Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Cooling off this summer... green tips for your home

While we all wish we could convert to greener technologies like geothermal systems and solar panels, when it comes to cooling the air in our home, the hard truth is that most of us cannot afford those kinds of renovations at present.

So what are some simpler ways to cool your carbon footprint as the summer heats up?

*Close your blinds in the morning to keep the sun out. Use overhead fans. Consider adding solar film to your windows, plant trees which will allow for shade if possible, even window boxes help create some shade. And seal any cracks. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council's spokeswoman Jenny Powers, "The average American house has gaps around windows and doors that would equal a 3-foot-by-3-foot hole in the wall."

*Consider more insulation in your attic, which can save 20-35% on cooling costs. Talk to John Meggs over at Nature Neutral to find out your top choices in green materials (You can't go wrong with a little Levi-loving - cut-up denim as insulation).

*Buy a programmable thermostat to keep the temperatures high (78 degrees, if you can) when you are away. It will pay for itself in energy savings.

*Keep your AC units well-maintained and change filters regularly (like tomorrow!)

*As of May 29, 2008 Dominion Virginia Power is offering green power. Check online www.dom.com and purchase renewable-energy credits (you decide a dollar amount to be added to your bill each month to fund renewable energy sources) or sign up to offset 100% of your energy use with renewable energy as of May 29, 2008.

Here's to keeping cool,

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