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Keeping cool and saving energy

Here are some energy-saving tips to keep in mind while you try to stay cool this summer:

Make some shade. Add awnings, even temporary ones, over your windows. West-facing windows are the most important as they add more solar heat-gain in the summer. If your air conditioner is in a sunny spot, shade it with an awning or deck umbrella (make sure you do not cover it or restrict it’s air flow). Shading your A/C units can improve efficiency by 10% or more.

Close your blinds. Especially in the afternoon and especially on west-facing windows.

Use a fan. Fans cost very little to run and can make you feel cooler – up to 7 degrees. A low setting is just as effective as a high one, and uses less electricity.

Change your light bulbs! If you still burn incandescent bulbs, here’s another reason to switch to compact fluorescent or LED: incandescent bulbs give off a lot of heat – 75% more than a compact fluorescent. Changing all the bulbs in your house will definitely make your air conditioner run less often.

Install a programmable thermostat. Raising the temperature in your house while you are gone will save a lot of money and improve your carbon footprint.

Wear shorts and open-weave fabrics. Sound obvious? Drink small amounts of water all day long. Keeping well-hydrated will make your body’s natural cooling system more efficient.

Order green printing. OK, that probably won’t make you any cooler, but it will make you hipper while reducing your impact on the environment!

Have ideas you want to share? Leave your comments and we’ll post your suggestions.

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