I just wanted to praise the Clean Air Foundation for all the great programs it runs, including "Energy smarts", "Mow down pollution", "Switch out", "Keep cool", "Car heaven", and "Cool shops".
If you want to find out what they all are - you'll just have to visit their website - but here's a teaser: the Keep Cool Campaign promotes clean air, reduced energy use, and responsible recycling of old air conditioners. Here's the deal: bring your old, inefficient window A/C unit to a participating Home Depot (26 available locations) or Home Hardware (5 locations) some weekend this month, and you'll get a $25 gift card to spend at the store. Yup, $25, just like that, and you get rid of your old clunker! Or clunkers, if you have more than one.
Those old air conditioners use 30-70% more energy than an ENERGY STAR qualified models.
Apparently our energy use in the summer (due mainly to air conditioning) is actually overtaking the amount of energy we use in the winter to keep warm. That means more air pollution on days when lots of sun and warm temperatures already promots smog formation.
As for me, well, I won't be picking up a gift card anytime soon - we don't actually have an air conditioner! Of course, if this summer is as hot as some predictions I've heard, I might not have my sanity either by the end of it.