Monday, October 14, 2013

New Perspectives: Green Air Conditioning

Whether due to energy costs or a nagging guilt regarding your carbon emissions, it can be difficult to compromise with using your air conditioner during the peak of Summer and your heater in the dead of Winter. However, through smart practices, using less energy while keeping your home comfortable means never having to compromise on how comfortable you want to be. Not only will these practices reduce your energy costs, but they’ll also promote cleaner indoor air and a longer-lasting HVAC system.

1. Let Mother Nature do the work for you. While there are several cutting-edge energy efficient technologies for producing conditioned air as cleanly as possible, nothing beats opening the windows and letting your house cool down naturally. Ventilation is the greenest, freshest approach to good indoor air quality – and it’ll even improve the air quality of your home. This will ventilate harmful gasses, microorganisms, allergens, and pollutants that risk respiratory illness. During the coolness of early mornings and the late evenings, opening windows can make a difference of several degrees on your indoor environment. Using a fan to draw in more air can be far more energy efficient and comfortable than starting your air conditioner.

2. Be smart about when you use your AC. There are several damaging myths floating around about the best way to use an air conditioner. Some insist that keeping a system on at one consistent temperature is the best way towards energy efficiency – which is completely bogus. Air conditioners work harder to maintain a steady temperature than when only used as needed. Another belief is that closing vents in certain rooms can reduce the energy output of your system. Again, this is false; closing a vent in one room should only be a temporary solution in achieving comfort and should never remain closed for a long period of time. A closed vent means that an air conditioner will have to work even harder to reach that one room in central air conditioning systems, since these can only control the temperature of the house as a single unit.

3. Keep your system clean to achieve green. When you do require use of your thermostat, it’s better to ensure that your system is as efficient as possible so that no energy is wasted. By cleaning elements of your system as necessary, you can vastly improve the lifespan and efficiency of a system. Some routine procedures to consider include scrubbing or changing filters, cleaning evaporator and condenser coils, and vacuuming your duct when it becomes too filled with debris. Filters should be cleaned or changed anywhere from every one to three months depending on the allergies of those in your household or if you have a great deal of dust and hair in the environment. Coils can be cleaned using an inexpensive foaming cleaner and it is a relatively simple procedure. Your duct can usually go without cleaning since dust clinging to the interior ductwork is harmless, but if there are large particulates, pests, or mold concerns, a cleaning may be in order for better efficiency and healthier air. With these tips in mind, any home owner can experience cleaner, greener conditioned air without worrying about the size of their carbon footprint. What other tips would you
recommend for keeping cool without wasting energy?

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