Many factors make it difficult to have a meaningful conversation about the relative “efficiency” of various air conditioning units, including the reality that various cooling innovations provide vastly different degrees of “cool” and the fact that the efficiency levels of air conditioning units, especially refrigerative air conditioners, can vary greatly even among distinct models and brands. The context in which they are installed and the purpose for which they are put to use are also crucial factors.
Which Methods of Cooling Are the Most Cost-effective?
The efficiency of various systems varies greatly.
Fuels Derived From Naturally Occurring Materials
The system which employs the most eﬃcient source of power is the clear winner in terms of efficiency. Rooftop solar electric systems provide the most efficient cooling alternative. By installing photovoltaic cells on your roof, you can generate enough electricity to run your air conditioning unit for free.
Air conditioning units that use refrigeration are infamously power hogs, but even if you use more electricity than your solar panels can generate while the air conditioner is running (which you will unless you have a lot of panels), you will likely still be contributing more electricity to the national grid than you are drawing from it on average.
To cool the air, evaporative cooling systems require water, but they can be powered by the sun. Technically speaking, they may be a mildly less efficient (and less effective) option than refrigerative air conditioning units in such a setup, despite typically consuming a lot less electricity.
Air conditioners that use geothermal heat pumps are also a great option. They are highly effective and very capable of offering refrigerative heating and cooling to your household because they can pull on the consistent, ready energy source provided by the ground’s stable temperature. Energy consumption is limited to what is needed to power the pump in these setups. Also, solar cooling solutions operate on a similar concept (even though they aren’t practical for most individuals).
No Need for Gas
Passive heating and cooling systems are the alternative “perfect” method. Passive house design refers to an approach to architecture that incorporates solar heating, shading techniques, appropriate window coverings, insulation, and ventilation to allow for passive heating and cooling throughout the year. Engaged cooling systems, such as fans and air conditioning systems, would be unnecessary in a passively cooled home. When it’s more than 40 degrees outdoors, it’s not unusual for a well-designed home to remain a pleasant mid- or low-twenties inside, even without the need for air conditioning. When designing a new home, it’s wise to minimise the amount of energy required for cooling and heating.
Utility-Powered Air Conditioning
Picking between the refrigerant and evaporative cooling systems is like deciding between efficient and cheap cooling. Refrigerative cooling is largely regarded as being significantly more effective than evaporative systems, especially in regions of extremes of humidity and temperature; however, it consumes a great deal of energy.
While evaporative cooling has a lower electrical footprint, it is not a viable option in areas with high humidity. When evaluating energy savings, it is also important to take into account the level of comfort provided about the amount of energy expended.
Another option for cooling is provided by fans, which are more economical than evaporative coolers. Fans are the superior choice if you are located in a particularly humid area. Compared to fans, refrigerant air conditioning units cool a room more effectively, but they also have a much higher operating cost.
Power Inverter Systems
An inverter system is your most cost-effective choice if you prefer a refrigeration setup. With a variable motor controlling the compressor, these systems can run on significantly less energy. Inverter systems can save up to 50% on electricity usage compared to comparable fixed-speed systems when they’re not running at their full potential. While they are more cost-effective in the long run, they may be more expensive upfront. You should think about how often you’ll use the system as well as how much it will cost to run.
A Quick Tip
Given the structure of the energy efficiency labeling system, inverters are not always guaranteed to have the highest possible star ratings for energy efficiency. In most cases, however, they are more effective than fixed-speed systems when operated at lower speeds.
Making sure your home is optimised for your air conditioner is the easiest way to boost its performance. This requires adequate ventilation if an evaporative cooler or fans are to be used. It is possible to improve the effectiveness of a refrigerative air conditioning unit by decreasing the quantity of heat entering the space being cooled. This can be accomplished most effectively through the use of double glazing, preferably made of Low-E glass. Special window film installation is yet another alternative. Drapes with thermal support and good insulation can also make a difference.
Even though this choice has been around for a while, it’s still a viable one. Consider cooling individual rooms as needed rather than the entire house at once. Air conditioners for a room can be mounted on the window or the wall, depending on which is more convenient. The unit draws in warm air from the outside, cools it, and then pumps it into the space.
Even though you’ll have to buy more than one unit, this strategy is usually more cost-effective than trying to cool your entire home with a single system. In addition, there is no need to keep equipment active in unoccupied spaces. Save money on cooling costs by shutting off the air conditioner when a room is unoccupied. That’s brilliant, right? Yes, in our opinion.
You can further improve the efficiency of this strategy by choosing to only cool the upper floor of your home. Since basements naturally maintain a lower temperature than the rest of the house, you might not need to spend as much money cooling it.
A/C Systems Installed Centrally
One of the most well-known and widely-used methods of cooling a home is central air conditioning. You can utilise these to cool down the whole home at once. Refrigerant cycling can effectively cool your household by removing the heat from the space. Central air conditioning systems are more expensive than window units, but energy efficiency requirements have increased. Further, a wide variety of alternatives is provided. There are a lot of options for central air conditioners on the market, making it hard to pick one.
Thermostats That Turn On When You Move
Energy is only used to cool the house when it’s needed, thanks to motion-activated systems. Though conventional window or wall-mounted air conditioners could serve the same purpose, the motion-activated technology built into this setup makes manual on/off switching unnecessary.
The cooler can detect when individuals are nearby thanks to the presence of special sensors. When no one is home, the air conditioner won’t waste electricity cooling the house. This kind of system is very cost-effective because it only kicks on when cooling is needed. For further information on which energy-efficient air conditioning units will suit your needs get in touch with the professionals at GreeDirect here.