Bright ideas for trimming CO2 emissions.

Help the planet.
Nov. 20 2006 11:16 AM

The Body Electric

Bright ideas for trimming CO2 emissions.

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• If your refrigerator is near a stove, dishwasher, or heating vent, move it to a cooler spot. Vacuum the coils every few months to eliminate dirt buildup and check to make sure the door gaskets don't have air leaks. Set the temperature between 35 degrees and 38 degrees Fahrenheit for the fridge and at zero for the freezer.

• If you use window air-conditioning units, buy the proper size for the room you plan to use it in. (Here's how.)

• If you have central air conditioning, be sure to clean the evaporator and condenser coils, as well as the airflow components. When clogged, they reduce efficiency. Check the refrigerant level, too. (Here's how.) You can also use a programmable thermostat to help regulate temperature.

• Ceiling fans circulate air both to cool spaces and to keep them warm. Since they don't change the temperature, they should be turned off when you leave a room.

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Meaghan O'Neill is a freelance writer and founding editor of treehugger.com, an eco-Web site and Slate's partner on the Green Challenge.

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