Tag Archives: A/C

Trees are virtual air conditioners that save millions in electricity, water, carbon

 

An article from The Atlantic focuses on the value of trees:

I was approached by someone from an initiative called San Diego County Trees…(a project) extolling the benefits of urban trees. I just spent time on the website, where the coolest feature is an interactive map of the whole county showing very specific tree locations and information, including quantified benefits…(like) carbon sequestration, water retention, energy saved, and air pollutants reduced.

 

Wow! Look at that image…millions of dollars in savings, water conservation, improved air quality. That is impressive.

Some more facts include, “the net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day,” and the energy savings of planting a tree on the sunny side of your house (3% after 5 years, 12% after 15 years).

I love trees.

History of air conditioning, invented by Willis Carrier – cool reading for a hot day

Willis Carrier submitted drawings of the first modern air conditioning system on July 17, 1902.

Carrier was working to solve a problem that effected the quality of printing…

He came up with the brilliant idea to circulate cold water rather than steam through heating coils in a machine he used to test heaters.

Carrier’s design was credited as the first to address four basic functions necessary for air conditioning. An air conditioner must: 1. control temperature, 2. control humidity, 3. control air circulation, and 4. cleanse the air.

After the first appearance of Carrier’s air conditioner drawings in 1902, the air conditioner has revolutionized the comfort of people in many different activities.

This timeline from Carrier highlights some of the major impacts of air conditioning on society.

 

1902- First application of modern mechanical air conditioning, Sackett-Wilhelms

printing plant, Brooklyn, N.Y.

1914- First application of air conditioning in a residence – Charles Gates mansion, Minneapolis, Minn.

1924- First department store air conditioned, J.L. Hudson’s, Detroit, Mich.

1925- Movie theaters cooled: Grauman’s Theater, Los Angeles, Calif., Rivoli Theater, N.Y.

1928-29- Chambers of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate air conditioned

 

See the rest of the timeline and read the full articleThe Journey of Air Conditioning: 1902-Today

 

 

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5 energy saving tips, what are yours?

Yesterday, Google released it’s electricity usage and the numbers are fantastical.

The company uses 260 million watts which is the output of 1/4 of a nuclear power plant.

For each google search we use 0.3 watt-hours of electricity. I’m not sure how much that is but I do like the idea of server firing up when I type in “chad ocho cinco”.

This got me thinking about my last posts discussing how electricity is the main cause of global warming, the follow-up about my local power plant, and the popular solar parking lots.

Electricity is the problem of the decade and any bit of savings we can get are huge. A little research shows that retail prices are shooting up, over 41% since 2000 (3.5%/year), and expected to go even higher.

This website gives electricity prices for each state and here are the winners:

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Highest average price, 2010

  • Hawaii (25.12¢ per kWh)
  • Connecticut (17.39¢)
  • New York (16.31¢)

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Lowest average price, 2010

  • Kentucky (6.75¢)
  • Idaho (6.54¢)
  • Wyoming (6.20¢)

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I hope you live in the one of the cheap states!

 

Without further ado, here are my 5 favorite energy saving tips.

1. Hang-dry clothes like it’s Little House on the Prairie. There ain’t no shame in letting your undies fly in the wind.

2. Shower quicker or turn off the water during the lather phase. It feels weird at first but you get used to it. Remember, every time you touch warm water you are paying to heat it up. Do you use warm water in the hot summer to wash dishes or your hands?

3. LED bulbs require some new knowledge. If you shop for one here is what the package will say, “6 Watt LED Replacement for a 50 Watt Incandescent.” That’s a near 90% reduction in lighting costs if you switch to LED but it’s not yet cheap with bulbs going from $12-30.

4. Fresh Air…my mom raised me on the stuff. Always opening the windows for me to make sure I didn’t get stuffy. Now I need it all the time and that means no A/C for me. I would rather sweat than breath recycled air. Huge energy saver for me.

5. Solar charger for phone. Life is better off the grid and to get started I purchased a solar doohickey. I haven’t plugged in my phone or iPad since. Tip: When buying solar, know that solar panels only produce energy, which means you need a battery pack to store the energy, otherwise you have to plug your phone in when the sun is shining.

 What Are Your Tips?