Team Power Smart

Summer 2013

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KEEP YOUR COOL IN DEPTH Beat the heat and your energy bill this summer with these tips for keeping you and your home cool ROB LEE, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER with BC Hydro, explains how to make your home more energy efficient without a major overhaul. Draft-proof your home Just as cracks and gaps let cold air in and warm air out in winter, they let warm air in and cold air out in summer. You can seal the leaks in your windows, doors, sill plates, outlets and gaskets with inexpensive caulking and weatherproofing materials from your local hardware store. Plant a tree A strategically planted deciduous tree on the southeast or southwest side of your house can shade your home from the hot summer sun and help keep you cool both indoors and out. Draw the blinds Blackout drapes can block up to 65 per cent of the heat that would otherwise come in through your windows — close them during the day to keep heat out (especially on south- and west-facing windows), then open them at night to circulate air and cool the house. Install a ceiling fan A ceiling fan may use one-tenth the energy of an air conditioner, so you can save on your bill by using your air conditioner less and using a ceiling fan to make up the difference. Set your fan to turn counter-clockwise for the most effective cooling, and remember to turn it off when you leave the room. Generate less heat Cooking is the number-one culprit for indoor heat. You can keep cooler on hot days by eating cold meals (think sandwiches or cold cuts), barbecuing outside, or timing your use of the oven for cooler times of the day. Air condition wisely If you still need air conditioning, choose a model that's ENERGY STAR® approved. Set your air conditioner to 25.5˚C (78˚F) or higher — you can save between three and five per cent in home cooling costs for every degree you raise it. Q: I'M RENTING AN APARTMENT AND DON'T HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO MAKE ANY BIG CHANGES. WHAT CAN I DO TO CUT DOWN ON POWER CONSUMPTION? As a tenant, you can still take simple actions around the house that can help you save. KITCHEN Set your fridge at two to four degrees Celsius (°C) and your freezer to -15°C to -18°C, keeping both three-quarters full to help retain the cold. Cut mealtime costs in half by microwaving food instead of cooking in the oven. After eating, scrape dirty dishes off instead of rinsing, and employ your dishwasher's "no heat" cycle. LOUNGE AREA Invest in more efficient gadgets; Telus Optik TV's ENERGY STAR® qualified PVR uses 50 per cent less energy and can be shared by up to six TV sets. Households that only use one PVR can save an estimated $125 in electricity savings over five years. Also, prevent phantom power draw by unplugging your TV and your powerbar. LAUNDRY Wash in cold water whenever possible; it expends 85 per cent less energy than a warm-water wash. Air dry your clothes, or at least use the dryer's moisture sensor to shave time off the cycle. BATHROOM Take a four-minute shower instead of a bath. If you can, install a low-flow showerhead, which reduces water use by two-thirds. WINDOWS Keep the shades drawn in the summer and open in the winter to cool and heat your home naturally. AIR In the winter, dial back the thermostat by a few degrees at night and whenever you go out. In the summer, cool your home to no lower than 24°C when occupied and avoid mechanical cooling when your apartment is unoccupied. Also, set ceiling fans to spin clockwise during the chilly months to circulate pockets of warm air and counter-clockwise in the summer to reduce the need for air conditioning. LIGHTS LED and low-wattage CFL bulbs can boost lighting efficiency by up to 75 per cent; something else that helps: turning them off! Have a question? Email us at Your question could be featured in the next issue of your Team Power Smart member magazine. TEAM POWER SMART SUMMER 2013 13 p12-13 Infogrf_InDepth Smr2013_rev.indd 13 13-06-13 11:01 AM

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