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Options For Air Conditioning

Air conditioning is an energy-intensive process that uses a lot of electricity. In fact, it accounts for about 12 percent of a home’s energy usage. It’s also a major source of carbon emissions and greenhouse gases, contributing to global warming. Fortunately, advances in technology and regulation changes are making it possible to reduce the environmental impact of AC while still keeping your home comfortable.

During the summer, air conditioners consume massive amounts of electricity and leak potent planet-warming gases into the atmosphere. In fact, on the hottest days of the year, the energy demand for cooling can exceed that for heating. On top of that, they wreak havoc on the ozone layer, which protects us from the sun’s harmful rays.

Most old air conditioners use chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) and hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants that contribute to the greenhouse effect, which in turn destroys the ozone layer. In 1995, the EPA banned CFCs, and most manufacturers have since switched to HFCs that don’t deplete the ozone layer, but those chemicals are expected to be phased out by 2050.

As a result, it’s important to purchase and maintain an air conditioning Longmont CO that meets the latest energy efficiency standards. If you’re purchasing a new system, look for the ENERGY STAR label, which indicates that the equipment is at least 15% more efficient than the minimum standard. In addition, make sure the unit is sized correctly for your space and climate. If it’s too small, you’ll run it on full power more frequently and for longer periods of time, and it may break down more often. If it’s too big, it will use more energy to achieve the same results and increase your electricity bills.

Eco-Friendly Options For Air Conditioning

Another eco-friendly way to cool your home is to install an evaporative cooler, which doesn’t use refrigerants. These work by pulling in outdoor air, which passes over water-saturated pads inside the unit. The air is then cooled and directed into the home, using less than half the energy of a traditional AC.

Changing your air filters regularly, scheduling regular maintenance, and insulating your home are other ways to keep your cooling costs down while being environmentally conscious. It’s also a good idea to choose window treatments that reflect heat rather than absorb it.

Some people are taking it a step further by installing solar air conditioners. These systems combine solar panels with traditional AC, reducing the system’s energy consumption by about half. SolAir World and Lennox are two brands that offer these systems. Solar energy can also be harnessed to power a heat pump, which provides the same cooling as an air conditioner but uses less than half the energy. These systems aren’t yet widely available, but as the technology advances they should become more mainstream.

However, it is essential to strike a balance when using air conditioning to control humidity. Extremely low humidity levels can cause discomfort as well, leading to dry skin, irritated eyes, and respiratory issues. It is recommended to keep indoor humidity between 30% to 50% for optimal comfort and health.

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