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AC 101: Blow cold air, not money!

In partnership with Enercare

Friday, August 9th 2019, 12:30 pm - Here's how to get the most out of your air conditioning unit while saving money.

Screen Shot 2019-08-08 at 11.27.13 AM (Courtesy: Pixabay)

As the summer heats up, Canadians agree there is one thing we can’t live without! That's our air conditioning!

In a recent study done by Enercare, 64% of Ontario homeowners said that air conditioning is the most important thing for staying cool during a heat wave while 74% said they would not rent or buy a home that does not have air conditioning.

Enercare and The Weather Network want you to get the most out of your unit so we are busting some of the most common myths associated with AC.

Appliances near the thermostat can affect temperature:

True! Appliances generate heat so your thermostat will pick up on that extra temperature and work harder than needed in order to bring the temperature down. Even something as small as a lamp can affect temperature! Your thermostat should be in an unobstructed area free of anything that may influence an incorrect temperature reading.

The landscaping around my home could cost me:

True! Think about how hot it is to run barefoot across the deck on a summer day. Dark colours, asphalt, stone and rock all radiate heat and can produce a hotter environment for your AC unit, making it work overtime. Try and keep the south and west sides of your home shaded to avoid this issue.

Ceiling fans are not an effective way of cooling:

False! A ceiling fan will help circulate the cool air allowing you to set the thermostat about 4 degrees higher as the fan creates a windchill effect. Remember fans cool people and not rooms. So make sure to shut the fan off if no one is home.

ceilingfan1 (Courtesy: Pixabay)

Ovens and hot showers will increase indoor heat:

True! However there is something you can do to help battle the added heat. Turn on the fan in the washroom and the rangehood while cooking. This will help quickly direct the hot and humid air out of the home.

Air Conditioning removes moisture from the air:

True! Our AC units not only reduce heat, but also the moisture in your home. The cooling coils in your system remove heat and humidity using a refrigerant. By reducing the moisture in your home, you are left with a more comfortable atmosphere that is easier to cool.

My windows won’t affect the inside temperature:

False! Windows absolutely play a role. One of the best investments are window films or tints on the inside which will greatly help to regulate temperature. This can help save you money in the summer and winter! Any cracks or leaks around the perimeter should be caulked and sealed as cool air will escape, causing your AC unit to work harder.

The lower you go the more money you blow:

True! If you are trying to save some money, setting your AC to the lowest setting is not going to be cheap! Keep your thermostat set to the highest temperature that still feels cool. If you increase the temperature by 10 degrees for 8 hours a day you can save almost 10% annually on cooling costs. Smart thermostats adjust temperatures based on your living patterns which can help save Canadian homeowners money!

I don’t need to replace the furnace filter:

False! Replacing the furnace filter is not only easy, but it’s also essential! When your filter is clogged with dust or debris, it can reduce the airflow and cause costly breakdowns. If your system is high efficiency, a clogged filter will not let you feel the full effect of the air conditioning. Replacing a dirty filter with a clean one every three months, or once a season can also help lower your energy consumption by 5-15 %.

furnacefilterdirty (Clogged furnace filter. Courtesy: Rachel Schoutsen)

Maintaining AC equipment can lengthen its lifespan:

True! Have a licensed professional inspect and tune-up your cooling system, from the condenser unit to fan coils to pumps and filters! This should be done once a year, before the hot weather hits, in order to catch any issues like clogs or energy inefficiencies. This check can also save you from any surprises, like going into the first heat wave of the season with a broken cooling system. An annual maintenance check will keep your unit clean and efficient just like the maintenance you do on your vehicle.

Canada is known for its cold but our hot days are just as impressive!

The hottest temperature ever recorded in Canada is 45°C in Yellow Grass, SK (July 5, 1937). By comparison, sizzling countries like Chile and Brazil have only seen their hottest days reach 44°C.

It’s no doubt we need and rely on our AC! Enercare is a leading home services provider when it comes to AC. They want to urge Canadians to consider upgrading to a smarter home-thermostat to cool your home more effectively and watch your energy bill drop!

Sources:

Ceiling fan allows you to set the thermostat 4°C higher: American AC service company, IT Expert/product reviewer, American AC service company

Increase temperature by 10 degrees for 8 hours a day you can save almost 10% on cooling costs: Direct Energy

Changing a dirty filter lowers energy consumption by 5-15%: USA official energy website, Articles and Advice column

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