Summer is here—finally, some time to enjoy the outdoors. The cold weather is gone, for now. However, we tend to experience extreme temperature changes. So, it’s time to turn off the furnace and turn on the AC. Let’s beat the heat. Generally speaking, summer hydro bills are less. However, we can still see a rise during warmer months. Therefore, it’s essential to take a few extra steps. This month, ATN is here to help you keep your house cool and your hydro bill down. Conserving energy doesn’t have to come at a cost! Let us show you how.
Hydro Rates Ontario
Do you understand your hydro bill? If you said no, this section is for you. Firstly, hydro rates fall into three parts: On-peak, Mid-peak, and Off-peak. Also known as “time-of-use rate periods.” If you are looking to manage your hydro bill, this is an excellent place to start.
For example, charging your phone during the day is more costly than at night. The rate periods allow you to conserve energy. More importantly, it saves money. Nevertheless, you might have to make a few changes. By slightly altering your routine, you could see a significant impact on your hydro bill. Additionally, this works during winter months. All you have to do is pay attention to what you are doing, and when. It’s as easy at that.
Keep in mind; the rare periods change slightly from season to season.
Time-of-use Rates During Summer (May 1st- October 31st)
On-peak hours: 11 am to 5 pm
Mid-peak hours: 7 am to 11 am & 5 pm to 7 pm
Off-peak hours: 7 pm to 7 am
Time-of-use Rates During Winter (November 1st to April 31st)
On-peak hours: 7 am to 11 am & 5 pm to 7 pm
Mid-peak hours: 11 am to 5 pm
Off-peak hours: 7 pm to 7 am
Due to COVID-19, the Ontario Government has created a fixed price from June 1, 2020, to October 31, 2020. Therefore, all hours will be considered off-peak. However, time-of-use-rates will resume as of October 31, 2020.
Natural Ways to Lower Your Hydro Bill
At ATN Mechanical, it’s always our priority to keep your HVAC in tip-top shape. Indeed, proper care is essential. Still, there are a few things you could be doing to keep your home cool. So, give your AC a break. Try out these simple tips to lowering your hydro bill.
Curtains add style to your home. They come in a variety of styles, colours, and patterns. Comparatively, curtains have more than one use. They aren’t just for looks! For example, studies show that black-out curtains specifically help lower your hydro bill. But does it make enough of a difference to invest?
In short, we think so! Black-out curtains are also known as thermal panels. Meaning, they hold in the heat. When the sun hits the window, the curtain absorbs the rays. Therefore, less heat enters your home. Studies show that black-out curtains can reduce the amount by 25%! Over time, that adds up. However, remember to cover your window BEFORE the sun hits. Don’t wait until the room is already hot.
Open Windows and Use Fans
During the extreme heat, it’s best to keep your AC running. This helps minimize humidity. However, on colder days, please turn it off. Then, open up all those windows. Be sure to let airflow throughout the home. For instance, avoid opening single windows.
At the same time, turn on ceiling fans. Air circulation is essential. So, let your fans do the work for you. Ceiling fans have two settings – did you know that? With that in mind, turn your fan counterclockwise. In turn, it creates a cooling breeze. Using fans alone can make up to 4 degrees difference in your home!
For more information on air circulation, check out our blog Air Circulation in Your Home.
Other Ways to Keep Your Home Cool This Summer
Unfortunately, closing blinds and using fans might not be enough. So, focusing on the appliances in your home is essential. If you are looking to lower your hydro bill, you have to take all the steps.
For example, avoid using your oven. Ovens give off a lot of heat. So, opt for something else. If you want to cook inside, choose a slow cooker. Alternatively, cook outdoors! That way, you don’t create any heat. Remember, the more hot air coming into your home, the harder your AC works.
Next, unplug electronics during the day. They use power even when shut off. Likewise, a smart power bar can help. It saves money while you’re away. Plus, it’s ready when you arrive home. It’s a win-win.
Similarly, a smart thermostat is also a worthy investment. Each type offers different features to help you utilize peak hours of hydro. Thus, do some research. Head over to our blog Smart Thermostats for Your Home. Here, you will find tons of information.
Alternatively, give us a call. We are happy to help. Let us find you the perfect one.
Most importantly, don’t forget to give your HVAC some love. As always, we remind our customers of the importance of service. Ultimately, twice a year is best. During our visit, we ensure your HVAC is running efficiently. Also, we will change filters, clean up condensers, and answer any questions.
Keeping up with service helps your HVAC improve by approximately 10%. Not to mention, it reduces the risk of repairs. In the long run, it’s worth it.
ATN Mechanical’s Checklist for Lowering Your Hydro Bill
This month, we tried our best to help you save money on your upcoming hydro bill. Follow these steps, and you will be good to go. Your home will be cool. More importantly, your wallet will be full. It’s worth a shot. What do you have to lose?
- Utilize off-peak hours
- For hot days, use black-out curtains to absorb the sun
- On colder days, use fans and open windows
- Unplug electronics during the day
- Avoid using ovens – and opt for appliances such as a slow cooker
- Make a regular service plan for your HVAC (min. once per year)
- Invest in smart technology, such as thermostats and power bars