Use these simple suggestions to cut your cooling bill this summer, and shave your carbon footprint.

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP FILE PHOTO  - Sometimes a simple fan can provide enough breeze to cool you off in one room. That will cut down on your energy bill and carbon emissions when compared to air conditioning. It's HOT out there! Rising summer temperatures and the growing prevalence of air conditioning in the Northwest mean that energy demand, which historically peaks in winter, is now growing faster in the summer. Beyond increasing demand on the power grid, air conditioners add to fossil fuel use and may contain refrigerants that also contribute to climate change. Fortunately, there are ways to keep cool without stressing the planet.

Simple, positive change

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP FILE PHOTO  - A ceiling fan uses relatively little energy but can help cool off a room, and help your air conditioner be more efficient. • Install an Energy Star-labeled ceiling fan to create breezes.

• Open windows on opposite sides of the house during the cool part of the day and seal off the house during the hottest times. Close draperies or shades on windows that are exposed to the sun.

• Save heat-producing tasks such as showering, cooking and doing laundry for cooler times of the day.

• Upgrade insulation, weather stripping, and caulking to keep summer heat outside.

• Shade your home with awnings, louvers, trees or solar shade film on windows. Shading can

reduce indoor temperatures by as much as 20 degrees.

• Consider a whole-house fan, which can cool your house by bedtime and uses far less energy than central air conditioning.

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP FILE PHOTO  - If you install a heat pump or air conditioner, make sure it is energy efficient by checking for an Energy Star label. • If you have an air conditioner, use it in combination with a fan to lessen its workload.

• If you do purchase a room air conditioner or central air conditioner, assure that it has an Energy Star label and is sized properly. In some cases, a ductless heat pump is the best choice.

Find out more

• U.S. Department of Energy on whole-house fans:

• Energy Star on room air conditioners:

• Energy Star on general air conditioners:

• U.S. Department of Energy on ductless heat pumps:

Questions or feedback? Contact Jeanne Roy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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