Unplug This Blog!

Cool down and power off this summer

Posted by Jacqueline Lambert

Our new infographic shows you tips to keep your cool

August is here, and the weather is heating up. Summer is a time to get outside and enjoy the sunshine, but keeping cool can be a challenge. Whether you are enjoying a relaxing stay-cation at home, or hitting the road for a holiday, our new infographic will help you find energy efficient ways to cool down and save some money this season.

Keep the heat out at home

The easiest way to stay cool at home this summer is to keep hot air out. Closing blinds and drapes on a sunny day can block up to 65% of the heat that enters your home through windows. Still too hot? Vent the warm air out of your house by using the exhaust fan on the stove, or in the bathroom. In the evening, if you open up the windows, the fan will draw in the fresh breeze from outside, and circulate it, cooling down your home.

Take advantage of the warmer and brighter days this summer by cooking outside on the barbeque. Reducing the use of appliances, such as the stove and the oven will minimize indoor heat generation and lessen the need for home cooling. Consuming cold food and drinks on a sweltering day will also help you cool down. For easy snacks, try freezing batches of fresh fruit and berries and keeping a pitcher of lemonade in the fridge. Filling up your fridge will ensure that it is running efficiently. Do you have a second fridge that you are not utilizing effectively? Unplug it and save up to $85 per year.

Avoid the high consuming air conditioner during the hottest time of the year and use an energy-efficient ceiling fan instead. When the fan is rotating in a counter-clockwise direction, the airflow creates a wind-chill effect that makes you feel cooler and can moderate the temperature of your home by up to 10%.

Unplug and recharge

Many of us head out of town to cool down and unwind in the summer months. If you've got plans for one last summer road trip, take a few minutes to unplug, and turn off as many non-essential gadgets as possible before you leave. Switching off your computer by the power bar, and unplugging the television, stereo and other electronics will cut your electricity use by eliminating standby power.

Before you take off on a trip, turn off the lights and turn down thermostats. If you want lights for security purposes, set them on a timer so they can be turned on just for the amount of time they are required. Turning your thermostat down to 16°C (61°F), and setting your water heater to the lowest temperature will cut down on your electricity use while you are away.

Track your kilowatts and conserve

With the energy tracking tools available in MyHydro, you can monitor how much electricity you are using compared to the average outside temperature. You can also compare your electricity consumption to last year or previous months to see how you're stacking up, and set goals for next year. As the summer heats up, check out our infographic to find more ways to keep cool and save money.

Jacqueline Lambert is a web specialist with BC Hydro's Digital Communications team.