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10 Tips for Ventilation and Air Conditioning

Want to know how to save electricity in the winter and keep your home cool in the summer? Here are 10 air conditioning and ventilation tips to make your home more energy efficient, healthy, and comfortable.

Regularly Cleaning Filters to Improve Air Quality

When air passes through a home, it collects dust, impurities, and pet dander.

It's very important to:

  • Replace your ventilation system’s disposable filters at the end of their service life.
  • Regularly clean permanent filters.

This allows them to run at their maximum capacity and improve the ambient air quality. And, good news, you’ll also spend less time dusting!


Drain Air Conditioner Condensation toward the Outside

When an air conditioner is running, it's normal for condensation to accumulate inside the unit. This water needs to be able to drain freely.

  • When installing a portable air conditioner, be sure to incline it slightly towards the outside so that the water naturally drains out.
  • For central air conditioning systems, make sure the exhaust hose empties into a drain.

Ventilate the Attic

Check the ventilation in the attic. Good ventilation improves the efficiency of the insulation, which in turn reduces heating bills and will ultimately prolong the life of your roof.

  • Install a turbine vent or a ridge vent on the roof if there is no such system in place.
  • As hot air rises through the home, it is expelled through the vent, and cool air is drawn in through the soffits.

Keep Soffit and Roof Vents Clear

In most new homes, the attic is ventilated by air flowing through soffit vents and roof vents.

Check these vents regularly to make sure they are clear of leaves and other debris that can reduce their efficiency.


Keep Air Circulating in your Home

Install a ceiling fan to keep the air cool and maintain a consistent temperature throughout every season. A ceiling fan consumes very little electricity, even when operating around the clock.

  • In the winter, set the blades to push the air downward to keep a consistent temperature.
  • In the summer, reverse the blades so the cool air is drawn up from the basement or in from open windows in order to evenly cool your home.

Save Money with Window Fans

Window fans bring fresh air into the house and blow stale air outside.

  • Since hot air rises, place window fans in every upstairs room, and set them to blow the air outside.
  • Then open a basement window or the hatch to the crawl space. The negative pressure will draw the cooler air upstairs.

Use Venting Skylights

In the summer, a venting skylight installed in the topmost ceiling, or in its highest part, lets warm air out and cooler air in.

In the winter, a skylight lets sunlight into your home and helps heat the interior.


Reduce Heat Loss

A heat recovery ventilator, or HRV, is a central ventilation unit that can stand alone or be connected to a furnace. As well as bringing fresh air into the home, it directs warm, stale air into a device that transfers its heat to the cool incoming air. These systems conserve heat and help you save money on heating.


Consider Using Humidity Sensors

Moisture levels can be very high in bathrooms and kitchens. An extractor fan with a humidity sensor ensures that the fan runs when it is needed most and shuts off when the moisture level returns to normal. You can also install a humidity-activated fan in the laundry room.

Check out our tips and tricks on Choosing a bathroom fan.


Create New Open Spaces at Home

Before the advent of central heating, heat was controlled by containing it in small rooms with the doors kept shut. Small wood-burning stoves or oil heaters only provided heat in the rooms being used such as the parlour, dining room or kitchen.

Today, heating and cooling an older home can be made more efficient by opening up the interior space. Small rooms prevent the circulation of heat and cool air. Opening doors to create more open spaces provides greater comfort and helps reduce energy costs.

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