If you’ve been following the news, you’ve probably heard that many places around the United States are already seeing record breaking temperatures. In Phoenix, Arizona, temperatures soared near 120 degrees, a point at which planes are grounded. On June 20th, 2016 a flight from Houston to Phoenix was turned around in mid air – because of high temperatures. Climate change is here.
Clearly, we need strong policies that will begin to address climate change in a real and significant way. As such, we need to elect leaders that recognize that climate change is the greatest problem we will face in our lifetime. This is our clear choice and something we have control off. In the short term, as we approach what could be the hottest summer on record for many places in the US, on an individual level, many of us that don’t have air conditioners, will want to consider getting air conditioning.
Our friends at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have provided us with some practical steps for buying an air conditioner. Not only will we want to be conscious of the extra costs we will incur, but we must also ensure that we be the most efficient we can with the energy used by an air conditioner.
Tips from the EPA:
Fortunately, using a room or window air conditioner can be a lot less expensive (and guilt inducing) than you think. In fact, a new ENERGY STAR certified room air conditioner will generally cost you less than $70 a year in energy bills.
To keep your home cool as inexpensively and efficiently as possible, follow these steps:
1) Measure the square footage of the room you’ll be cooling (don’t worry, that’s just length times width).
2) Check the recommended cooling capacity for your room on our Room AC page where we have a table that converts square footage into BTUs per hour.
3) Adjust the AC capacity you will need based on your experience. Is your room sunny? Increase the BTUs you need by 10%. Are there regularly more than three people in the room? Increase capacity by 600 BTUs for each additional occupant over three people.
4) Round down to the nearest thousand BTUs and voila! You have the AC size to shop for.Remember: bigger isn’t always better. An oversized AC will leave your room feeling damp and clammy, which isn’t much better than hot and sticky.
5) And, of course, look for the ENERGY STAR when you shop. Aside from saving money, anENERGY STAR room AC will come with clear instructions and better insulation materials to improve the seal around the unit. Some ENERGY STAR room AC’s even come with smart phone connectivity so you can turn the unit on or off remotely, schedule temperature changes and receive real-time feedback on energy use.
If you’d like more summer energy saving tips, pay us a visit at energystar.gov.
Here’s to a cooler, more efficient summer!
With thanks to our friends at EPA Energy Star for great tips!