According to EarthEasy.com, air conditioners use up to 1/6th of electricity in the United States and peak at 43% during hot summer months. Think of the environmental impact if we as a race are able to lower those figures. The US Department of Energy reports that heating and cooling our homes through the use of furnaces and air conditioning units produces over a half billion tons of carbon dioxide. That is one massive carbon footprint. We all know that it is time for a change.
One easy, effective change to lower your effect on the environment is to use passive cooling techniques. The color of your house can certainly affect the temperature inside it. Pale, light colors reflect the sunlight and reduce heat absorption. Don’t forget the benefit of trees. Planting trees around your house can effectively lower your house’s internal temperature. Shade trees – such as poplar, ash, and maple trees – can grow into beneficial landscaping in just a few years’ time. A quick solution is the Royal Empress Tree, which grows as much as twelve feet in a single year.
Another simple passive cooling technique is effective window shades. We are not referring to the thick, heavy drapes that your grandma used. Today’s window treatments are lightweight and beautiful. While Shading Systems Inc offers black-out shades that keep all light out, they also offer privacy shades and solar shades. These options can allow you to monitor the amount of sun entering your home, while still controlling the amount of heat that comes in through the windows. This way you’ll still feel the sunny days of summer, without feeling it in your electric bill. Plus, you will be lowering your carbon footprint, and that’s beneficial to everyone.