In the northern hemisphere, days will become shorter than nights. And that means that there is less sunlight to heat our homes and atmosphere…and more time to lose that heat.
In the southern hemisphere, it means that days will become longer than nights. And that means that there will be more sunlight to heat our homes, paving and atmosphere. If the temperatures of last summer and Sydney’s early start to the bushfire season are any indication, this summer is going to be long and hot.
‘But that’s OK – we’ve got heaters and coolers (or air-conditioning) to make our home comfortable.’
Unfortunately, it’s usually NOT OK.
And it’s not OK on 2 fronts.
First, most heaters and coolers are run using fossil fuels…which is the main source of greenhouse gases that are causing global warming.
‘But I only have electric appliances, so I’m not burning gas.’
That means that you are not adding methane (a more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2) to the atmosphere. 🙂
But do you know how your electricity is produced?
Unless you have told your supplier that you want ‘green’ electricity (from renewable energy), chances are that your electricity is produced using fossil fuels…coal, gas, diesel or petrol. 🙁
Second, most of our houses and other buildings leak. Not water, but AIR.
And that means that a large proportion of the warmer or cooler air in your home simply moves through the leaks to the outside…causing drafts that make you feel uncomfortable and wasting your money.
Natural Resources Canada estimates that air leakage accounts for 25 and 40% of the cost of heating and cooling an older home. Similar estimates come from the US.
In countries like Australia, building practices result in even less energy efficient housing…so air leakage would be much higher…and cost you even more.
So…why continue to heat and cool the air outside your home…when it’s the air inside that you’re really trying to make more comfortable?
With changing climates and rising energy costs, it’s a no-brainer to shift to renewable energy and reduce the draughts that make you uncomfortable and waste your money.
And, you can make use of the lag between changing day length and the most severe weather to get your home in order.
So, this equinox, make these simple changes (if you haven’t already done so ;)):
- contact your electricity provider to switch to ‘green’ electricity…or install your own solar or wind power
- resolve to replace gas appliances with electric ones
- seal the air leaks around your home – caulking, sealing and weather-stripping all seams, cracks, and openings of your home to the outside is one of the quickest energy- and money-saving things you can do.
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Till next time…be gentle to yourself and our world!
 Experts at the CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology and elsewhere have found Australia’s fire seasons are starting earlier and ending later. Climate change is probably behind the shift….Key factors are drier winters and higher temperatures.
Read more: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/environment/bushfire-season-rages-early-20130910-2timd.html#ixzz2f0ZEiEyX