It's HOT out there! Rising summer temperatures and the growing prevalence of air conditioning in the Northwest mean that energy demand, which historically peaks in winter, is now growing faster in the summer. Beyond increasing demand on the power grid, air conditioners add to fossil fuel use and may contain refrigerants that also contribute to climate change. Fortunately, there are ways to keep cool without stressing the planet.
Simple, positive change
• Install an Energy Star-labeled ceiling fan to create breezes.
• Open windows on opposite sides of the house during the cool part of the day and seal off the house during the hottest times. Close draperies or shades on windows that are exposed to the sun.
• Save heat-producing tasks such as showering, cooking and doing laundry for cooler times of the day.
• Upgrade insulation, weather stripping, and caulking to keep summer heat outside.
• Shade your home with awnings, louvers, trees or solar shade film on windows. Shading can
reduce indoor temperatures by as much as 20 degrees.
• Consider a whole-house fan, which can cool your house by bedtime and uses far less energy than central air conditioning.
• If you have an air conditioner, use it in combination with a fan to lessen its workload.
• If you do purchase a room air conditioner or central air conditioner, assure that it has an Energy Star label and is sized properly. In some cases, a ductless heat pump is the best choice.
Find out more
• U.S. Department of Energy on whole-house fans: http://bit.ly/2h5Cfsi
• Energy Star on room air conditioners: http://bit.ly/2w3UFMo
• Energy Star on general air conditioners: http://bit.ly/1OgiKVm
• U.S. Department of Energy on ductless heat pumps: http://bit.ly/2jZ5bSO