Turning on the AC may not be as bad as you think

Heating, it turns out, takes a greater toll on the environment than air conditioning.

I was doing some reading on the internet today, and I came across an interesting article. The piece was about how some people have been living in possibly dangerous levels of heat because they feel that air conditioning is bad for the environment. But the article didn't agree with this opinion. In fact, the author titled it "Don't sweat it: the case against the case against air conditioning."

The article jokingly calls those who refuse to cool their homes the brrr-geoisie, and criticizes this group for not having a great understanding of the facts. My favorite part of the article discussed actual energy usage statistics, and revealed some things that surprised me.

The most shocking in my opinion was that air conditioning consumes less energy than heating. Because heating costs are typically not reflected in our electric bills, but rather in those for oil or natural gas, we don't necessarily think of it as being particularly problematic within our energy costs. The rent for my apartment includes heat, and I frequently forget that fuel is being used even if I'm not paying for it.

I was also surprised to find out that, by extension, people in southern states such as Florida and Texas actually use less energy than their northern counterparts. Since I live in the northeast, I have the costs of both heating and cooling to contend with, so I often feel pressure to use both more sparingly.

Particularly with all of the power saving tips I have found recently, it was a relief to learn that air conditioners are actually more energy efficient than many heaters. I can now turn on the AC guilt-free at the end of a hot day, knowing that it isn't that bad.

I also will be on the lookout for any energy saving advice I can find for the winter months, now that I am aware that heaters can suck up so much fuel. 

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