Air conditioning

11 ways to Green Your Air conditioning

Air conditioners consume the most electricity of any appliance, accounting for 16 percent of residential electricity use. Finding less energy-intensive ways of cooling and/or boosting your A/C’s efficiency can go a long way toward shrinking the nation's carbon footprint.

  1. Choose an ENERGY STAR air conditioner

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    For both single room and central air systems, an ENERGY STAR air conditioner exceeds the minimum energy-efficiency standards set by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy.

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  2. Choose an air conditioner that is properly sized

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    An air conditioner is more effective at removing heat and humidity when it is the proper size for your space.

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  3. Seal air leaks in your building

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    Sealing leaks around windows and using high quality windows helps to stop drafts.

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  4. Maintain your air conditioner

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    Increase the operating efficiency of your air conditioner by keeping it clean and getting an annual tune-up.

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  5. Program your thermostat for energy efficiency

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    Using a programmable thermostat or with manual adjustments, set the temperature at a comfortable but efficient 78 degrees.

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  6. Install a fan

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    Both whole house fans and ceiling fans, used either in conjunction with an air conditioning system or alone, save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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  7. Install a heat pump

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    Heat pumps are an energy-efficient alternative to both air conditioning and furnaces, though it functions best in climates that have moderate heating and cooling needs.

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  8. Install an evaporative cooler

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    In dry climates, it makes for a good alternative to A/C, since it requires less energy to operate.

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  9. Lower the shades

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    Lowering the shades keeps sunlight and heat out during the day, which means that your A/C won't have to work as hard to maintain the cool temperature you desire.

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  10. Shade your air conditioner

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    The US Department of Energy has found that air conditioners placed in the shade use about 10 percent less energy than their unshaded counterparts.

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  11. Recycle used appliances

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    Air conditioners contain ozone-depleting refrigerants and other materials that can harm the environment when disposed of in landfills.

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Comments

09/05/2008
1:27pm
ecollection

i love the list. there are so many things you can do with your existing AC before you throw it (or drop it!) out the window. shading and proper settings can go a long way! or simply embracing summer!

04/13/2010
8:00pm
greengoddess

anyone know of a small, inexpensive, efficient wall unit?

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