May 21st, 2018
When the heat of summer arrives, air conditioners everywhere start humming to life in order to keep our homes comfortable. During those exceptionally hot and humid days we often get in Ontario, air conditioning is the best and fastest way to beat the heat and save our sanity. However, there are many small things you can do in other areas of your home that can make a big difference in your total energy consumption during the summer and reduce your reliance on your air conditioner.
We’ve gathered together a quick list of some fast and easy energy saving tips that can help improve the overall comfort of your home with very little effort or investment. Let’s take a look at these tips now.
A lot of people underestimate just how much of a difference a ceiling fan can have on the comfort of a room. By effectively circulating the air in a particular room, ceiling fans can provide a much more pleasant environment during hot and humid days, especially our bedrooms while we’re trying to sleep. The gentle but constant air movement provides a relaxing feeling for us throughout the night and can make it so that the air conditioner is needed less often throughout the summer. If there are particular rooms in your house that are notorious for being too warm, even with the air conditioner on, then a ceiling fan may just be the answer.
Yes, we’re going to talk about light bulbs again, but hear us out on this. How many light bulbs do you have in your house? We’d wager you’ve got around 40 or 50, which is about the average number for most Canadian homes. When you multiply that by the wattage of each bulb, the energy consumption really adds up fast. Most of us are familiar with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and have been diligent at using them in place of incandescent bulbs wherever possible to reduce energy consumption. However, there is now an even better alternative in the form of LED light bulbs.
LED light bulbs are the most energy efficient type of light bulb, even more so than CFLs. A typical incandescent bulb uses about 60 watts and lasts for an average of 1,200 hours. CFLs use around 14 watts to produce the same level of light and last for around 8,000 hours. LED bulbs are the new champion of energy efficiency, using only 10 watts to deliver the same light and can last for a whopping 25,000 hours. Once you switch to LED bulbs throughout your home, you’ll virtually never have to change a bulb again.
Air Conditioner Inspection
One of the most effective ways to maximize the efficiency of your air conditioner system is to have it serviced and inspected regularly. This will help ensure that you stay ahead of any potential problems and avoid costly repairs in the future. Your home comfort technician will check the refrigerant levels, compressor, lines, and all the other components of your air conditioner to make sure everything is working properly. This is a good time to check your ducts and air filter as well and perhaps schedule a duct cleaning if necessary. Not only will this help make sure that your air conditioner is operating at peak performance, but also that dust and allergens are kept under control for the comfort of your entire family. If it’s been a while since your last duct cleaning, talk to your trusted home comfort professional and get their advice.
Keep Window Shades Drawn
When the sun is shining and the air is warm, we all like to have fresh air coming in the house and enjoy the natural light. However, many of us don’t realize just how much heat the sun can generate in our homes during the day when we’re at work or running errands. Before you leave the house, do a quick run through the house and pull down the blinds. This will help reduce the strain on your air conditioner since your home won’t get quite so warm throughout the day. This simple but effective tip can make a big difference in how long your air conditioner will have to run to cool things down when it gets really hot outside.
Cook on the Grill
We absolutely love to grill, and while we really don’t need any extra incentive to fire up our barbecues during the summer, cooking outside has a big impact on the comfort inside our homes. As you’d expect, a 400° oven can heat up your kitchen pretty quick, especially when you have a pot or two boiling on the top at the same time. Using the barbecue instead helps keep the heat outside and gives you an extra reason to spend more time outdoors. Most modern propane or natural gas grills are capable of cooking much more than just burgers and dogs. You can do everything from roasts to ribs and even turkeys on a barbecue. Plus, many newer designs of grills have a side burner on them so you can boil a pot on the side for corn on the cob at the same time. We’re sure that once you start experimenting with some new grilling recipes, you’ll definitely love the convenience that it provides and the reduced reliance on your kitchen stove.
Use Photocell Light Timers
If you have lights strung in your garden, around your pool, or any other outdoor sitting area in your yard, then you might want to consider using a timer to ensure that they aren’t left running all night long if you happen to forget to turn them off. While manual timers are certainly helpful and reliable, they need to be adjusted to account for the lengthening and shortening of the days as the seasons change. Fortunately, there’s a type of timer that you can buy that allows you to set it and forget it. Consider investing in photocell timers that include a light-sensor in them to automatically come on when daylight fades. These timers can be set to turn off either when the light returns in the morning, or at set duration such as 4 or 6 hours later. This added convenience means that you don’t need to remember to turn them on or off, and when combined with the energy-efficient LED light bulbs we mentioned earlier, are a great way to keep the ambiance of your outdoor lights and remove the hassle of having to remember to turn them on or off all the time.
Taking action to save energy and improve your home comfort this summer doesn’t mean you need to spend a ton of time away from fun activities with the family. These tips are easy to follow, don’t take a lot of time, and don’t require much money, but the benefits can be pretty substantial. When it comes to saving energy, it’s the little things we do that can add up quickly, so give these tricks a try this summer. We’re sure you’ll find them easy to do and helpful in improving your overall home comfort. If you have any questions about these tips or would like to get more great advice on saving energy in your home, contact us today and one of our home comfort experts will be happy to answer all your questions. We look forward to speaking with you!