Cutting Back on AC Usage and its Impact on the Environment

If you’re the kind of person who can’t (or doesn’t want to) imagine living without air conditioning, you’re not alone. Walking into a nice, cool house after roasting in the sun is a great feeling. The problem is that temperatures are getting warmer and increased AC usage isn’t doing the planet any favors. Here are some suggestions for keeping your environment cool without breaking the bank or singlehandedly causing Earth’s downfall.

1. Maintain your AC

Regular air conditioning maintenance is necessary and important to keeping your system running properly. Experts recommend cleaning or replacing air filters at least once a month, which will increase your air conditioner’s efficiency. Likewise, installing an air mister can help your AC work more effectively by cooling hot air around the unit, reducing the need for refrigerant to regulate air before it enters your home. Homeowners have reported cost savings up to 30%.

2. Adjust the Thermostat

Turn your thermostat up by five degrees. Doing so will allow your home to remain comfortable, but it will cut down on the amount of time your air conditioner runs, which will reduce your energy bill by about 10% every month. We all like saving money and can get used to something a little different; ergo, win-win. This step is especially helpful since you don’t need to keep your house at igloo temperatures when you’re gone all day. Chances are you won’t even notice the slight increase in temperature, especially when coming inside from a hot day. Consider installing an ADT Pulse home security system. In addition to protecting your home, you can control the thermostat remotely, giving you the chance to conserve energy and lower your monthly utility bill even when you’re not at home.

3. Buy a Fan

A fan will help air circulate and can help you stay cool without taking your AC for granted. Capitalize on the literal power of your fan and grab a spray bottle of water. Should you get too warm, mist yourself lightly and let the fan’s air cool you off. If necessary, this trick can help you adjust to your slightly-warmer environment.

4. Change your Addiction

Here’s a piece of advice that some of us might need: Go outside. It’s easy to get addicted to air conditioning but it’s also possible to acclimate to higher temperatures. Buy a baby pool for your yard and splash around to stay cool. Have a squirt gun fight with friends or family. Sit in the shade with a cool drink. Go swimming at the public pool. Spending time outside and/or away from home will cut down on the number of hours a day you run your AC. It will also promote face-to-face time with friends.

5. Save “Hot” Chores for Nighttime

Consider saving “hot” chores like running a dishwasher or dryer for the evening when temperatures are cooler. Your AC unit will run more efficiently if you don’t force it to work harder than necessary. Your nod to the environment will also allow you to procrastinate without guilt.

Being smart about your use of air conditioning is entirely possible. While literally chillin’ in your home feels great, reserve the arctic temperatures for penguins. Just think: the more you do for the environment, the more bragging rights you have on Facebook.

*Image: Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*