WITF’s “What can I do about climate change” climate solutions series starts in the home. Did you know that 50% of energy used in the home comes from our A/C and heating systems? One way to combat this energy consumption and reduce your carbon footprint is to avoid using A/C and heating as much as possible, and when you do use it, make sure to utilize it to its fullest.
What I mean by this is in the summer, before using your A/C, try opening windows at night to keep cool, and closing windows and curtains during the day! When you do turn on the air conditioner, make sure to close all windows so the cool air doesn’t escape and you aren’t trying to cool down the outside air too. Similarly, before cranking up the heat, WITF suggests plugging any gaps in doors and windows that face uninsulated areas of your home is the best way to conserve energy. Then, when the heat is on, it reduces the chance of warm air escaping. One other thing that might help is obtaining a radiator reflector. The BBC says that the reflector can reflect 95% of the heat the radiator produces, preventing it from escaping through the wall.
As you can see in the image below, certain types of heating systems produce more CO2 than others. It’s important to be aware of what heats your own household, so that you can take the proper measures to avoid overusing the systems you have, and so you can make sustainable choices when your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system needs replaced! The most common HVAC systems within American homes are forced air heating and cooling systems run by gas, oil, or electric energy sources.
Obviously there are other good habits to develop in the home that prevent climate change. As Destinee Nock, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering suggests, always remember to switch off lamps and light switches around your home! Getting an automatic thermostat in your home that adjusts to using less energy when people aren’t home is another great option to reduce CO2 emissions. Lastly, WITF suggests getting an energy auditor to come and give you personalized advice on what steps you can take to make your home as eco-friendly as possible.
If you’re like me, and didn’t know how energy usage related to global warming, WITF news states that “home energy and electricity makes up an estimated 20% of [the United State’s] greenhouse gas emissions, and it’s often our biggest source of personal emissions.” This is why it is vital to understand the when’s, how’s, why’s, and where’s of energy usage in our homes!
I hope this article helped you become more eco-conscious in your own home. If you want to follow along with WITF’s climate awareness video series, Refillism will be summarizing each video here on our blog. Check us out online or visit us in downtown York, PA!
What can I do about climate change? Part 1: Start at Home. WITF News. https://www.instagram.com/p/CvzGr2DPQSo/
How to cut carbon out of your heating. BBC. https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20201116-climate-change-how-to-cut-the-carbon-emissions-from-heating
F, Bob. 7 Types of Home Heating Systems and How to Choose One. The Spruce. https://www.thespruce.com/types-of-home-heating-systems-1824772