Keeping Cool... and Green

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Gavin St. Ours/Flickr

 

Air conditioning accounts for 14 percent of America's home electricity use, and most of that electricity comes from coal. So when the weather warms up we should do everything we can to conserve energy as we keep cool. That means treating our air conditioners the same way we treat other energy-demanding appliances: by using them wisely and keeping them running efficiently. Here are some tips to help:

  • Invest in an energy-efficient air conditioner. If you're buying a new air conditioner, choose one for maximum energy efficiency. New air conditioners come labeled with an Energy Efficiency Rating (EER), a standard that lets you calculate how much electricity the air conditioner will consume. The higher the EER, the less it will cost you to operate the appliance to achieve the same level of cooling.
  • Avoid overcooling. Don't use or buy more cooling equipment capacity than you actually need. If you decide on central air conditioning, select the most energy-efficient unit that will cool the size space you have. Bigger is not better. A larger unit than you need will cost more to run and may not remove enough humidity from the air, the feature that some consumers like most about air conditioners.
  • Keep your cooling system well tuned. Have it professionally maintained, and ask how the energy efficiency of the system may be increased. Remember to replace the air filter regularly.
  • Install a whole-house ventilating fan. This can be put in your attic or in an upstairs window to cool the house, even if you have central air conditioning. According to Consumer Reports, a big fan working under the right conditions can cool and ventilate an entire house for about the energy cost of running an air conditioner in one room.
  • Set your thermostat as high as possible. 78 degrees Farenheit is often recommended as a reasonably comfortable and energy-efficient indoor temperature.
  • Draw the blinds. Reduce the need for the A/C by keeping shades drawn, especially on south-facing windows.
  • Program the thermostat. Set the thermostat higher during the day when no one is in your house or apartment.

 

 

Comments

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Trev

Quiet is the key when choosing a attic fan. Traditional whole house fans are very loud. Do you homework before your buy.

Clearwater

Excellent tips for keeping cool! thanks for figuring out this post it really helps a lot. keep it up!

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