Heating and Cooling Systems: We Can’t Air-Condition the Planet
Here in New England, we need to heat our homes and other indoor spaces in order to get through the winter. As the climate warms, we’re more and more often having to cool those spaces as well. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment powered by renewably generated electricity rather than by natural gas or fuel oil reduces the fossil fuel burden of heating and cooling.
Using more energy-efficient and lower-polluting systems brings their cost down, making them more accessible to more people. Combine these actions with the ones in “Clothing” and “Sealing and Insulating your Indoor Space” for the greatest energy savings and emissions reduction.
If you can’t replace your heating system right now or it’s not yours to replace, install a programmable thermostat (National Grid offers a rebate) and work with sun, shade and airflow. In winter, let the sun shine in; in summer, close the shades. In hot weather, open windows at night and close them during the day; open opposite windows to create cross-breezes. These strategies can improve your comfort with no increase in greenhouse gas emissions.