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8 tricks to save energy during summer

Did you know that air conditioning can account for as much as 20% of your summer electricity bill? The good news is that you have the power to do something about it. Here are 8 steps you can take to save energy and reduce your impact on climate change at the same time.
1

Choose an ENERGY STAR® certified air conditioner

ENERGY STAR certified air conditioners can net you significant energy savings when compared to a standard unit. A certified central air conditioner will use about 8% less energy on average than a standard product, while an individual unit can use up to 10% less.

Furthermore, by replacing an air conditioner that is over 10 years old, you can stand to save upwards of 20% on your energy costs. Investing in a new, ENERGY STAR certified air conditioner is an easy and effective way to save electricity, save money, and lower your carbon footprint.

2

Combine ceiling fans and air conditioners

Reduce the cost of running your air conditioner even further by using it in strategic combination with ceiling fans. Circulating air helps a room feel more comfortable without any additional cooling. As with an air conditioner, you can save money and energy by choosing a ceiling fan with an ENERGY STAR® designation. On average, an ENERGY STAR® certified ceiling fan is 40% more efficient than a standard model.

Using ceiling fans to circulate the cool air generated by an air conditioner will allow you to set your thermostat two degrees higher while still enjoying the same comfort level. Doing this can reduce your air conditioning costs by as much as 14%. Setting your thermostat to 24°C is ideal, as every degree lower will increase your energy consumption by 3 to 5%. In the summer, ceiling fans should be set to turn counterclockwise. Don't forget to switch the fan off when you leave the room.

Take even more pressure off your cooling system by closing your window blinds and curtains and lessening the amount of heat gain a room receives from direct sunlight. This is especially effective for south-facing windows.

PRO TIP

In order to receive an ENERGY STAR® designation, products must first meet strict technical specifications for energy efficiency and performance. They are tested and certified by an independent third party and guaranteed to save more energy than standard products without sacrificing performance in any way. An ENERGY STAR® product is usually within the top 15 to 30% of its class in regards to energy performance.

All ENERGY STAR® certified products available at RONA are part of our ECO Products Program, making it easy for you to find the right products for your home.

3

Choose ECO outdoor lighting

Using the sun's energy to power your outdoor lighting will help you avoid the use of electricity. Another great way to lower and manage your energy consumption is to choose a light fixture with a built-in motion detector. This will allow for targeted energy usage that adapts to your needs and still provides light where and when it is required.

There exists a wide range of ECO lighting for outdoor use, including solar-powered garden lights and decorative lighting as well as security lighting with motion detectors and photosensitive sensors.

PRO TIP

Discover more than 4 000 ECO products for the home

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4

Use a timer for your pool and other outdoor devices

A timer can also be a good option for taking control of your outdoor energy usage. One of the main ways it can help is by lowering the cost of your pool's filtration. Pool filtration and heating can amount to as much as 20% of your annual electricity cost.

Programming a timer to turn off the pump for several hours a day will save you energy and stop the noise generated by the pump without sacrificing water quality. You can stand to save up to $100 every summer for an above-ground, 24-ft. diameter pool and as much as $150 for an in-ground, 16 ft. x 32 ft. pool. Note, however, that using a timer with a pool heater is not recommended, as it is important for the pump to work whenever the heater is on.

You can also affix a timer onto outdoor lighting fixtures that are not equipped with a motion sensor or a photosensitive sensor. This will ensure that your lights don't stay on all night after they are not needed anymore.

5

Use a clothesline or drying rack when possible

A dryer is typically responsible for about 1/3 of the energy consumption used by appliances in the modern home, making it quite the electricity guzzler. Save money and energy by using clotheslines and drying racks if you have the space to do so. You can find both indoor and outdoor drying accessories depending on your needs.

Foregoing the use of your dryer one time a week can save you more than $10 every summer.

6

Plant a tree

Exercising your green thumbs and planting the right variety of trees in a couple of choice locations on your property can shade your windows and block hot sunrays. Your home will feel fresher during the summer and your air conditioning system won't have to work as hard, saving you money. By using less energy and planting more trees, you'll be helping out the environment as well.

7

Replace your air conditioning filter

The ambient air inside of your home contains all manner of dust and debris particles. In addition to posing a hazard to your health, poor indoor air quality also makes your air conditioner work harder in order to maintain your desired temperature.

To improve the efficiency of your cooling system, choose a HEPA filter from among our ECO products. HEPA filters retain up to 99.97% of particles, keeping them out of your air conditioner and improving your indoor air quality at the same time.

8

Opt for pale sheathing if your roof is flat

Like dark floor coverings, a flat or low-slope roof with dark sheathing will accumulate heat from solar energy during the summer. This contributes to the "heat island" effect, which refers to the fact that metropolitan areas tend to be warmer than surrounding rural areas. You can limit this phenomenon while improving your home comfort and saving on the cost of air conditioning by choosing white or pale sheathing materials instead.