oem materialDid you know that the average family spends approximately one-third of its annual heating and cooling budget on air that leaks out of the house? Talk about a lack of energy efficiency.

Keeping cool with air conditioning is so common it’s become something many home buyers expect to come with their purchase. But with the demand for these systems at an all-time high, it’s safe to say we’re not doing the environment — or our wallets — any favors. Aside from costing you money, your air conditioner contributes to a larger carbon footprint and a suffering environment as a result.

“If we can reduce carbon emissions from homes just 5%, it’s like taking three-quarters of the cars off the road,” Trey Muffett, building science director for Sustainable Spaces, told WebMD.

Fortunately, keeping cool and helping the environment don’t have to be mutually exclusive things. In fact, there are simple steps you can take right now to both keep cool and pave the way for a cleaner, greener lifestyle.

  • Invest in Programmable Thermostats
    If you can find custom car carpet for models dating back to the 1940s, you can find a programmable thermostat for your home. This allows you to control just how much hot or cool air is put into your home and takes some of the strain off of your AC.
  • Insulate Everything
    Insulation isn’t just for keeping the cold out during the winter. It’s for keeping the cold in during the summer too. Insulation around your doors and windows is especially helpful, as a lot of air can escape through small cracks.
  • Rearrange the Furniture
    If you can’t see your air vents underneath your sofa, it’s time to rearrange your living room. Sometimes large pieces of furniture or even potted plants can block the flow of air, which means your AC has to work harder than it should.
  • Stay Hydrated
    Above all else, you and your family should stay hydrated. Your body needs water to function and survive! Sweating during the summer takes that water away, which means it’s doubly important to replace what you’ve lost.
  • Dress for the Weather
    If it’s hot outside, dress like you’re going outside. Being in a nice, cool home is great, but if you’re dressing for arctic weather in your own bedroom, you might have an energy use problem. Dressing for the weather means you’ll put less stress on your AC.

Whether you have a window AC unit or Central Air, it’s essential to reduce stress on your AC if you want to reduce stress on the environment. Staying cool and staying green both start with taking these easy steps this summer.