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British Columbians burning big bucks to stay cool with air conditioners: BC Hydro

Click to play video 'More efficient air conditioning could save years of global emissions: study' More efficient air conditioning could save years of global emissions: study
More efficient air conditioning could save years of global emissions: study

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.

Read more: More efficient air conditioning could save years of global emissions, study finds

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.

Click to play video 'Can COVID-19 spread through central air conditioning units?' Can COVID-19 spread through central air conditioning units?
Can COVID-19 spread through central air conditioning units?

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.

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The survey revealed most AC owners are using them inefficiently.

Read more: From AC units to patio decor: 6 ways to upgrade your COVID-19 summer

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.