We’re just a few weeks away from the summer season, and this means it’s swelter weather once again. While weather predictions continue to be optimistic that Toronto summer temperatures this year won’t be as high as last year’s, it’s safe to assume that the hotter days in early June and mid-August will have us cranking our cooling systems at full blast.
You need to start preparing your appliances for the warmer days to come, as your AC and refrigerator usage will surge in the summer. Fortunately, there’s a way you can make sure you don’t suffer long sunny days spent fanning yourself without the support of any cooling appliance. Without having to literally break a sweat, try these 14 hacks to reduce your electricity bill this summer.
6 Fun Fan Hacks to Keep Temperatures Cool
DIY is fun — it helps you get creative in coming up with solutions with whatever is available in your home. If you’re worried about “abusing” your air conditioners this summertime, the electric fans exist in the household for a good reason. Slap on a few DIY solutions, and voilà, your already cool fan has just become cooler!
1.Ice That Fan
This is the simplest trick to save electricity during warm days. Just place a bowl filled to the brim with ice in front of a desk fan. The fan will blow cooler air in your direction. The only downside to this is you have to be nearby at all times, so this might work best if you’re at your work desk, or you’re in the kitchen doing some cooking.
Foam coolers aren’t just for beer and camping anymore! With a fan, two dryer vents, and a bucketful of ice, your foam cooler can turn into an effective cooling unit. To do this, you need to cut a fan-shaped hole in the middle of the cooler cover, and two holes in the shape of the dryer vents flanking the fan-shaped hole. Insert the vents and the fan (blower side must face down) into their respective places. You can fill the cooler with ice, or bottles of frozen water, before putting the cover back on, and plugging in the fan. To make it even cooler, add salt to your ice.
3.The Ultimate AC + Ceiling Fan Combo
Double the cooling effect by turning on both the ceiling fan and the AC. To save electricity even with two appliances running at the same time, keep the AC temperature at a considerable level (not too cold), and allow the fan to boost the air circulation, and create a wind chill that still effectively keeps your AC usage relatively low.
Because air tends to rise more quickly in warm temperatures, you should run your ceiling fan in a counterclockwise direction to redirect the airflow downward. Feel free to increase the fan speed as the day gets hotter. You can keep your AC thermostat at a higher level, as the airflow produced by the reverse fan rotation facilitates the wind chill effect efficiently.
Regulating air flow is a smart way of getting cooler air right into your house. You may not be able to change the locations of your doors and windows, but you can place your fans strategically to direct the air right where you need it. You can place one large box fan in front of a window with the blower side in, and another fan at an opposing window, blowing outward, so it pushes the warm air from the inside outward. To keep the cool air flowing, you can also turn on table fans in between.
6.Drive Basement Air Upwards
Speaking of airflow regulation, you can also strategically place fans all over the house to direct the cool air in your basement toward the upper stories of your house. Begin by shutting all windows on the top floor, save for one that is located in the farthest corner facing south. Place a box fan on that lone window, with the blower facing out. In the basement, find a window in the farthest corner facing south, and place a box fan, with the blower facing in. Leave the basement door open, but keep other doors closed so unwanted heat doesn’t find its way inside.
This way, the basement window lets the cool air in, and the top floor window blows the warm air out. For even better results, install a ceiling fan by the basement entrance to circulate the basement air into other areas of the household.
4 Non-Cooling System Hacks
Besides tinkering with your cooling systems, there are other things you can do elsewhere inside your home to keep yourself cool. These electricity-saving tips help lessen the heat that comes into your homes, making sure your ACs and fans won’t be dealing with any more hot air than it can manage.
- Use other appliances wisely
The use of home appliances, electronics, and light bulbs generates heat energy as a by-product and will raise both temperatures and electric bills for you. Practise turning them on only when needed. Wash your laundry in bulk, and dry your clothes under the sun. As much as possible, wash your dishes in the sink, and allow the warm summer air to dry them. If you can bear it, dine and work alfresco.
- Freeze your pillows
Warm summer nights can prevent you from sleeping soundly. To keep cool during bedtime, you can bundle up your pillow inside a plastic bag, and let it sit in the freezer for 10 minutes. Since foam pillows retain more body heat, consider using one that’s stuffed with buckwheat hulls that allow better airflow.
- Damp your sheets
Sleep like an Egyptian by using damp bed sheets or towels to help you feel cool during sleep. To do this, hold the sheets or towel under running water, and wring the excess water out. Make sure they are not soaked!
- Block out the sun
Consider using curtains, blinds, and drapes to protect your homes from heat and sunlight. You can custom-combine these window protection options depending on how hot your summers can get, and how long your cold seasons can go.
For example, medium-coloured draperies with white plastic backings reduce heat gains by 30%, and slat-type blinds can be adjusted to control glare, light and solar heat gain. Use window film on east- and west-facing windows to block against solar heat gain, and at the same time, protect your windows from glare and ultraviolet exposure.
4 Basic Aircon Solutions
Maintenance and proper usage are not necessarily AC “hacks” to save electricity, but they are an essential step if you want to use your cooling units efficiently in the summertime. An AC unit that’s well-maintained and not misused enjoys a longer lifespan, which you, in turn, can enjoy for more summers to come.
1.Clean your air conditioner regularly
Dirty filters block out the swift passage of cool air from your AC unit. As dirt and gunk build up over time, it will take more time for your AC to generate cold air. Replace the filter as often as needed, and clean the unit and its surrounding areas to lessen the chances of a clogged filter.
2.Use in moderation
Too much of everything is bad. While it’s reasonable to turn up our ACs at certain points in the day, there are some of us who leave it on 24/7. Except when you or a member in the household has a medical condition that requires their environment to be kept cool at all times, you can always choose to time your AC usage right. Adjusting the temperature is easier if you’re using a WiFi thermostat.
3.Adjust the temperature as needed
All air conditioning units come with adjustable controls, so you can change the air output according to the temperature of your surroundings. The summer heat comes in waves, and indoor temperatures don’t stay high all throughout the day. When it gets too icky, go ahead and lower the temperature. However, once the sun sets and the air cools down a bit, you can turn it up a little bit, or turn it off completely.
4.Have it regularly checked
Nothing beats the care of professional AC technicians. If you’re not sure about DIY maintenance, or you think your air conditioning unit might need repairs, you can always give your appliance contractor a quick call.
Toronto Appliance Repairs is open 24 hours, 7 days a week for all your appliance maintenance and repair needs. Call us now at 416-918-2700, and get your AC units serviced the right way!