Even though here in Chicago the thermostats have only surpassed 80 a few times, we have some neighbors who have their A/C on – all the time. While we recommend trying alternative cooling methods, it's inevitable that air conditioning will be used as the temperature rises in the throughout the summer. With this in mind it's important to balance your home's energy usage and try to limit peak hours as much as you can…
"Peak" energy hours are the time of day during which the most electricity is used – typically daytime. During peak energy hours additional power plants, "peak-hour plants", are needed, which are usually dirtier and more expensive plants. Peak energy usage strains the electrical grid and can cause brown and black outs.
If energy usage is spread out more evenly throughout the day, peak-hour plants will not need to be used. Avoiding peak energy is easy: Run dishwasher, laundry machines, and other energy intensive appliances during off-peak hours – mornings and nights. Some utility companies even offer a two-tiered rate plans, charging less for energy used during off-peak hours, so you can save money and be green.
Ways to avoid A/C:
- Supernaturale's Ways to Beat the Heat
- How To: Beat the Heat Without Air Conditioning
- How To: Stay Green During a Heat Wave?
- Blogging Real Simple: 23 Ways to Beat the Heat