Use natural light whenever possible. Solatube products are a great way to gain light with little to no heat. Switch frequently used, or all, lights to flourscent, compact florescent (CFL) or LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs.
Turn off lights when not in use.
Use solar powered exterior lights.
Turn off ceiling fans when not in room, fans only cool warm-blooded creatures.
Put ceiling fans in every room possible.
Have ceiling fans blow down when using mechanical system cooling, and blow up when in heating.
Use switchable power strips for all electronics and switch off when not in use for extended periods of time (while sleeping, at work, vacation, etc).
Unplug all brick style transformers when not in use (cell phone battery charges, cordless tool charges, etc.)
Seal all electric boxes, outlets, switches and light fixtures where they penetrate walls to reduce air exchange.
Air conditioning equipment
~Set Air conditioning higher and heating lower-use ceiling fans to increase cooling effect and wear appropriate clothing to stay comfortably warm
~Keep condenser coils clean on outside unit (secure power to equipment before cleaning).
~Keep air filters on air conditioning systems clean. We recommend using electrostatic, re-useable filters to reduce waste.
~Keep outside condensing units clear of obstacles (bushes, flowers, hedges) in order to allow proper air flow through units.
~Maintain equipment in optimum condition- get proper servicing as recommended for your units.
~Keep the door closed when conditioning interior spaces!!!!!! close the darn door:-)
Keep fan blades and cooling coils on refrigerators and freezers clean. Keep floor and the immediate area around these items free of debris.
In most parts of the country Geothermal Air-conditioning systems are the most efficient and longest lived type of HVAC equipment available. We recommend Geothermal equipment over any other type of HVAC equipment in our area.
Window & Door treatments
~Use drapes and/or honeycomb (cellular) blinds to aid in deterring heat transfer through windows.
~Use films or glazings on exterior surfaces of windows to reduce the heat gain and the UV penetration through windows.
~Use non-metal frames for windows and doors, to reduce heat conduction.
~Maintain weather stripping and caulk all joints around windows, doors, and penetrations through walls.
~Use non-evergreen plants to impede direct sun exposure to South or West walls. Insure these plants are not going to block your PV array.
(Flowering vines on trellises are wonderful to view and a great way to decrease heat, as well as attract natures finest- birds, butterflies and insects)
~Increase insulation in attic spaces. We recommend sealed attics in most cases, with foam sprayed on under side of roof deck, to prevent heat from entering attic space.
~Use light colored roofing material for exterior surface. We recommend white or galvalume metal roofing to reflect heat and cool quickly after sunset. Standing seam metal roofing is a perfect match for Photovoltaic systems as no penetrations are needed to apply equipment or adhere laminate panels.
~Install a Solar Domestic Hot water system
~Re-use rain water by collecting rain from your gutters into a rain barrel or Cistern System
~Outdoor showers are great for summer time- be able to collect the water from this shower and use it for your garden or yard. Recommended you use organic, natural products ( soaps, shampoo) if reusing water (grey water)
~Obtain a front loading washing machine. They use less water, spin more of the water out therefore decreasing drying time and are gentler on your clothes.
~Use a clothes line as the primary means of drying your clothes.