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CarbonCurb Action 14 - Set Temperature with Seasons


Sometimes, we must confront and overcome our habits using sheer willpower. Most Americans enjoy keeping their indoor air temperature around 70 °F year-round. This is one of the many things that makes us Americans unique compared to the rest of the world. In fact, from the perspective of most humans, we have a bizarre obsession with air conditioning. Heating and cooling should be reserved for relief from extremes, not used to maintain an exact temperature year-round. Allowing the temperature of your home to swing with the weather is a great way to cut back on your personal emissions. Sure, you might be slightly warm or slightly cool at times, but this enables us to leverage other inventions, such as sweaters and fans. Inevitably, there will be extreme weather scenarios that warrant putting your HVAC system to work. Realistically, you can let the temperature of your home swing from 60 – 80 °F throughout the year, maintain a high level of comfort, and save tons of carbon. For every degree warmer or cooler you allow the temperature of your home to naturally fluctuate, you save about 3% on energy usage during heating or cooling events. In other words, if it were 90 °F outside, but instead of leaving your thermostat at 70 °F you let your indoor air temperature increase to 80 °F, you would save roughly 30% on your air conditioning energy usage at that time. By letting the temperature swing you can reasonably achieve a 10-20% reduction in total annual HVAC usage, or more, in addition to the savings from Action 12 and Action 13. The personal impact of committing to Action 14 by letting your home fluctuate naturally with the weather between 60 and 80 degrees is:

Annual Savings:
330 kg CO2e
2.0% of your GHGs

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