Hello again, I’m back with more green tips for you!
Last time we talked about your refrigerator which uses the second most energy of any appliance in your home. What’s the first? Your HVAC system. At this time of year it is your air conditioner using the bulk of your electricity. I thought we should take a moment to review what you can do to get the most from your AC.
- If you are buying a new AC, of course buying an energy star unit should be your first choice.
- If buying central air, get the highest SEER (seasonal energy efficiency rating) you can. The higher the number, the less energy you will use.
- Add a programmable thermostat to your existing central air unit. That way you can program it to cool your house around the times you are actually there. No reason for the AC to be running full tilt when no one is there.
- If adding a window unit, try to place it in a window that is in the shade. Placing your window unit AC in direct sunlight can reduce its efficiency by up to 10%.
- If you don’t have shade, plant a tree or two. Trees naturally cool the air and will cut the heat generated by the sun significantly. Not to mention trees clean pollution from the air!
- Can’t plant trees? Install vinyl shades and opaque drapes to your windows. Both of these can drastically reduce interior temperatures and allow less use of the AC.
- Don’t run heat generating appliances like dishwashers, clothes dryers, or ovens during the hottest times of the day. Save those chores for the morning or evening. The added heat just makes your AC run even harder.
- Change your light bulbs. Incandescent light bulbs emit a good amount of heat. Going to CFL or LED light bulbs can reduce the heat output of your bulbs by 65-80%.
- Finally, don’t run the AC when the temperature outside is at or below what you have your AC set at. Open up those windows and let mother nature cool your house for you. Best of all, she won’t send you a bill!
Stay green and stay cool everyone.