POWERFUL FACTS—Tips to Make Campus More Energy Efficient

As we all try to make our beautiful campus more energy efficient, here are some easy ways to save energy at work and at home.

On a typical structure, windows account for nearly 50% of the heat gain or loss depending on the season, this in turn places close to 50% of the workload on your air conditioning system or heating system. That’s more than the roof, walls, and attic combined! Untreated windows will allow about 20 times more heat into your building than an equal amount of insulated wall space. By controlling the way the sun’s energy enters your room, you can save on summer energy bills and take advantage of “free” heating in the winter.

When to Close Your Blinds
Closing window blinds at the right times can reduce the energy used. On hot summer days, when the sun's light shines into some of your windows it's heating the interior, causing you to turn up the air conditioning and use more energy. By closing the blinds, you keep direct sunlight out of your room and reduce unwanted solar heat gain. If you want to be able to look out your windows, open the blinds at a 45 degree angle with the curved surface facing outward. This allows you to see out the window, but still reflects sunlight away. Closing window blinds can also save energy in the winter. During cold nights, heat is lost through windows. Closing the blinds adds some insulation to the windows, reducing heat loss. Some blinds also reflect heat back into the room. Be sure your blinds are down and closed at the end of day.

When to Open Your Blinds
Opening your blinds at the right time also saves energy. On sunny winter days, sunlight allowed to shine through windows helps to heat the inside space. This is called passive solar heating, and is an effective design strategy to lower energy consumption in buildings.

If you have any energy saving ideas, contact the Meredith College energy manager, Dave Lyons at ext. 8722 or email to dalyons@meredith.edu.

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