With all the muggy weather we've been having lately, it's hard to keep air conditioners on the shelves at local stores.
Grebe's in Wausau is selling out fast. they are getting another shipment in soon, but they say they expect those to go just as quickly.
But before you head out to the store, it's a good idea to figure out how much space you want to cool.
Also air conditioners are sold according to BTU's. Grebe's says a 5,000 or 10,000 BTU air conditioner will satisfy most people.
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Air Conditioning Facts
- According to DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA), nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of all U.S. households have air-conditioners.
- In 1997, U.S. households spent an average of $140 on air conditioning, using more electricity on average for air conditioning than for space heating.
- If you want to use air conditioning to cool off your whole home, a central air conditioning system will cool your house more efficiently than room conditioners.
- if you only need to cool a small portion of your house (for instance, your bedroom), a room air conditioner may be the best choice.
If AC is not for you, you do have other options
- A combination of proper insulation, energy-efficient windows and doors, day lighting, shading, and natural ventilation will keep homes cool in most climates.
- Natural ventilation or ventilation using fans will keep a house cool through most of the year in many northern states or areas at high elevation.
- For those living in arid climates, an evaporative cooler, also called a swamp cooler, is an effective and energy-saving alternative to air conditioning.
- The most effective method to cool your home is to keep the heat from building up in the first place. The primary source of heat buildup is sunlight absorbed by your house through the roof, walls, and windows.
- Reflecting Heat Away
- Dull, dark-colored home exteriors absorb 70 to 90 percent of the radiant energy from the sun that strikes the home's surfaces.
- In contrast, light-colored surfaces effectively reflect most of the heat away from your home.
- Blocking the Heat
- Two excellent methods to block heat are insulation and shading.
- Insulation helps keep your home comfortable and saves money on mechanical cooling systems such as air conditioners and electric fans.
- Shading devices block the suns rays and absorb or reflect the solar heat.
- Landscaping is a natural and beautiful way to shade your home and block the sun.
- A well-placed tree, bush, or vine can deliver effective shade and add to the aesthetic value of your property.
- Deciduous trees that lose their leaves in the fall help cut cooling energy costs the most.
- Besides providing shade, trees and vines create a cool microclimate that dramatically reduces the temperature (by as much as 9 degrees F, or 5 degrees C) in the surrounding area.
- Reduce Heat-Generating Sources
- Often-overlooked sources of interior heat gain are lights and household appliances, such as ovens, dishwashers, and dryers.
- Many household appliances generate a lot of heat. When possible, use them in the morning or late evening when you can better tolerate the extra heat.
- Consider cooking on an outside barbecue grill or use a microwave oven, which does not generate as much heat and uses less energy than a gas or electric range.
- Adopting all of these strategies may not be enough. Sometimes you need to supplement natural cooling with mechanical devices. Fans and evaporative coolers can supplement your cooling strategies and cost less to install and run than air conditioners.
Source: http://www.eren.doe.gov/erec/factsheets/coolhome.html (Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network from the U.S. Department of Energy Web site)