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Close the Blinds!

Living in a hot state (California) it becomes clear that air conditioners are major contribuors to our power consumption and carbon footprint. Heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) accounted for 356 billion kWh or 31 percent of the electricity consumed by U.S. households in 2001.  Therefore, it is imperative to question what can a person due to cut into this huge use of energy?


Simply by closing your drapes or blinds and windows you provide extra insulation to your house or apartment.  This added layer of insulation locks cool air accumulated over night into the house while preventing the sun from warming the air.  This technique of windows/drapes/blinds closed during the day and opened at night was used by most of our grandparents to cool their houses during summer.  It only recently fell out of favor with the advent of air conditioning.  By returning to this older technique you can keep your house 8 to 5 degrees cooler than outside and limit use of air conditioning units.  Personally, my wife and I are big fans of this technique and have only used our swamp cooler twice this summer.


If you have thick drapes,

If you have thick drapes, this also works for keeping a house warmer in the winter!