Improving the Sustainability of In-home Air Conditioning Units
If you’re wondering what the most effective method of lowering emissions by greenhouse gases is, you’ve come to the right place. There is an enormous need to improve the efficiency of air conditioning units.
Air conditioners don’t receive much blame for their impact on emissions and inefficiency of energy, and since they are used so prevalently and appreciated by many, it’s important to acknowledge the actions that we can take to ensure that our units are as efficient as possible.
Air conditioning units have been a favorite of mankind for many years, nearly as long as automobiles have been in existence. Singapore’s prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, once labeled it “One of the signal inventions in history”. Tropical climates can be much more productive than they would be without air conditioning. Over 70,000 deaths associated with heat waves in Europe have decreased 10x. It has even been found that children are able to get better grades in classrooms that are air-conditioned.
However, there is a definite need to improve the efficiency of air conditioners or produce energy without releasing carbon into the air so that the contribution to global warming can be mitigated.
Importance of Air Conditioning Unit Upkeep
The air conditioning models available today that are the most efficient only use roughly one-third of the electricity that average units use. If standards for energy-efficient units could be raised, this would make a drastic difference. Some countries don’t have air conditioning equipment standards at all.
Fortunately, there are signs that consumers can watch for to determine how efficient their AC unit is running. The 5 signs your AC may have problems include bad airflow, issues with moisture, odd sounds, strange smells, or a lack of cold air. If any of these are observed, it might be beneficial for your power bill and for the environment to have a licensed professional perform an inspection.
Also, manufacturers must find an alternative to harmful refrigerants. One type in particular, hydrofluorocarbons, is more than 1,000 times more dangerous than carbon dioxide in keeping heat in Earth’s atmosphere. Fortunately, an international plan to stop using this kind of pollutant is being adapted. This will begin to take place in 2019.
Implementing New Construction with Built-in Cooling Features
Finally, additional efforts can be taken to design malls, offices, and cities to use fewer air conditioning units to begin with. They can be immensely helpful, but the overwhelming quantity sometimes isn’t necessary. Decisions can be made before the construction phase to include self-cooling features, including balconies that create shade, natural systems of ventilation, or simply roofs that overhang. An easy way to make a noticeable improvement in air temperature is to use white paint for the roof.
While energy-efficient air conditioning units are a great starting point, cooling overall needs to be developed further. Air conditioning can still be made useful without sacrificing the environment. Manufacturers can make great strides if they can develop units that still allow air-conditioned luxury without contributing to heating the planet.