Just Ask: Turning Off the Air Conditioning and Green Roofs

Tackling environmental topics with irreverence, intelligence and a fresh perspective — rules for your turning off your air-condition and how to green your roof.

| July/August 2005

  • Umbra Fisk

To Air is Human

Q: My friend and I have a debate I hope you can help us settle. What’s the rule of thumb when turning off the air conditioning and opening the windows? I live in Texas, and at certain times of year we have one or two days in a row that are cool enough for open windows followed by four that are not. Should I open the windows when it’s nice only to close them again and turn on the air in a day or two? Does it cost more to re-cool my apartment than it would to just leave the windows closed and the air on?

Tara, Commerce, Texas

Find out what Umbra has to say about turning off your air conditioner. 

Burden of Roof

Q: Our roof is getting pretty old and starting to fall apart. It’s one of those asphalt-shingle roofs most houses have these days. Before we call the roofing company, I’d like to know what’s the greenest kind of roofing material to use. Metal? Cedar? More asphalt?

Wally, Seattle, Washington

Find out what Umbra has to say about green roofing. 

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