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Even when you dwell in a comparatively delicate local weather, because of local weather change, you in all probability want an air conditioner. As a consequence of climate change, the frequency and severity of warmth waves have elevated around the globe. Famously cool climates just like the Pacific Northwest and England now routinely experiencing record-breaking highs and prolonged warmth waves. And it’s not only a matter of consolation – this improve has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths. As temperatures rise, air-con is changing into a matter of security. But it’s a vicious cycle as a result of air-con is a part of the issue of local weather change.
Environmental Impacts of AC
Air conditioners eat 3,000 to 5,000 watts of electrical energy each hour that they run. The local weather affect of that may depend upon the energy source that gives the electrical energy. But in a scorching local weather, it contributes a big a part of a family’s whole vitality consumption. For most Americans, temperature control makes up greater than half of dwelling vitality use, and air conditioners particularly account for 23% of electrical energy use in all American buildings. That’s about 117 million tons of CO2 emissions yearly.
Air conditioners additionally contribute on to local weather change by releasing ozone-depleting greenhouse gases. Although present refrigerants are higher than freon (which has been phased out of use), they’re nonetheless red list chemical compounds. Air conditioners can leak as much as 10% of the hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants they include every year. And if we don’t properly dispose of previous models, the refrigerant could also be fully launched into the ambiance.
Cutting AC Use
One of the perfect methods to scale back the affect of your air conditioner is to easily use it much less. When the climate is much less excessive, depend on low-tech cooling options. Opening home windows and operating electrical followers will cool rooms by offering air flow and airflow. Compared to air conditioners, electrical followers solely use about 100 watts of electrical energy per hour. Your window treatments can even assist counter excessive temperatures. Help your self keep cool by dressing for the climate, and even consuming iced tea (or different cooling drinks) can assist. Only run the AC on days when the temperature actually soars. Even then, then set it to the warmest temperature that you simply discover snug – you shouldn’t have to put on a sweater as a result of the AC is operating.
You can even make extra everlasting modifications to scale back the necessity for air-con. Insulation is not only for winter heat; it additionally prevents your private home from heating up rapidly on a scorching day. Sealing air leaks reduces 15% to 25% of warmth achieve in summer season and prevents cool air from escaping when the air conditioner is operating. Think exterior the home, too. Your landscaping can assist preserve your private home extra snug by shading partitions and roofs and by directing breezes.
Minimizing the Impact of Your AC
A programmable thermostat can mechanically optimize the time and temperature settings in your air conditioner so that you simply don’t preserve the home too chilly if you’re away or should ramp up the AC if you return dwelling. On common, Energy Star-rated thermostats save users 8% on their vitality payments and might make a good larger distinction in excessive climates.
Regular upkeep retains any equipment working effectively. Clogged air conditioner filters trigger the AC to work tougher pushing air by them. Regularly cleansing and changing the filters is a straightforward and cheap technique to reduce your air conditioner’s vitality use.
Shopping for a Cooler AC
If your private home is sufficiently small, or when you solely want to chill one room, a window unit will use much less vitality than a central air-con system, the place duct losses account for up to 30% of vitality use. A ductless mini-split is even higher as a result of it received’t lose air by ducts or window gaps. Central cooling turns into the extra environment friendly selection when you want greater than two window models. Regardless of whether or not you purchase a room air conditioner or a central cooling unit, search for one that’s Energy Star-rated. There is a federal tax credit for Energy Star Most Efficient central AC models.
Central air conditioners require a blower motor, which is often a part of the furnace. A brand new energy-efficient air conditioner related to an older furnace blower motor is not going to carry out to its rated effectivity. For essentially the most environment friendly system, exchange your AC and furnace on the identical time (or not less than shut collectively). If you’re prepared to exchange each techniques, think about an air-source heat pump as an alternative. These can exchange each your private home’s heating and cooling techniques. Energy Star heat pumps are considerably extra environment friendly than different heating and cooling choices and qualify for federal rebates.