A new report from BC Hydro suggests that British Columbians have become big fans of air conditioners in recent years, but are using them inefficiently.
BC Hydro estimates that could be costing some users as much as $200 more on their summer power bills.
The report found air conditioner ownership has tripped in the province since 2001, and that about one in five British Columbians who don’t have a unit are considering buying one.
What’s more, among B.C. residents who do have an air conditioner, about 15 per cent are considering buying a second one.
People living in the southern interior are most likely to have an AC unit, according to the report, but use is spreading across the province — particularly among condo residents.
The survey revealed most AC owners are using them inefficiently.
About 90 per cent of people keep the temperature below 25 C — the temperature recommended by the Crown corporation, and nearly a third use portable units, which are the least efficient.
BC Hydro recommends that people looking to keep cool and save money keep their temperatures cooled to no lower than 25 degrees, and turn the units off when they’re not home.
It also suggests using fans, shutting doors and windows or closing blinds as a cheaper way to cool down.