Minimising the Environmental Impact of Your Home's Air Conditioning
The simple act of turning on your air conditioner can create an awkward contradiction. Operating an air conditioner contributes to increased greenhouse gas emissions, which plays a role in climate change, which can present itself as global warming, which makes you need to use your air conditioner even more to counteract an increase in outside temperature. Sure, offices, retail outlets, and indoor leisure spaces are all reliant on air conditioning, but residential air conditioning can also play a considerable part, especially when you consider the fact that only 26% of Australian households don't have any form of air conditioning. Wouldn't it be nice if you could cool your home with air conditioning without feeding that awkward contradiction?
With a new air conditioner, energy efficiency is key. Most manufacturers will provide the necessary information, with reduced consumption being a key selling point. Single phased, non-ducted air conditioners sold in Australia come under the government's mandatory Energy Rating Label scheme. The label actually displays the average annual electricity consumption of the device in kWh (kilowatt-hours). A higher star rating granted to the device under the label scheme, in conjunction with a lower kWh rating, equals the most energy-efficient air conditioner you can find.
It's not just the device's electrical usage, but how you use it. It should be a standard feature of a new air conditioner, but many older units will also be programmable. This allows the device to regulate itself, essentially activating and deactivating as necessary in order to maintain the specified temperature. This can use less electricity than continuous operation. If you're in the market for a new air conditioner, consider one with smart capabilities, so you can remotely activate it before you arrive home. You don't want to be amongst the estimated 590,000 Australian households that simply leave their air conditioner running when they're not home.
Choosing the best device and operating it efficiently will minimise an air conditioner's greenhouse gas emissions, but you can't always assume that you will be able to operate it at its maximum efficiency. Be sure to have the unit regularly inspected and maintained in line with the manufacturer's specifications. A well-maintained AC unit is one that doesn't have to strain its motor in order to fulfil your cooling targets, meaning that even more emissions would be created than are strictly necessary.
It's impossible to operate an air conditioner without any emissions, but you can do your part to keep them to an absolute minimum.
For more information, reach out to a residential air conditioning contractor in your area.