Turn OFF your A/C, Open your Window !
In Lebanon, we are champions of over-cooling and over-heating, long sleeves in summer and T-shirts in winter! It is a stupid practice that literally throws money and energy into the sea.
When one’s see how deficient is the electrical network in Lebanon, it is a pity and a shame to waste such a precious ‘commodity’.
Cooling is very greedy energetically speaking : it can use up to 60-70% of the electricity consumed by a house during warm seasons. One AC unit consumes (in average) as much electricity as 12 normal light or 25 economical lights!
Electricity is mainly produced with gas, oil and carbon in Lebanon. The factories release heavy columns of dark smoke, which end up in our lungs. [see pulmonary diseases and increase in cancer rates]. They also contribute to the air and marine pollution [see Zouk and Jiyyeh factories] and global warming.
Diesel generators (“moteur”) are even worse since they are less efficient than larger power plants (they need to burn more fuel to produce the same quantity of electricity) and their owners sell their electricity to much higher costs.
[Pictures taken from Petition to Reduce Pollution Caused by Zouk Power Plant.]
Here follow some tips to decrease your use of A/C, without renouncing to your comfort :
- Make a good use of windows. Open them during the night, and close them during the day to keep the freshness inside. When you’re not in a room, close shutters to keep sun rays outside.
- Use fans! Fans consume 10 to 20 times less electricity respect to an A/C and can make you feel 3 to 8 degrees cooler (they don’t cool the air, they remove the heat that accumulates around your body). A fan is more than enough to be comfortable during the warm seasons (from May till the mid July, and from the beginning of September till the end of October).
- If A/C is absolutely needed, you can set its temperature a little higher (24-25-26°C). The highest the pre set temperature, the lowest the consumption. You can also couple the A/C with a fan.
- “The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.” (US Department of Agriculture). If you (can) plant shade trees close to the walls and windows of your house, be assured that the needs in cooling will diminish.
If you are interested to read more in depth about how to decrease your cooling needs (and energy needs at home), you are strongly advice to give a look to the following website.
It is normal to sometimes feel hot and sweaty in summer (and cold in winter). And not the contrary! Creating an artificial climate at home will only make you feel more unbearable the heat outside, and make you nag more about it.
There are a few places where it is impossible to live without air conditioning. These places are easy to identify: they were uninhabited until well into the 20th century. If the place you live now was not in prior days a desolate wasteland, unseen except by the occasional nomad or caravan, then air conditioning is not required. [continue reading on www.wisebread.com]
Another bad thing about A/C is that it contributes to the Urban Heat Island by releasing large amounts of heat outdoors, which will in turn increase cooling needs! (an A/C operates by pumping the heat that is indoors and throwing it outdoors). Cities are often 2-3 c warmer respect to the immediately surrounding rural areas.
Planting trees inside the city (park, small garden, or even on your balcony) can decrease the temperature locally.
We have focused on the air conditioning, but there are many other ways to save energy (saving money while polluting less). We advice you the following website which is rather complete, but you can also find plenty of practical information on Google.
Support this campaign by sharing this post on social media (Facebook, Twitter…), by sending it to your friends by email. Let a maximum of Lebanese become aware about it! Here is our Facebook ‘event’. Find posted on the ‘wall’ an easy way to invite all your friends.
You can also print the tips and put the paper in a place where other people would read it (office, university, school…).
“Turn off your A/C, Open your window” is Blue Lebanon first campaign. We would appreciate to hear the feedback of our readers.
Note: we have tried to keep our analysis as simple as possible, without introducing terminologies that engineer usually use. All the numbers used are an estimation (there are different models of A/C, every place and situation are different).