When it comes to systems in your home that are NOT GREEN, air conditioning is at the top of that list. Approximately 50 percent of the energy use in the United States during peak summer months is air conditioning. Air conditioning is responsible for probably over 100 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year.
Going Green with Your AC
How much is going green going to cost you when it comes to air conditioning? Do your homework because all AC units are not created equal. Choose an energy-efficient air conditioner, look for the Energy Star logo. Match up your AC unit to the amount of air space in your home for more efficient power consumption. (see below for more info)
Implement some or all of the recommended tips listed below.
Tips To Be Green
The fastest and easiest way to save money and cut into your energy bills come summer is to have your air conditioning unit running less, or eliminate your need for it all together. First item to impact your bill and the environment is to set your thermostat at the highest setting where you are still comfortable.
Increase Attic Insulation—Adding more insulation is a great investment you can make. This provides a return on investment in a matter of months, and after a few years it will put cash back in your pocket with the inevitability that electricity prices will increase.
Radiant Heat Barriers— Install Radiant Heat Barriers, they are a thin layer of metal insulation sheeting, which can reduce radiant heat into your attic when installed to the underside of your roof.
Ceiling Fans—A good ceiling fan can eliminate the need to run your AC unit. This will allow you to set your thermostat higher when your air conditioning unit is in operation. Ceiling fans also help move warm air in the winter, which can reduce energy costs for heating and air conditioning.
Whole House Fan— Install a whole house fan. They are installed in the ceiling leading into your attic and can cool your residence by sucking out cool outside air through open windows into your home and pushing out warmer air up and out through attic space vents. A quality whole house fan can be a relatively inexpensive way to cool your home on specific cooling demands.
Evaporator Cooler (Swamp Cooler) — Install a Swamp Cooler. They are an excellent alternative to air conditioning in the hot and dry Las Vegas climate. Swamp coolers are less expensive to purchase and install than other forms of air conditioning. Swamp Coolers run on less energy than a central air unit.
Use Natural Ventilation—Getting back to basics, just opening windows and setting up fans in windows will help to create a steady flow of air through your home, providing natural cooling power when outside temperatures are not extreme (make sure you point the fans in the right air flow direction).
Going Green Energy-Efficient Air Conditioning System
Purchase a High-Efficiency Unit— By replacing an older unit with a more efficient air conditioner unit can reduce home cooling energy usage and total cost of operation. Look for a central air conditioner unit that has a SEER rating of 14 or higher and for window units, look for a tag with a rating of 10.7 or better.
Properly Sized Units—Air conditioners that are not the correct size for the amount of cubic feet of air space they are meant to cool will not run efficiently, waste energy, and will have a shorter life span than an AC unit that has been properly sized for your home by a professional HVAC Contractor.
Ductless/Window/Wall Air Conditioners— Installing Ductless (Split System-Heating & Cooling) Type Air Systems allow you to regulate the temperature in rooms that you are occupying. This is more efficient than central air conditioning, helping to reduce your home’s overall energy costs. Newer technology-based units are now more efficient than ever.
Seal and Insulate—Poorly sealed window, doors, air ducts can dramatically reduce the cooling efficiency of your choice of air conditioning systems. Every little bit helps!
Programmable Thermostats— Programmable Multiple Zone, Thermostats help reduce energy consumption. You won’t have to manage your system daily or weekly to adjust the AC temperatures up or down. NOTE: Every degree higher you set your AC will reduce your home cooling bill by up to 5 percent.
Avoid Unwanted Sources of Heat—Almost all appliances and plug-in devices push heat into your home. Turn off what you do not need or in use. Pay attention to the sun coming in certain windows at certain times of the day and year, shade windows to reduce unwanted heat.
Is Going Green Worth It For You?
While thinking green, homeowners tend to feel a little overwhelmed when presented with the complete scope of work to Going Green.
The Bottom Line, it is a smart choice for your bank statement and the environment, it’s not unusual for remodeling options. If you’re feeling unsure, Going Green is NOT an all-or-nothing investment, and not every homeowner has the time or the finances to purchase the most energy-efficient air conditioner and materials for all the Going Green Tips listed here. The truth is that any steps you take in Going Green is a good step! When it comes to the high cost of energy and the heavy consumption that drives the cooling system in your home, any Going Green Step is a big benefit over the long haul.
If you do think Going Green is the right choice for your home and family, talk with Advantage Air about adopting a Going Green remodeling plan that can be customized to your budget. Remember that you don’t have to do it all at once!