Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Taming your Air Conditioner!

This week, we look at the mighty air conditioner. Also – in the news: Ontario’s Coal-Fire Phase Out may be in jeopardy. And Elizabeth May runs for leadership of the Green Party of Canada.

TO Do This Week

Taming Your Air Conditioner
Well, it’s not that hot out yet, but soon the muggy sweaty days will descend upon us and the air conditioner will be all too tempting.

What’s the Big Deal? The irony of air conditioners is that they actually heat the outside air. Bit a vicious circle that. We also know that air conditioners really tax the electrical grid, and they contribute to GHG emissions.

There’s plenty that you can do to help the grid and the environment.

If you live in Toronto, Toronto Hydro has introduced PeakSAVER, a groovy conservation program where Hydro will pay you $25 to install a switch to control your air conditioner’s electricity during peak hours. You won’t notice a difference and you’ll be $25 richer, but you have to sign up pronto. If you don’t live in Toronto, ask your energy provider about doing something similar.

Tips from Earth Easy:

• Install a ceiling fan in the largest room of your house. This will allow you to lower the setting on your air conditioner 3 to 6 degrees, which will save up to 25% of energy costs of home cooling.
• Clean filter screen once a month. This will reduce fan usage and save electricity.
• When turning on your air conditioner, avoid using the coldest setting. Let the air conditioner warm up for a while before lowering the temperature setting. The room will cool just as fast.
• If buying a new air conditioner, choose a model with an Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) of 10.0 or higher.

More tips:
• Draw your curtains during the day to stop the sun’s heat from getting in.
• Use fans if the heat is not unbearable.
• At night, open windows to allow cross ventilation.
• Don’t refrigerate your house. Keep it bearable.
• If you have a roof that’s flat, paint it white to reflect the sun’s rays.

Join the March!!
Over 300,000 to date have signed up to stop global warming. Join us!


Earth Easy

Elizabeth May
Great environmental mover and shaker, Elizabeth May steps down after 17 years at the helm of the Sierra Club of Canada to run for leader of the Green Party of Canada. Interested in finding out more about the party? Please check the website. Want to be a member or are already one? Elizabeth May needs your nomination. Visit for details.

In the News
Just a heads up – we in Ontario have been pleased as punch that the province plans to phase out heavy-polluting, GHG-spewing coal-fired plants by 2009. This is possible due to a federal promise to shell out $538 million dollars. That federal promise was a Liberal promise, and now the Tories are sending mixed messages about whether the promise is as kaput as the Martin government. Read on
Toronto Star – May 9, 2006
Toronto Star editorial – May 9, 2006

Grist Magazine


Truth Out


Mark Francis said...

Hello Cheryl!

I'm Mark Francis, a GPC/GPO member.

Thought you might want to sign up on The Green Bloggers blog post aggregator at

It's run by Craig Cantin.

It's a good way for others to see what you post.

skip said...

cheryl, what a great, useful blog! i enjoyed all the tips and plan on using them. keep 'em comin'!

Anonymous said...

regarding green party convention---i hope this leadership race doesnt turn out to be a coronation- - -i understand that the green party candidate from ottawa area had more votes than any other g-p candidate across canada -