I live in an apartment with southern and western exposures. I put UV film on the windows when I first moved in, largely to protect my possessions from fading but it also does block some of the summer heat. I have blinds that I keep down when it’s hot and raise to get as much warmth as possible from the winter sun. I have double-paned glass on all of my windows. Unfortunately my heating/air conditioning system has to fit the building’s overall structure so I have little latitude to change fuel sources or choose a more efficient power plant.
Because I live in a co-op, like many apartment dwellers, my landlord supplies the heat. Also, like many people who live in NYC, it can be easy to roast if you live on a lower floor as I do, even if you don’t turn on the heat. I provide my own air conditioning and keep it at 80-82 degrees if I’m not active. If I’m moving around a lot, 74 degrees is far more comfortable.
Still, there are things I can do as an individual.
(4) REDUCE ENERGY USED FOR HEATING AND AIR CONDITIONING
I’ll continue my recently established practice of heating or air conditioning only one room to a comfort level. Other rooms are still a better temperature than outdoors, but the whole place is no longer comfortable when I’m here by myself. I’ve seen a marked difference in the amount of energy consumed since I began. Unfortunately energy-saving or automatic thermostats or heating systems are not feasible in my apartment.
I’ve tried to persuade my building to turn our roof green either by painting it white to reduce heat gain the summer or, even better, turning it into an oxygen source with plantings. So far no success but I haven’t given up.
Comments and suggestions are welcome.