Now is the time to go green. If you were ever wondering if it was worth your time, money, and thought, then you should know that the answer is simple. Yes. Yes, you should be adjusting your life to go green in as many ways as possible. The levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are currently higher than they have ever been at any point in human history – and anything you can do to lower your impact on the environment is good. Besides the obvious environmental incentives, there are other good reasons to go green. It often ends up saving you money, because energy is expensive. And, if you are smart with the way you make your green changes, you will likely end up saving yourself time, too.
So how should you go green? There are a lot of ways – seemingly endless ways, in fact. But with summer coming up, you might be interested in lowering your cooling costs. You can go green in the way you heat and cool your house, and you can do it with minimal efforts. It will be worth all of your time and money in the end. Below are some best practices for going green with your heating and cooling. They are a great way to get started living your environmentally minded life.
#1 – Set your thermostat to work with timers. Your home does not need to be kept at the same temperature at all times during the day. In the summer, you obviously want to cool your home. However, you do not need to keep it cool when you are not at home. So set up a timer to control your thermostat so that it will turn off the air conditioning when you leave your house every day for the office. In the winter, you want to heat your home, but again, you don’t need it to be as warm during the day as it is in the evening. And since you will sleep better at lower temperatures, you should also program the thermostat to drop the temperature in your home at bedtime.
#2 – Invest in new, energy efficient appliances. You might love your vintage shoes or your used couch, but that does not mean you should be using an old air conditioning system. These old air conditioners use a ton of excess energy as compared with current air conditioners. They also do not do as good of a job cooling your apartment or room. So spend the time doing some research into the current market of air conditioners, properly dispose of your old one, and go to the store and buy something energy efficient for cooling your home. You will quickly see a drop in your electricity bills.
#3 – Clean all of your filters! This is a very easy step that every single person should take. It only uses a few minutes of your time, it costs nothing, and it makes a big difference. When was the last time you cleaned the filters in your heating and cooling systems? You should be doing it every month at least. The more dust that gets caught in your filters, the less air can pass through them. This means you need to crank up the air conditioning or the heat to overcompensate. It also means that you are blowing air through the dust, and therefore bringing the dust into your home. So clean all of the filters – it’s good for energy efficiency and air quality both.
#4 – Try geothermal energy. Our planet is overflowing with sources of unlimited energy, we just have to know how to tap into them. Deep inside the earth there is a lot of steam and hot water that can be used to heat and cool your home. According to howstuffworks.com, “Geothermal homes use heat pumps to take advantage of the constant temperature of geothermal wells under the ground. The heat pump can cool a house in the summer and warm it during the winter. Heat pumps have a fluid inside, which could be water or a refrigerant. When it is cold outside, the fluid absorbs Earth’s heat and brings it inside to warm the air. In the summertime, the heat exchange works in reverse, cooling the house.”
#5 – Install solar panels. As solar panels get more popular, they also get much more affordable. Solar panels are an excellent way to pump energy into your home and the cost of installation is usually eventually offset by energy savings. Have a professional solar panel expert come to your home to evaluate whether solar panels are a good option for you.
Matt Zajechowski enjoys writing about green heating and cooling for Controlled Comfort Heating & Cooling. Matt enjoys golfing and spending his free time relaxing with his two cats.