The arrival of the summer season also means escalated utility bills for many Canadian homeowners. With the central air blasting away and water being used to keep lawns and flowers healthy and lush, it’s important to find other ways to conserve energy at home to keep those bills down.

Here are a few tips for energy conservation at home:

1. If you have central air, invest in a programmable thermostat (or figure out how to use the one you have!) It’s senseless to cool an empty house during the hottest hours of the day and so easy to forget to turn the thermostat up before everyone heads out in the morning.

2. Have your air conditioning serviced. A well-maintained unit will run 20 percent more efficiently.

3. When possible, close blinds and drapes to block out the sun’s powerful rays.

4. Put those ceiling fans to work! In the summer your ceiling fan should rotate counter-clockwise to push cool air down to the floor.

5. If you have a half-empty second fridge operating all year long, consider getting rid of it. You will save about $150 annually.

6. If you haven’t already, replace all the incandescent light bulbs in your home – inside and out – with CFLs or LEDs. CFLs use one quarter of the energy an incandescent bulb uses.

7. Use cold water when doing laundry. Did you know that up to 90 percent of the energy used to wash clothes is used to heat the water?

8. Purchase low-flow showerheads for bathrooms. It’s estimated that a low-flow showerhead uses 45 litres of water during a five minutes shower. A normal showerhead uses as much as 135 litres!

9. Set your dishwasher to “economy” or “energy-saving” mode. Skip the drying cycle and let dishes air-dry.

10. Get into the habit of unplugging home electronics when not in use.