On a Tight Budget? How to Keep It COOL This Summer

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It’s hot. It will get hotter. Air conditioning bills will rise along with the temperature–how can you reduce expenses while keeping comfortable? How can you do your part to reduce climate change emissions?*

  • Turn down the AC at night or when employees go home
  • Turn the thermostat up to the highest comfortable temperature -even one degree makes a big difference in costs
  • Use fans–fans are MUCH more energy efficient than air conditioning, and the breeze makes the air feel a degree or two cooler
  • If you work at home, try to do heat-producing activities at night such as baking or laundry
  • Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs–they produce less heat, save energy, and the glow of the new model bulbs is quite lovely
  • Keep air conditioner clear of debris such as leaves, replace air filter regularly and keep maintenance up to date
  • Allow casual summer dress on Code Red  (VERY hot!) days or all summer
  • Consider getting an energy audit to help seal up leaks your office or home

There are new advances on efficient air conditioning in cars reported in the NY Times Green Inc. blog at this link. Our updated How-To guide contains tons of information on energy audits. Here’s more tips about how businesses can save on HVAC costs-click here.

* According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, home air conditioning alone is responsible for 5% of all electricity usage in the US, costs $15 billion annually, and creates 140 million tons of carbon dioxide, a climate change gas.

Amanda is currently pursuing a Master's degree in City and Regional Planning with a specialization in land/use and environmental planning at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Before coming to UNC, she was a Park Naturalist at Gulf Branch Nature Center, for Arlington County, Virginia...
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