocking heat from entering through doors and windows saves energy by making it easier for the central air conditioner to keep the house cold. With a few quick changes and touch-ups, you can significantly reduce the amount of heat that comes in.
- Use caulking and weather stripping to seal air leaks around windows and exterior doors.
- Tightly shut windows and exterior doors from morning until evening. Don’t leave the front or back door hanging open when coming and going!
- Close curtains, blinds, or window shades during the day to block direct sunlight. Window coverings also reduce the amount of heat that enters the home through conduction.
2. Reduce Heat Generated Inside the House
Much of the heat generated inside a home comes from appliance use. The more heat you generate, the more energy it takes to maintain a cool temperature in the house. Changing your usage habits will contribute to a reduction in summer energy bills.
- If you still use incandescent light bulbs, consider switching to LED or CFL bulbs that use less electricity and produce less heat. Between 10 and 15% of the electricity incandescent bulbs consume is turned into heat.
- Use the washing machine and dishwasher sparingly, washing only full loads when possible.
- Unplug or switch off electronic devices with a power strip. Electronics continue to consume power and produce heat while in Sleep or Standby mode.
- Use kitchen or bathroom fans to ventilate while cooking or taking a shower.
3. Upgrade to an Energy-Efficient Air Conditioner
The average cost of running a 2.5-ton central air conditioner in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is $112.95 per summer month. You can reduce this cost by replacing an old unit with a newer, more energy-efficient air conditioner.
ENERGY STAR-certified air conditioners use 8% less energy than standard models. By replacing an air conditioner that was installed 10 years ago or longer, you can easily save upwards of 20% on cooling and significantly reduce summer energy bills.
4. Spend More Time Outside
Summers are short here in Canada, so get outside and enjoy it! Moving a few of your routine activities outdoors will keep the house cooler, easing the load on your central air conditioner and reducing energy consumption.
- Hang clothes on the clothesline instead of using the dryer. Dryers use more energy than washing machines and produce a great deal more heat.
- Cook on the BBQ instead of the oven on hot nights.
- Unplug electronic devices or switch them off using a power strip. As mentioned, many electronics continue to use power and produce heat while in Standby mode. Besides, it’s too nice to spend all day with your devices!
5. Have a Pool? Make it More Efficient
Swimming pools are a blessing on sweltering summer days, but it’s shocking how much energy it takes to keep them up and running.
How much? On average, running a swimming pool in the GTA costs:
- $58.09 per month for a 1/2 HP pool pump
- $77.45-$135.54 per month for a pool filter motor, depending on HP
- $322.71 per month for a pool heater
Fortunately, there are ways to make swimming pools more energy-efficient so you can keep cool without spending a fortune on electricity.
- Use a swimming pool cover to reduce water evaporation, which helps to lower heating costs.
- Clean the pool filter regularly so the system can run as efficiently as possible.
- Replace an inefficient pool pump with an energy-efficient, multispeed pump. This improvement can reduce the associated energy cost up to 70%.
- Replace an electric pool heater with an energy-efficient gas or solar heater.
6. Service Your Air Conditioner to Maintain Efficiency
Like your vehicle, central air conditioners require regular maintenance to perform at peak efficiency. Having your system serviced once a year will help reduce the cost of running your air conditioner in Toronto and the GTA.
Request a free quote to find out the cost of air conditioner service in your area.
Image: Anna Bizoń