During the hot days of summer, many Canadians open their energy bill with a sense of dread. While it may be tempting to run your air conditioning at full capacity for weeks on end, you can't do it without paying a price – in more ways than one. High energy consumption is not only a costly proposition for individual homeowners, it also carries a high cost in terms of pollution that's created as we generate power to meet today's high demands.
Here are a few tips to help you beat the heat as you save on your energy bill:
• Prevent direct sunlight from entering your windows, especially on your home's southern exposure, where the most solar heat will enter. This can be done in any number of ways, including shutters, blinds or draperies.
• If you have an outside area that you want to keep sunny for occasional use, consider a retractable awning that will create shade, as you need it.
• Heated swimming pools are a tremendous drain on energy and your pocketbook. If you're planning on installing a pool, take special care to choose the location that will receive the most hours of full sun. If you have a pool, invest in a solar blanket to prevent overnight heat loss.
• Shade trees can have a considerable impact on protecting your home from temperature extremes in both summer and winter. If you're thinking of planting a few trees on your property, consider a fast-growing, broadleaf tree such as poplar, to give you quick results in energy savings.
• Ensure that your attic area is well insulated. A relatively small investment in this fast and easy improvement will save in cooling and heating costs.
• Poorly insulated windows are major culprits in energy loss. When the time comes to replace them, make sure you in invest in a high R-value window.
• Turn your thermostat up a degree or two at bedtime, when the outside temperature begins to cool and you're not active.
• When you're away from home for more than two hours, raise the temperature on your thermostat and lower it again on your return. Even that small concession can save you energy and money.
The little things can add up to big savings over time. Want more ideas on how to reduce your home's operating costs? Or wondering what energy-saving home improvements will have the greatest impact on your home's resale value? Contact your local Coldwell Banker real estate professional and take advantage of their expert advice. You'll be glad you called us first!