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Clearing the Frosty Air
Joel Stein wants you to kill your air conditioner.
According to Stein, the devices not only suck up energy, but the dry metallic air they produce is often intolerable. "The unnecessary refrigeration of America has become a chronic disease. It seems to have gotten worse over the past few years, with
thermostats routinely set at 68 degrees F, and sometimes even 65 degrees, in the (far too many) hotel rooms I've suffered on the campaign trail," he writes in his latest opinion piece.
He also points out that American air conditioners used up 4 quadrillion British thermal units in 2006 (can anyone tell us how that's measured?). That's more than the total energy use of most small countries. Before you go out and hire a guy to fan you with a giant palm frond a la Cleopatra, however, you should know that just turning up your thermostat a couple of degrees can conserve a great deal of energy and money in your green home. For instance, changing your thermostat from 70 to 75 degrees can save you up to 20% on you summer cooling expenses.
Or, if you know you'll have someone like Klein as a houseguest, you might want to consider sweating it out. [Time]