Your Essential Home Cooling Guide

Save your energy dollars with these simple tips and tricks.

Most of your energy dollars go towards controlling the temperature of your home. Instead of blasting the air conditioner, check out these ideas to help cool your home as efficiently as possible.

Stay comfortable all while controlling your costs.

In addition to the tips below, visit the Energy Hub for additional tips and tricks and explore energy saving resources for your home.

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Home cooling tips & tricks
Open window with breeze flowing

10 Ways to Cool Your Home Efficiently


Close Your Blinds

Keep your windows covered during the hottest summer days to block the sun and naturally cool your home.


Set to Save

By raising your thermostat a degree or two, you can save a lot over the course of the year. Set it to 25⁰C when you are home, and 28⁰C when you're gone.


Seal the Leaks

Caulk, seal or weatherstrip around doors and windows to keep hot air out and cool air in.


Switch on the Fans

Remove heat and humidity by using your bathroom fan during and after a shower and your range hood while cooking.


Clear Away Clutter

Keep weeds and debris clear of your outdoor air conditioning unit, to allow air to circulate freely. Cut foliage at least 24cm back of the unit.


Change or Clean Furnace Filters

Clogged filters restrict airflow and make system work harder than it should. Refer to your owner's manual, or Google your system specs to see how often you should do this.


Book a Tune-Up

Annual furnace and air conditioning servicing can reduce your costs by up to 10 per cent and extend the life of your system.


Deal with Your Ducts

About 20 per cent of airflow is lost to leaks. Seal cracks and holes with mastic sealant or foil tape – this will also help control humidity.


Shade to Save

Plant trees or shrubs around your outdoor air conditioning unit (at least 24cm away) to improve efficiency by up to 10%. Keep your thermostat out of the sunlight as well.


Let Your Attic Breathe

Proper attic ventilation can reduce the strain on your central air conditioner by moving hot air out.

Air conditioner

Is it time for a new central air conditioner?

An ENERGY STAR®-certified high-efficiency model can cut cooling costs as much as 30 per cent*. While you may pay a little more up front, you will save on energy costs over time.

Proven reliability
Quiet performance
Better warranty protection
Improved air quality
Use less energy
* Assumes replacement of a model 12 years or older.

Think about upgrading if:

Some rooms in your house are always too hot
Your system is more than 10 years old
It’s unusually noisy
Your home’s air is too humid
You need major parts replaced or repaired

Look for the labels

The official Canadian EnerGuide label displays the model type and seasonal energy efficiency ratio or SEER. The SEER measures how efficiently the system runs over the entire cooling season. The higher the rating, the more efficient the system. You can use this rating to compare the energy efficiency of different models.

The most energy-efficient units will also be ENERGY STAR®-certified.

Au naturel: home ventilation

Of all the ways to cool your home, ventilation is the least costly and most energy efficient

Install Ceiling Fans

A ceiling fan allows you to raise your thermostat by 4°C without affecting your comfort. Set blades to run in a counter-clockwise direction to circulate cool air downwards.

Create a Cross Breeze

Open a few windows to create cross ventilation. For the best results, open a lower window on one side of your home and an upper window on the opposite side.

Working with a contractor

How to choose

Choosing a contractor:

  1. Start with our list of participating contractors near you
  2. Read online reviews
  3. Ask friends and neighbours for recommendations (check to ensure they are on the list of participating contractors)
  4. Get at least three quotes and compare estimates
  5. Ask for an inspection of your current system
  6. Get everything in writing
  7. Ask about rebates for high-efficiency systems
  8. Ensure your contractor has general liability insurance to protect yourself
  9. Ask about services post-installation, including annual servicing, maintenance, etc.

What to look for

What to look for in an agreement:

  1. Detailed list of all work to be completed
  2. Itemized list of all equipment to be installed, including name, quantity, model number and energy rating
  3. Proof of warranty for both the equipment and installation
  4. Documentation of sizing calculations or results of any tests performed
  5. Liability insurance information (minimum of $2 million)
  6. Proof of licences and certification to install an ENERGY STAR®-certified CAC system:
    313A Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Licence or
    313D Residential Air Conditioning Licence
  7. Payment terms and schedule
  8. Start and completion date.

What to expect

Annual servicing — Your contractor should:

  1. Check refrigerant levels and test for leaks
  2. Clean condenser coils
  3. Replace or clean air filters
  4. Inspect ductwork for air leaks
  5. Measure airflow through the evaporator coil
  6. Inspect, clean and tighten electrical connections
  7. Lubricate motors and inspect belts
  8. Check thermostat and controls for accuracy.