Green Cooling Options to Beat the Heat

By Libby Bottem

As temps continue to rise this summer, people are looking to stay cool while remaining both financially responsible and dedicated to the preservation of Mother Earth. Here are a few cooling suggestions that are environmentally friendly as well as cost effective.

#1. Keep it Closed- The cheapest green option is to eliminate incoming energy. It may seem simple, but keeping your shades and curtains drawn during the day eliminates incoming heat. Rooms remain cool without taking a hit to the pocketbook as you turn down (or turn off!) your A/C to save power and money!

#2. Use What You Have- Some of you may have a furnace with a high efficiency fan setting ( also called an high efficiency air delivery system). This allows the current cooled air to be circulated throughout the home without using your air conditioner to create newly cooled air. Running your fan on a consistent basis is cheaper than using the A/C and will allow optimum comfort without drastically increasing costs. Furnace doesn’t have this setting? No worries! Most heating systems can have this option added/installed to current equipment.

#3. Cool Air but Still Warm? – Dry air is cooler air. If you own your home and have the space, a whole home dehumidifier is a great option! It will remove the humidity from the air which makes you feel more comfortable and allows you to run the A/C less. Keep in mind that installation of this system has a large up-front cost (average is $2,500-$5,000). However, over time, you will save money and increase your comfort.

You can stay comfortable in the summer by drinking more water (in a reusable bottle), dressing cooler (cotton options are best), limiting time in the sun, and utilizing building or mass transit that already produce cold air for patrons. Remember, research is best! Take the time to discover what works for you and your family while taking into account your monthly budget. Do your best to beat the heat, and before you know it, we will be talking about how to retain heat and stay warm. After all, Minnesota winters are surely on their way!

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