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Keep Your House Cool and Green This Summer
Are you escaping this summer’s heat with air conditioning? Well then, you’ve felt the kick to your bank account.
If you want to save on energy expenses over the next few months — who doesn’t? — join other Marylanders in the movement to keep your pocket and home green.
Start by reducing your home's energy demands. Reduced energy usage means reduced air and water pollution and a reduction in our use of natural resources. This all helps the environment.
Sometimes, people think that living more sustainably is more difficult, but green cooling is definitely easier than you think.
As part of EmPOWER Maryland, your local energy provider may offer programs to save you money while improving your home.
What can you do right now?
1. Cover sunny windows with shades during the day
To reduce solar heat during the day, cover your windows with light-colored shades/blinds. During cooler evenings, open a few windows for a cross breeze of fresh air.
2. Use fans
Ceiling or portable fans strategically placed circulate and cool air.
3. AC units and appliances
Maintain your air conditioning units by changing filters, turning them off in unused rooms, and providing shade to the unit from the outside. If possible, trade in your older air conditioning unit for an energy-efficiency unit.
Run full dishwashers and washer/dryers during the evening or early morning. Appliances use a lot of energy and give off heat when they’re on.
4. Plant shade-giving vegetation
Plant deciduous trees. They provide shade during the summer and lose their leaves in the fall to allow in light during the colder months. Trees planted around the east side of your home provide shade during the morning hours. Trees planted on the north and northwest sides of your home provide shade from the hot, afternoon sun.
5. Short or long-term home maintenance
Add to your home's value! Seal air ducts, chimneys, and attic and crawl spaces where heat can enter. To quickly reduce the heat in your home, lower your water heater temperature by a few degrees.
6. Eat cool foods
Keep your summer meal plan simple with salads or sandwiches to avoid heat from the stove and oven. Your kitchen will stay cool while you enjoy your meal.