Albertans Are Stripping Down To Stay Cool

Direct Energy survey finds three-quarters of Albertans wear minimal clothing and one-third sleep naked when it's really hot outside

CALGARY, Alberta, July 9, 2013 /CNW/ - According to a recent survey conducted for Direct Energy, Alberta homeowners will do just about anything to stay cool throughout the summer like sleep naked (36 per cent) or wear fewer clothes (75 per cent). The majority (72 per cent) of Alberta homeowners do not have central air conditioning installed, instead they are looking for other ways to cool down, like sticking with the tried and true methods such as spending more time in the basement (49 per cent) and using ceiling fans (42 per cent). So with the warm weather approaching and temperatures rising, Direct Energy wants to help Albertans keep cool and save money this summer.

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"For folks who don't have central air installed, don't sweat it. Something as little as closing curtains or blinds during the day is a great alternative and can help to keep temperatures at a comfortable level," said Dave Walton, Director of Home Ideas for Direct Energy. "Additional methods like using a ceiling fan or barbequing more often and using the oven and stove less will really help to keep things cooler in the home during the warm weather season."

Survey results also showed that Albertans who do use central air conditioning are making some common mistakes, and that simple fixes could save them money. One of the biggest is setting their thermostats too low during the summer months. By bumping the temperature up from 23 to 25 degrees, homeowners can positively impact their electricity bills and save a few dollars. Any temperature setting lower than 24 degrees can increase energy use by as much as three to five per cent. Having central air conditioner installed can account for up to 50 per cent of your summer electricity bill and the cost to run a central air conditioner unit for 24 hours could average eight to 12 dollars a day.

"Installing a programmable thermostat based on your living patterns will help control your energy usage," added Walton. "Even better, homeowners can take advantage of the new 'learning' thermostats. These are great new tools that actually monitor your usage and adjust temperatures accordingly, and they are a good way to save yourself some money."

With the summer quickly approaching, Alberta homeowners shouldn't have to worry about trying to avoid the heat and hiding away in the basement to stay cool. There are plenty of old-school and new-school ways to keep the temperatures and energy bills comfortable. Here are some more helpful tips that Alberta homeowners can consider when preparing for this summer season:

  • A ceiling fan is not just a decorative choice, in fact it really does make a difference in temperature and costs about one cent every two hours to operate, which is much less than an air conditioner. During the night when it's cooler turn off the air conditioner and use a ceiling fan to keep the house cool instead
  • For Alberta homeowners who do have a central air conditioner installed, make sure to take preventative action by checking the central air unit annually. Only 15 per cent of Alberta homeowners have an annual maintenance check performed, and checking the air conditioner unit before each summer season is essential in making sure everything is working properly and there aren't any unexpected problems
  • Consider keeping your windows open in the evening and overnight to allow cooler air into your home, or establish a cross-breeze throughout the home. The majority (78 per cent) of Alberta homeowners strategically open their windows to create a cross-breeze to help keep their home cool during the summer
  • When it comes to keeping the curtains or blinds closed during the day throughout the summer months to help keep the home cool, 74 per cent of Alberta homeowners do so. This costs nothing and is easy to do, and with the blinds closed the sun won't be blasting throughout creating unnecessary heat throughout the home

About the Survey

From May 7th to May 8th 2013 an online survey was conducted among 589 randomly selected adult Alberta residents who are homeowners and Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 4.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Alberta. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About Direct Energy

Direct Energy is North America's largest provider of heating & cooling, plumbing and electrical services and a leading energy and energy-related services provider with over eight million residential and commercial customer relationships. Direct Energy provides customers with choice and support in managing their energy costs through a portfolio of innovative products and services. A subsidiary of Centrica plc (LSE: CNA), one of the world's leading integrated energy companies, Direct Energy operates in 46 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia and 10 provinces in Canada. To learn more about Direct Energy, please visit http://www.directenergy.com

SOURCE: Direct Energy

For further information:

For further information on home energy efficiency tips or to book an interview with Dave Walton, Jeff Lanthier, Direct Energy, +1-905-943-6260, Jeff.Lanthier@directenergy.com; or Tania Divito, High Road Communications for Direct Energy, +1-416-644-2262, Tania.Divito@highroad.com

http://www.directenergy.com

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