CoolingAirConditionerManitoba’s climate doesn’t demand cooling for homes the way it does heating. Nor does the hydroelectric power predominantly used for air conditioning harm the environment as much as fossil fuels generally used for heating.

On this page, we look at these ways to cool your home more efficiently:

Click a link in the list above to jump to that topic on this page.

Still, the sultry days of summer occasionally have Manitobans scrambling for cooling solutions. And there are options that reduce the environmental impact even further – suitable choices to make when constructing a new home or making an existing home more comfortable.

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Passive cooling

The cheapest way to keep your home comfortable during the hottest months is through passive cooling.

  • Keep curtains and blinds closed during the day and windows shut
  • Install window shades and awnings
  • Use ceiling fans
  • Limit appliance use, such as ovens, stoves, clothes dryers and irons, during the day
  • Use exhaust fans to lower humidity
  • Use strategic landscaping to keep the house cooler (1)

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Room air conditioners

If just one room needs air conditioning, the best choice may be a room air conditioner.

  • Check the EnerGuide label for the EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio). The higher the ratio the better.
  • An ENERGY STAR rating means the room unit meets the highest energy efficiency levels. An ENERGY STAR-qualified unit uses up to 40% less energy than an older model.
  • Make sure air conditioners are regularly maintained.
  • Ensure cracks and holes are well-sealed around the unit.
  • If possible, locate room air conditioners on a north or shaded wall. (2)

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Central air conditioners

Central air conditioners are generally more efficient than running several window units.

  • Ensure that your unit is the right capacity for your house. Many air conditioners are larger than what is required.
  • Check the EnerGuide label for the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) ratings. They range from 10-17. The higher the rating the better.
  • An ENERGY STAR logo means the unit meets the highest energy efficiency levels – often using 20% less energy than a standard new central air conditioner.
  • Make sure air conditioners are regularly maintained.
  • Make sure air conditioner vents are unobstructed.
  • To use air conditioners as efficiently as possible, set the thermostat at the highest comfortable temperature, such as 25.5oC. Below 26oC, each half degree setting will increase energy use by about 8%.
  • If you are gone more than four hours, set the thermostat at 28oC, and shut the air conditioning off entirely if you’re gone more than 24 hours. (3)

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