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As summer temperatures approach their peak, Hydro One offers some tips to help you keep cool while conserving energy. If you don't have a reliable air conditioner (A/C) to cool your home, check out these safety tips for extreme heat waves. And when hot, humid days give way to rain and thunder, beware the hazards of electrical storms.

  • 1

  • Set to save
  • Set your thermostat to 25°C when you're home and 28°C when you're out. For every degree you dial up the temperature, you use about 3 to 5 per cent less energy. Or get a programmable thermostat, then set it and forget it.

  • 2

  • Draw the drapes
  • Draw the curtains every morning to keep out the heat. Blackout curtains, blinds, window film, awnings and other coverings greatly reduce solar heat gain and save your A/C from working harder to maintain temperature.

  • 3

  • Invest in a fan
  • Consider a ceiling fan: it lets you keep your thermostat 4°C higher without affecting your comfort. Set the blades counter-clockwise for a downward cooling breeze. The best angle for maximum cooling is 12 to 16 degrees.

  • 4

  • Cut the humidity
  • Humidity makes it feel hotter that it is — the "feels like" temperature measures both relative humidity and air temperature combined. Keep your A/C running to reduce humidity, and use exhaust fans in kitchens and baths to expel humid air.

  • 5

  • Seal it in
  • Blasting your A/C is an inefficient way to cool a drafty home. Inspect windows, doors and vents to spot areas where cool air can escape and hot air can seep in. Then use caulking and weather-stripping to seal the leaks.

  • 6

  • Move the air
  • Get the air circulating — especially if you don't have an air conditioner. Create a cross-breeze by opening windows on opposite sides of your home. If you have multiple storeys, open windows on upper and lower levels.

  • 7

  • Power down
  • Plug your electronics into a power bar with a timer, and turn it off during on-peak and mid-peak hours — see how electricity prices change based on Time-of-Use. Keeping devices plugged in all day draws power, even when they're off.

  • 8

  • Cool your kitchen
  • When cooking, opt for smaller appliances like crock pots, toaster ovens and microwaves. Ovens use more electricity and raise the temperature, forcing your cooling system to work double-time. Or head outdoors and use the barbecue.

  • 9

  • Give your A/C some TLC
  • Check your air filters regularly and replace as needed. And don't forget the condenser — your A/C's outdoor unit. Clean out dried leaves or other debris, and trim foliage back at least 2 feet for good air circulation.

  • 10

  • Schedule a tune-up
  • If you've done all you can to keep your cooling system humming, call in the experts. Annual servicing by a licenced heating and cooling contractor can reduce your cooling costs by up to 10 per cent.


For more ways to save year-round, see our Tips and Tools to Save Energy at Home.

Want a copy? Download a printable version of the Getting Started guide. Share with your family and get everyone on board with savings!