Although I didn't have Earth Day in mind when I planned my day's activities, it turns out that I did two things that could be categorized as eco-friendly.
The first was getting my air conditioner units serviced so they worked as efficiently as possible. For several years I've had my heating and air conditioning units maintained by a local HVAC company. I like dealing with this company because the people who answer the phone in the office are always friendly, and the technicians are always on time, polite, and professional. When I called to make the appointment, the scheduler mentioned that in addition to the routine maintenance I could also have testing done to evaluate the system’s operating efficiency. As an incentive, the electric company would send me a rebate that would cover most of the cost of the test, so our out of pocket costs would be minimal. I agreed to have the technician do both things.
Our house has two systems, one for the upstairs and one for the main level. When the technician arrived, he explained he'd have to drill holes in each of the flues to insert his testing equipment, but he'd cap the holes when he was done. I had to turn on the air conditioners and dial the thermostats down far enough for them to kick on and stay on. (The outside temperature was not quite 60, so the air conditioner was set for a couple of degrees lower than that. The house quickly got chilly!) It took about an hour for everything to get checked and serviced. The technician had me fill out a rebate form, which the office would mail in.
The second ecologically responsible thing has been a very long time coming. Last week I bought a replacement for our deep freezer, and it was delivered today.
We've had our large deep freezer for decades. Every year about this time I hear that new models are much more energy efficient than old ones, but under the theory of 'if it's not broke, don't spend money on it" I never got a new one, so we kept chugging along with what we had. However, now that there's fewer people in the house we don't need as much capacity. The experts say that for the best energy efficiency a freezer should be at least two-thirds full. Ours was nowhere close to that, even when I began storing our Costco-sized bags of flour and rice.
This morning I took everything out of the old deep freeze and brought it upstairs, where I had trouble fitting everything into the refrigerator's freezer. (Two packages of chicken thighs would not fit, so they begame dinner.) Right after the HVAC technician finished in the house, the appliance delivers came in. They set the freezer in its place, plugged it in, and told me I should wait eight hours to stock it. The cubic footage of the new freezer is about half of the old one. It has an interior light and a pull-out drawer at the bottom. I can already tell it's going to be much better, size-wise.
Five years ago today: Earth Song