There are plenty of creative ways that humans try to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Many of these ideas include using different products or changing small items in their routines. But what many people don’t realize is that there’s an easier way to make a difference, and it’s something that won’t even change your life drastically. That answer is air conditioning!
Air conditioning is often overlooked or taken for granted. Therefore, it actually contributes lots of greenhouse gas emissions without people even realizing it. So, if you want to help make the world a better place, then you might want to reconsider your air conditioning unit and look for a more sustainable option.
Why is Air Conditioning Not Sustainable?
Air conditioning and cars were invented around the same time, and surprisingly, they both have similar negative effects on the environment. Yet, cars always seem to take the fall for polluting our planet. People frequently find ways to drive less to help save our planet. Yet, very few cut back on air conditioning. The reason is likely because people are unaware of how air conditioners affect the environment.
In fact, only a few countries have rules about the energy use of air conditioners. This means that most places with hot climates can blast the cold air to their heart’s content. It might seem okay since it’s not all over the media, but unsustainable air conditioning should be taken just as seriously as any other form of pollution.
Of course, air conditioners cannot simply be removed though. After all, they’re essential parts of our everyday lives. So, in order to make air conditioning more sustainable, we need to focus on three main things: increasing the efficiency of cooling systems, stopping the use of harmful refrigerants, and redesigning structures with less air conditioner needs. It all sounds a bit complicated, so how can it be done?
What Can Be Done to Make Air Conditioning More Sustainable?
Changing a classic part of our world is much easier said than done. Many people will try to argue that if air conditioners are working, then why fix them? But just because they’re working doesn’t mean they’re doing their best. Decreasing the greenhouse gas emissions from air conditioning is much more than just adjusting a thermostat.
To make the change even more difficult, air conditioners have been much more accessible. Unlike most products, prices for air conditioners have actually decreased as the years went on. This is because it takes much less work to create a single air conditioner today than it did 70 years ago. But many other things have also changed in the cooling system industry during that time. This means that there are plenty of improvements that can be made.
First of all, choosing a more energy-efficient air conditioner can be the best way to make a change. Overall, the energy-performance standards need to be higher for these types of units. So, it’s important for you to do your research to find the most efficient model when looking for a new system. Heat pumps, which are heating and cooling systems in one, are rising in popularity due to the fact that they’re more efficient than traditional systems.
Heat pumps are able to heat and cool while air conditioners are only capable of cooling your home. So, air conditioners need to be paired with furnaces to provide heat during colder months. This means that heat pumps are better for the environment because they can provide both warm and cold air without using any gas or oil. Therefore, it might be worth it to take a look at one.
However, changes can’t fully be made without the help of manufacturers. Hydrofluorocarbons, a type of air conditioner refrigerant, is over 1,000 times more harmful for trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide is. Yet, many manufacturers still use them. Some countries have signed deals to slowly transition away from damaging refrigerants, but all countries need to follow suit to make a change.
Finally, anyone who is planning to build a new structure needs to be aware of this issue. Oftentimes, large structures such as office buildings and malls have way more air conditioners than they need. By adding more natural ventilation inside, along with shaded areas outside, the use of air conditioning can already be greatly decreased. Even simply painting a roof white can keep the structure cooler as well.
Sustainable air conditioning all starts with us choosing the most efficient options, and then it’s important for business officials to step in as well to make a larger impact. We all use cooling systems on a day to day basis, so it’s time to stop ignoring the bigger issue.
Are you looking for a more sustainable air conditioning option? Foster Heating & Cooling can help you find the most efficient option for a reasonable price. Contact us today to find out more about the services we offer!