The sweltering heat and brutal humidity of summer make air conditioning an absolute necessity. But it’s a necessity that you can’t live without. As we have learned during recent heat waves throughout the Pacific Northwest, air conditioning is crucial to your health as well as your comfort. However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do everything in our power to do so responsibly. Because air conditioning uses a fairly high amount of energy, it isn’t always the most eco-friendly process. For those who are concerned about carbon emissions and helping the environment, this can present a conundrum: do you cool your home and stay comfortable or do you forego it in the name of environmental consciousness?
You shouldn’t have to make this decision. And by making a few good choices when it comes to your cooling, you don’t have to. Here are three ways you can make cooling your home an eco-friendly process as well as a necessary one.
Run Your Air Conditioner Less Often
The first way to make cooling more eco friendly is to simply run your most energy-intensive cooling equipment less often. The best way to do this is to augment your home’s cooling with supplemental cooling systems that keep you cooler for longer and maximize the amount of time between cycles. Perhaps the best example of a lower-energy cooling system is a simple fan. While fans don’t actually reduce the temperature in a space, they make it feel cooler, and that allows you to turn the thermostat up and run your air conditioner less often.
Studies have shown that a ceiling fan can actually help a room feel anywhere from five to ten degrees cooler than it would with still air. Swirling air interacts with moisture and sweat glands in our skin to give us an evaporative cooling sensation that helps us remain more comfortable, even though the temperature in an area might actually be higher. By taking advantage of this, you can remain more comfortable while using less energy and running your air conditioner less often.
Look for Eco-Friendly HVAC Features
With energy costs surging and more focus being put on conservation and environmental impact of our day to day activities, it should come as little surprise that there has been a concerted push toward increasing the energy efficiency of air conditioning over the last several decades. From this push, we have seen some significant advancements in technology that have radically improved cooling performance and environmental impact. Today, we strongly encourage any homeowner to look into these new forms of technology as they can not only improve cooling in their home, but contribute to a better environment.
Perhaps the greatest advancement in cooling was the discovery of just how harmful R-22 Freon refrigerant could be, and the move to eliminate it from general use. While there are still a few systems out there that use it, the majority of modern systems now use a different refrigerant that is far more effective and affordable while also being safer for the planet and our atmosphere.
Further advancements that have been good for the planet include blower fans that improve efficiency, multi-speed cooling systems that can use a much smaller amount of energy for smaller cooling jobs, and even dramatic improvements in ductless cooling systems. Ductless cooling is a great option for adding cooling to new areas of your home or cooling an area that may not be climate controlled otherwise (such as a basement or garage).
Use a Smart Thermostat
Smart thermostats are another tremendous advancement in energy efficiency and eco-friendly cooling. These systems were developed for convenience and cost-savings, but they have since taken major strides toward improving environmental impact by changing how you cool your home (and you may not even realize it). Most modern smart thermostats have the ability to use complex algorithms, real-time data input, and even feedback from your air conditioner itself to change how they operate and adjust to provide optimal comfort. In doing so, they can also shorten cycle times and reduce energy consumption. They can even help you target areas that previously struggled with temperature imbalances or even out the temperature between an upstairs and downstairs zone. And they do all of this for an investment of generally no more than a few hundred dollars at the absolute most.Looking to make your cooling more eco-friendly? Make the call to A-TEMP Heating, Cooling & Electrical by dialing (503) 694-3396 today!