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Green air conditioning options

Green air conditioning is the way to go. Read this comprehensive guide now.

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Green air conditioning is possible. Not completely clean, but close. Photo by Stuck in Customs on Flickr.For the environmentally conscious, summertime can present quite a challenge. On one hand, the sweltering heat can aggravate illnesses and make life miserable. On the other hand, air conditioning can consume large amounts of energy and use environmentally unfriendly chemicals. Green air conditioning options can keep you cool while helping to preserve the environment.

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If you have a window air conditioner, here are some tips to go greener

    • Use a ceiling fan or room fan to help spread out the cool air and lessen the load on the air conditioner. Sit in front of the fan when you can for the purpose of saving energy.
    • Keep your windows and doors closed and seal any leaks or cracks in your windows, doors or walls to prevent cool air from escaping.

If you have a traditional central air unit, use these tips to save energy

    • Have your units regularly maintained to make sure they're operating at peak efficiency and saving power.
    • Use a programmable or smart thermostat and set it so that your home is warmer when you're not home and don't need the cool temperatures.
    • Set your thermostat at about 78 degrees when you're home. Use your air conditioner just to keep comfortable and not to make it icy cold in your house.
    • Check your duct seals for air leaks.

If you are on the market for new, green air conditioning

Choose an Energy Star appliance when you need to replace your current air conditioner. This will save up to 10 percent on your energy costs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. You can save up to 24 percent with an ENERGY STAR energy-efficient central air unit.

Some brands and models to explor include:

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Tips to save even more energy and lessen your environmental impact:

    • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends that you use passive solar heating and cooling. Passive solar cooling includes using solar panels to power your air conditioners, planting trees to shade your home and using energy-efficient materials when you build or make repairs.
    • Generate power using wind, water and other technologies. Take advantage of tax credits offered to help defray costs of adding these technologies.
    • Get an air conditioner estimate to find out how much energy you can save by switching brands. Ask about warranty coverage for units that aren't performing as well as they should.
    • Employ your favorite air conditioning solutions and cooling techniques only in the rooms you regularly use. Avoid cooling rooms that you don't spend a lot of time in, such as your basement, attic and spare bedrooms.
    • Use green air conditioner chemical refills where available.

Cooling yourself with green air conditioning solutions keeps your house feeling pleasant and your mind at ease.

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Photo credit: Stuck in Customs via Compfight CC.