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Save on energy use with these easy tips

    With the air conditioner running on full blast, summertime energy bills can quickly add up. Fortunately, there are many ways to save on those kilowatts – from simple life hacks to energy-efficient renovations and upgrades for your home. Here are a few you could benefit from:

    Install a skylight. A skylight is a surprisingly affordable and beneficial addition to any room in your home. In the summer, you can open your Velux programmable venting skylight to allow hot air, odours and toxins to escape, reducing your need for air conditioning. Known as the stack effect, your skylight can work with your vertical windows to circulate the air within the space and create a healthier indoor environment.

    Harness the sunshine. In Canada, we spend much of the year in darkness, but when summertime comes around and there are long days of sunlight, you can take advantage and reap the benefits of solar power. This doesn’t mean you need to install some panels on your roof – you can use solar power in smaller ways that still make a difference to your energy bills. For example, you can try solar-powered security lights, decorative patio lights and outdoor path lights.

    Get out your green thumb. Did you know that planting trees around the perimeter of your home can make the air around it noticeably cooler? The share from strategically placed trees can reduce your cooling costs by anywhere from 10 to 30 per cent. Deciduous trees are better for saving on summer cooling costs – place them on the south and west sides of your home for best results.

    Get smart(er). Today’s technologies can let you do a whole host of things around the house. Some can help you make your home more efficient and save on your energy bills. Try installing a programmable thermostat that automatically lowers at night when your home is coolest, or that you can switch off remotely when you’re away longer than expected. Even skylights have gotten smarter, with indoor climate sensors and the ability to be controlled remotely using your smartphone – allowing you to create a cool, comfortable oasis in your home.

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