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​Looking for simple ways to save this summer? Break these thermostat bad habits to lower your energy bill.

1. Trying to cool or heat your home "faster"

Your furnace and air conditioner only works at one speed. If the temperature inside your home is 25°C but you want it to be at 22°C, setting your thermostat to 19°C won't heat or cool your home any faster. In fact, setting your temperature lower than you need makes your unit run longer to reach the lower setting and, ultimately, consume more energy.

2. Leaving your thermostat at the same setting

If you set your thermostat to your ideal temperature and never touch it again, you could be setting yourself up for a hefty energy bill. When leaving your house for 8 hours or longer, adjust your thermostat accordingly. In the summer, turn down the air conditioning by 2–3 °C and reduce it by 5-6°C in the winter.

You can also make your life easier by investing in a programmable thermostat, like the Ecobee3, and setting it on a schedule. According to ENERGYSTAR, you can save up to $180 a year in energy costs through proper use of a programmable thermostat. As an added bonus, the Alberta government now offers energy efficiency rebates to homeowners who install programmable thermostats.

3. Frequently changing your thermostat setting

While you want to avoid leaving your thermostat on the same setting day after day, constantly adjusting the temperature causes your furnace and air conditioner to run inefficiently. To cut down on your energy consumption, your heating and cooling units should run for longer stretches of time.

4. Running your air conditioner with the windows open

Opening windows to let in a warm summer breeze? Remember to adjust your air conditioning. The warm air from outside will put your air conditioner into overdrive as it's trying to keep your space a consistent, cool temperature.

Sources: ENERGY STAR, Care2

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