One Green Thing: ‘Stay cool’ for less
By Jan Herbert, Rockford Park District
Whether you were “green” before the color was fashionable or whether you’re just ready to find the “shade” that works best for you, here’s information about doing just “one green thing.”
Thought it would be good to share some accumulated information:
1) Get the air-conditioning unit/furnace serviced. Yes, even when you don’t need it. All the HVAC guys were really busy when it was hot, but have plenty of time in their schedule now! And change the filter.
2) If you plan to purchase a central unit, or wall unit, do your research. Buying an Energy Star appliance can save you up to 10 percent. Read up on SEER and EER ratings before you shop. If you are buying a room unit, measure the room and take the measurements with you so you know exactly how many BTUs you need! Look for a unit with a timer so you can raise the temperature when you aren’t home.
3) Turn off the “heat generators” in your home (computers, televisions, etc.).
4) Take shorter showers to reduce indoor humidity. If the dryer hose is leaking, you could be putting humidity back into the house. When boiling water in the kitchen during meal preparation, keep the lid on the pan.
5) Attic insulation works best at 12 inches. Check the doors and windows to make sure you are holding the cold inside. When you turn the air on, make sure windows are completely closed and lock them down tight. Use the blinds to block the heating—just close in the morning before you leave, and reopen when you return.
6) Buy a thermostat with timed setting capability. If no one is home during the day, raising the level of the setting from 78 (yes, you really should have it set there) to 85 (no more than 7 degrees variance) will also shave money off your electric bills. You’ll enjoy a cooler (less costly) summer…share your green ideas with the neighbors, too!
For more information, e-mail Jan Herbert at JanHerbert@RockfordParkdistrict.org.
from the July 22-28, 2009, issue
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