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Go Green With Air-conditioning

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According to latest reports, 2005 is the warmest year in recorded history. Ice caps are melting, plant and animal species are disappearing, all due to the effects of global warming. Huge amounts of greenhouse gases that are released when fossil fuels are burnt (the most common way to generate energy), cause the earth and its surroundings to heat up.

Ironically, what global warming also means, on a day-to-day basis, is that more of us are inclined to switch on the air-conditioner for instant comfort, thus increasing the consumption of energy.

In addition to environmental costs aside, the air-conditioner is also notorious for being an electricity-guzzler, and its running costs can occupy up to 40% of your utility bill. How, then, to cut down on energy use while still enjoying air-conditioned comfort?

Here are some tips to help you save money and earth at the same time!

  • Smart Living - Go Green with air-conditioning Turn off lights when not in use. (This should be an ironclad rule regardless of whether you have air-conditioning.) Lights generate heat and cause your air-conditioning unit to work harder. If possible, install florescent lights rather incandescent light bulbs, which generate less heat.
  • Avoid using the air-conditioning unit in the kitchen while you’re cooking. The heat causes the air-conditioning unit to work harder and furthermore, causes your food to turn cold too quickly.
  • Some people adjust the their air-conditioning units to an uncomfortably low temperature when running their computers or home office equipment. Aim an electric fan at them, and adjust the temperature for your own physical comfort, not the machines’.
  • In the day, draw curtains or drapes on the sunny side of your house to reduce heat retention. Put reflective window tint on your windows to reflect heat.
  • Smart Living - Go green with air-conditioning If you are a fan of scented candles or want to light candles for a romantic atmosphere, only use these for a short time. Lighted candles provide heat, which prevents your air-conditioning unit from cooling your house properly.
  • Adjust your thermostat to a comfortable temperature. Reduce energy consumption by increasing the temperature by two or three degrees. You won’t feel much difference, and the air-conditioning unit won’t need to work as hard.
  • Make sure that the cooled air from your air-conditioning unit can circulate freely, and that it is not obstructed by furniture or drapes. Good cross ventilation will allow the room to cool more quickly, and you can avoid the problem of cold or warm spots in the room.
  • Smart Living - Go green with air-conditioning If there are rooms that are not in use, or don’t need to be cooled, turn off the air-conditioning units in these rooms, and close the doors to avoid cooled air leaking into them. Cover the gap between the door and the floor with a rug to prevent further leakage.
  • If you live in a landed property, plant shady trees and shrubs around your house to help reduce the heat of the sun, especially on the west and south sides. This can reduce your cooling costs.