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Minor adjustments in home AC usage could cut greenhouse gas emissions, study says

Air conditioning (AC) contributes to nearly 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions, equating to over 1,900 million tons of carbon dioxide released annually, according to a report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.


However, experts say small adjustments in AC usage, like turning the temperature down when not at home, could substantially reduce these emissions.

A recent study to assess energy emissions and found that heating and cooling buildings were significant contributors.


The average household using an AC unit all day consumes about 72,000 watts of electricity, says Inspire Clean Energy. While completely turning off heating and cooling systems when not at home isn’t recommended, dialing down the temperature can both save energy and reduce emissions.

For those who prefer their AC units running throughout the day, switching to fan-only mode can help preserve more energy.