Keeping our houses cool with air conditioners costs Americans about $12 billion a year. And those air conditioners release about 100 million tons of carbon dioxide into the air annually — two tons for each home that has one. The good news is that by following a few simple tips this summer you can save money, cool off, and decrease your household’s carbon footprint.
Use window coverings to your advantage:
- If you’re not home during the day, close all windows curtains and blinds to keep your house cool for as long as possible. If you plan on keeping the blinds open during the day remember that south facing windows get a lot of sun while east facing windows get sun in the morning and west facing ones get the strongest sun in the afternoon and evenings.
Use fans to circulate the air as much as possible:
- Placing portable fans in front of open windows and doors when it cools down outside will force cool air inside. Also consider installing an attic fan that will circulate cool air from outside throughout the house.
Pay attention to your appliance usage:
- Appliances such as irons, washers, and dryers can add significant heat to the inside of your home. Try to use these appliances at night or early in the morning to avoid adding big sources of heat to your home during the hottest hours of the day. You may also consider eliminating the dryer altogether and using a clothesline or cooking outdoors instead of using your kitchen stove.
Consider changing your light bulbs:
- Incandescent light bulbs generate more heat than you think, switching these out for energy efficient compact fluorescent or LED bulbs can save your air conditioner from a lot of extra work.