Keeping Cool…and Green

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. 

New Technology Update!   A team of engineers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory developed a potentially revolutionary new air conditioning system. Unlike standard air conditioners, which compress a circulating liquid refrigerant such as Freon, this new system draws warm air through a cooling unit that contains a water-absorbing dessicants compound that cools the air by evaporation. The payoff? It uses up to 90 percent less energy! As of Fall 2010, the new AC technology still had a ways to go before it’s available to consumers, but it could be just two to three years before these new coolers become commercially available.

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.

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 F. is often recommended as a reasonably comfortable and energy-efficient indoor temperature.

◘ Source: http://www.earthshare.org

Advertisements

2 comments on “Keeping Cool…and Green

  1. All good advice – IF you feel you’ve got to have AC. I live in the south of France where it’s often over 90, and sometimes over 100 F in the summer, and I would never have AC, even if others here do. Why? The cost, the unhealthy effect of the shock of leaving the AC atmosphere to go out, and because it’s unnecessary. You need thick walls, good shutters on your windows and close them against the sun; some shade at least on one side of the house and a window which opens onto it, and a window in the roof which you can open. This creates a draft of cool air from the shade right though the house. Cost – zero. Carbon footprint? Zero. Look at house design in the Middle East and you’ll get lots more ideas.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s