Manning yourself with knowledge is one of the most powerful ways homeowners can start to see noticeable changes in their energy bills. According to Energy Star, the average household spends more than $2200 a year on energy bills, with more than half of this going towards heating and cooling costs. Thankfully, there are ways to help save you money that doesn’t involve giving up all your summer fun.
Use the cool, Alberta nights to your advantage and give your cooling system a rest. Open your windows while you sleep and capture the cool air in the morning by shutting the windows and blinds. You can also install window coverings that will reduce energy loss, preventing sunlight from entering your home. Learn more about insulating window coverings at Energy.gov
Using a programmable thermostat can ensure that your home temperature remains comfortable when you’re set to be home without unnecessary cooling costs when you’re out of the house. According to Energy.gov, you can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by merely programming your thermostat back 2-3 degrees from its normal settings for 8 hours a day. Moreover, you should avoid overcorrecting your programmable thermostat when you’re set to arrive at home. It will not cool your house any faster, and the higher temperature when you’re gone will actually slow the flow of heat into your house.
You can also receive rebates from Energy Efficiency Alberta to install your programmable thermostat.
Installing ceiling fans can help you save on air conditioning costs altogether or considerably save on air conditioning costs when used together by allowing you to raise your thermostat without any reduction in comfort.
Leaks, holes and poorly connected ducts can make for a very inefficient air conditioning systems that will have difficulty keeping your house comfortable no matter how low you set the temperature. Check your ducts for dirt streaks or other contaminants for signs of leakage. For an at-home solution, you can start by sealing leaks in accessible ducts using a master sealant or metal (foil) tape. You can also choose to work with a contractor for sealing gaps and repairing ducts in between floors, walls and ceilings for optimal energy savings.
Your central air conditioning system may not be running as efficiently as advertised if it is connected to a blower motor, a part of the furnace, that is over 15 years old. Schedule regular maintenance to ensure that your system is up to date and avoid placing any heat emitting appliances that can cause false readings near the thermostat.
This regularly overlooked maintenance task not only keeps the air in your home cleaner, but it will make your cooling system run more efficiently. By not having to force air through dust, dirt and grime, a new furnace filter immediately allows your air conditioning system to move air through your home with more ease.
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A note about fair competition:
All customers are free to purchase natural gas services from the default supply provider or from a retailer of their choice and to purchase electricity from a regulated rate provider or from a retailer of their choice. The delivery of natural gas and electricity to you is not affected by your choice. If you change you you purchase natural gas or electricity services from, you will continue receiving natural gas and electricity from the distribution company in your service area. For a current list of retailers you may choose from, visit ucahelps.gov.ab.ca or call 310-4822 (toll free in Alberta).
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