We’re in the middle of a heat wave here in many parts of the country, but cooling your home during the dog days of summer doesn’t need to mean switching on expensive air conditioning, worrying about energy bills, or stressing about the potential impact of your carbon footprint. Dependent on your climate, as much as 20-50 percent of your annual energy use can go to cooling your house. This can account for as much as 5-15 percent of your household carbon footprint.
Thankfully, it’s easier than you might think to cool your home in an earth-friendly way. Common-sense tips, such as ventilating your home adequately when the temperature drops in the evening, can go a long way to ensuring your house is a comfortable environment in which to live. Making a few changes, and working with what you already have in your home, can help in terms of saving energy, money, and most importantly, the environment.
Air conditioning may seem like the most convenient way to cool your house down; however, the sheer amount of electricity generated to power AC units carries both personal health and global consequences. According to The Guardian, in 2011, worldwide sales of air conditioners were up 13 percent from 2010, with that number expected to increase significantly over future decades. What’s more, AC use in the U.S. creates an annual average of around 100 million tons of CO2 power plant emissions.
AC units contain harmful refrigerants, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), that harm the ozone layer. Some units work with hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). These are not as ozone-depleting as CFCs, however they still damage the atmosphere as they contain hundreds to thousands of times the greenhouse gas potency of carbon dioxide. Considering this, and the fact that without correct and regular maintenance household air conditioners can be a health hazard, traditional AC units are the least eco-friendly way to cool your home. Not to mention, unclean filters can harbor pollutants, such as pesticides and allergens, and can trigger a host of health issues.
Keeping your body as cool as possible is the first goal in terms of home cooling. Bringing down your body temperature is relatively easy, and doesn’t necessarily require cooling the entire home.
Once you’ve applied the above personal cooling tips, it’s time to focus on keeping your house cool with these home cooling tips.
Cooling down your home — and yourself in the summer months — doesn’t need to mean turning on the air conditioning. These 23 techniques are quick, simple, and completely effective. They will also save you money and help to protect the environment.
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