Stay Cool and Save

Photo: Yeulet
Have a comfortable summer, save up to $191 — and don’t give up your air conditioners

SAVE up to $191/year*

HOW Upgrade an old air conditioner

WHY An inefficient 10-year-old air conditioning unit costs $325/year to run, whereas most energy efficient units sold today cost $134/year in energy costs.

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  • Old units probably have a seasonal energy-efficiency rating (SEER) of 10 or less. Save by upgrading to the most efficient units (17.0 or 18.0 SEER); Energy Star-certified units start at 14.0.
  • Clean the A/C’s condenser coil. Grass, bird droppings, twigs and dirt block airflow, which prevents the refrigerant inside from cooling properly

SAVE up to $42/year*

HOW Switch on a ceiling fan and use less air conditioning

WHY An inefficient 10-year-old air conditioning unit costs $325/year to run. If you run the same unit with an Energy Star ceiling fan, you’ll pay $283/year in energy costs.


  • Pair an old A/C unit with an Energy Star fan to cut cooling costs up to 14 per cent. In a moderate climate, skip A/C: Efficient fans make a room feel up to 3°C cooler and cost $3/year to run.
  • Ceiling fans don’t lower a room’s temperature—air movement makes it feel cooler. Turn off the fan (and its lights) when you leave.

SAVE over $30/year*

HOW Use a programmable thermostat

WHY An inefficient 10-year-old air conditioning unit costs $325/year to run. Use the thermostat to monitor settings and you’ll pay $293/year in energy costs.


  • Look for a programmable thermostat with at least four settings: wake, leave, return and night. Install on an interior wall away from vents, doors, windows.
  • Set the temperature to 24°C all day: Research shows it saves more energy— and controls humidity better—than only increasing the thermostat when you’re away from home.

*Get more info on this data

3 Guaranteed Home Coolers

  1. Open windows and use window fans or a whole-house fan to draw cool air indoors when temperatures are lower overnight. In the morning, close windows and draw shades to keep the heat out.
  2. Replace incandescent bulbs with Energy Star-qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). About 90 per cent of the energy used by incandescents is converted to heat. CFLs convert energy to light much more efficiently (using 75 per cent less energy), so they produce less heat.
  3. Hang laundry outside to dry. You won’t have a heat-producing dryer warming your home, so you’ll save on cooling and drying costs. (If you must, run the dryer at night when the house is cooler.)


Get more ideas for eco-friendly home improvement projects, plus rebates for green updates, at EcoLiving.

First published in Issue 2 of EcoLiving magazine, produced by Green Living for Scotiabank.