STANFORD UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF EARTH SCIENCES - EARTH SYSTEMS PROGRAM

Sustainable Choices

Only heat or cool the rooms you need

Simplicity:
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Carbon Impact:
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Money Savings:
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Health Helper:
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Overview:
When you’re home, try not to heat or cool rooms that you aren’t using. If you have operable vents, only open the vents in the room where you are spending most of your time. Also keep any doors between used and unused spaces closed. By compartmentalizing your home in this way, you can significantly cut your energy bill and reduce  your carbon footprint at the same time.

Tips & Tricks:
Close the damper on your fireplace when it’s not burning. If you have a fireplace, an open damper will pull the cold air out in the summer and let it in during the winter.

Use curtains to insulate windows. During cold days, closed curtains help to retain the heat. Conversely, on hot sunny day they help to keep your home cool. Give it a try.

Never leave windows open while you’re heating or cooling. This is like trying to walk up a downward moving escalator—it’s an exercise in futility. If you are having trouble maintaining fresh air ventilation, you can think about installing a heat exchanger to bring in fresh air without letting the heat escape.

Stay cool with a ceiling fan. If you have an electric ceiling or standing fan, this may help to keep you cool by creating a gentle breeze.

Web & Print Resources:
General energy saving tips:
www1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/tips/heating_cooling.html
www.energyquest.ca.gov/saving_energy/index.html
www.stillwaterpower.com/100tips.html

Fun Facts

Typically, 45% of your utility bill goes towards heating and cooling. Source

In the U.S., 53% of household heating systems are fueled by natural gas, 29% by electricity, and 9% by fuel oil. Source