Homeowners across the country spend over ten billion dollars annually in their efforts to keep their homes cool and comfortable when the weather is warm. In creating a comfortable living environment, they inadvertently create a situation where their AC systems force enormous amounts of carbon dioxide into the environment—to the tune of around one hundred million tons. However, there are some green strategies for lowering your temperatures in your home that will cut your toxic emissions and your cooling bills. Try out these simple eco-friendly tips.
Cover Your Windows
When you’re away from your home, close both your windows and your curtains. This will reduce the amount of heat that enters your home either through warm air from outside, or through the heat of the sun as it passes through your window panes. As the air cools in the evening, open your windows and curtains again and allow the cool air inside.
Reduce the Heat Generated in Your Home
There are many appliances that will contribute to the heat level in your home. Plan your day so that you use your oven, washer, and dryer during the evening instead of when the day's temperatures are at their peak. These products can be a large source of extra heat and using them when the air outside is cool will enable you to keep your home cooler during the day.
Change Your Light Bulbs
Incandescent light bulbs also generate a great deal of heat. Consider switching them with more energy efficient fluorescent bulbs to reduce the heat in your home and the cost of your energy bills. There are a wide variety of fluorescent bulbs available for any light fixture in your home.
Make Use of Your Fans
By opening your window during the evening and placing a fan in front of the screen, you can circulate cool air throughout the room. Ceiling fans are another efficient way of keeping your interior space cool. If you have one, use it; if you don’t have one, consider getting one installed. They come in all sorts of designs to accent the decor in any room.
Keep Your AC Running Smoothly
One of the best ways to keep your home cool is to ensure that your air conditioner is operating at optimal levels. Schedule an appointment to have your system inspected by a certified technician at least once a year. Your service professional will check to be sure all the parts in your outside unit are working properly and that your refrigerant isn't empty.
Every couple months, you need to make sure your filter is clean. A dirty one will block the flow of air and cause your system to work harder than necessary, wasting energy and driving up your cooling costs. If you have pets, dander can clog the filter as well, so be sure to change it more frequently.
Discuss your options for having a programmable thermostat installed so that you can set the air temperature ranges yourself to conserve energy when you're not at home.
Plant a Few Trees
Before the long hot summer months arrive, plant several trees in your yard that will provide shade for your home. Speak to your local garden center professionals about your concerns, so they will help you choose the best trees for your location that require the least amount of upkeep. Trees not only block the hot rays of the sun from warming your home, but they also add value to your property.