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CROWDSOURCING SUSTAINABILITY

Tips for Staying Cool and Minimizing Your Carbon Footprint

Programming your thermostat to only use what you need saves energy and money

Program your thermostat to only use what you need!

The summers are getting hotter and hotter. And you absolutely should stay cool for your health (brain included), but here are some ways you could simultaneously reduce your energy bill and GHG emissions:

  • The DOE recommends setting your thermostat to 78 F when you’re home. When you leave the home, let the house heat to 85 F.
  • Every degree you adjust the thermostat closer to the outside temp saves you ~3% on your energy bill.

(^^Having a programmable thermostat makes this easy!)

  • Setting the temperature of your AC to lower than you want in order to make it work harder is a common misconception – this doesn’t work.
  • Use fans when it makes sense to – far cheaper and more efficient. Apparently, many ceiling fans are made to go counterclockwise in the summer and clockwise in the winter for the proper circulation of air (who knew).
  • But turn fans off when you leave the room – they cool people, not rooms!
  • Dress lightly, have cold drinks, a quick cold shower before bed maybe?
  • Keep the blinds shut while the suns out.
  • Open windows at night when it’s cool enough.

Bigger picture move – ensure your house is well insulated! (Getting a home energy assessment is a no-brainer as I wrote about here)

Before our house got its insulation upgraded, we had the equivalent of 2.5 windows open ALL THE TIME. It takes way less energy to keep your house at a comfortable temperature when it isn’t doing its best swiss cheese impression.

This post originally featured in the What on EARTH?! sustainability newsletter.

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