I am sure that you have already noticed, but summer has arrived. If you are like me, with this heat comes the costly temptation of turning on air conditioning. Dave Walton of Direct Energy took some time out of his day to chat with GayCalgary Magazine about how readers can save money while staying cool.
From May 15th to 18th, Direct Energy conducted a survey amongst 835 randomly selected Canadian adults that live in Alberta. According to the survey, 47 percent of Albertans are expecting hotter than normal temperatures this summer, and only one out of four local households use air conditioning.
"Your air conditioner should be maintained annually to avoid costly equipment repairs and to ensure that you’re cooling your home as efficiently as possible," says Walton. "A lot of homeowners have the attitude if it’s not broken don’t fix it towards their AC unit. Scheduled maintenance will allow it to run more efficiently and help save homeowners money on their energy bills."
Walton adds, "Installing a programmable thermostat is one of the easiest ways to regulate your energy usage and control both your cooling costs during the warm summer months and your heating costs during the cold winter months. In the summer, set the thermostat higher during the day when nobody is home, and at night when outdoor temperatures are cooler. By raising the thermostat’s temperature by five degrees Celsius, homeowners could save as much as 10 per cent on their energy bill."
This may have you rethinking your ‘stay cool’ methods at home, but make sure to keep this in mind before proceeding. Most air conditioning units older than 12 years are not as energy efficient as one’s being installed now. Walton recommends continually upgrading your system. "A more efficient 14 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) unit is recommended."
The survey turned up some other interesting findings:
• While most Albertans are not overly concerned about the cost of maintaining a steady temperature, women (45%) are more concerned than men (37%) about the cost issue.
• Closing the curtains or blinds (81%), opening the windows and doors (78%) and using fans (75%), are the top preferred ways Albertans keep their home cool during warm summer days.
• Wearing lighter clothes at home is also a way Albertan stay cool during warm summer days (66%).
So, before you decide that fans and open windows are the only way to go this summer, try a few of these air conditioning tips to make your summer that much more comfortable.
For more information on energy saving tips check out