Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cool your home, naturally


Reduce the cooling load of your air-conditioning units by employing cost-effective conservation measures. Efficient cooling saves money and energy, and improves the quality of our lives.
1. If possible, delay heat-generating activities like dishwashing and ironing until evening.
2. Keep the house shut tight during the day. Don't let in unwanted heat and humidity. Ventilate at night either naturally or with fans.
3. Install awnings on windows to provide shade.
4. Plant trees for shade around the house, especially as ‘sun-breakers’ outside windows.
5. If you absolutely need air conditioners, buy a high-efficiency air conditioner with Energy Star rating.
6. Your air-conditioner’s size and horsepower should be as according to your needs. When buying a new air conditioner, make sure it is not oversized.
7. Do not use a dehumidifier at the same time your air conditioner is operating. The dehumidifier will increase the cooling load and force the air conditioner to work harder.
8. To reduce energy wastage, seal all air conditioner ducts.
9. Keep the thermostat set at 78 degrees F or higher if using ceiling fans. Don't air-condition unused rooms.
10. Maintain your air conditioners properly to maximize efficiency. Clean the filters every month if you use it frequently. Normal dust build-up can reduce airflow by 1% per week.
11. Provide shade for your room air conditioner, or the outside half of your central air conditioner if at all possible. This will increase the unit's efficiency by 5 - 10%.
12. Install window shades or mini-blinds. Mini-blinds can reduce solar heat gain by 40-50%.

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