Frustrated with soaring power bills and concerned about long-range impacts on the environment, more and more Australians are seeking eco-friendly, green options for home air conditioning. Every person has a unique home, budget, and desired ambient temperature, so not all methods of going green are right for everyone. In general, however, these 5 suggestions can help you minimise your carbon footprint and save money on your monthly power bills.
1. Use Evaporative Cooling
Known as swamp coolers in the American Southwest, evaporative air conditioners are ideally suited to Australia’s dry climate. They operate on the same principle that causes humans to sweat. When dry air passes over water, some of the water is absorbed into the air. This causes a phase shift from liquid to gas—a chemical reaction that consumes energy in the form of heat. Therefore, the temperature of the water lowers while the dry air temperature rises.
In an evaporative cooler, dry outside air is drawn into the system through vents in the roof. It then passes through a series of water-soaked pads before fans force it out into the room through a system of vents. Warm air escapes from your home via open windows and doors. The system can significantly cool your home without the chemical refrigerants or high operating costs of a traditional air conditioner. In fact, you could save an estimated 75% on your power bill just by switching to evaporative cooling.
2. Perform Regular Maintenance
No air conditioner is entirely maintenance-free. Inspect the system or hire a professional to do so once per year. Wash or replace the filter, and dust the coils, fins, and other components, once every one to two months. Keep an eye on the system, and inspect it immediately if it shows signs of straining or difficulty maintaining your preferred temperature. Even minor issues can lessen the eco-friendliness of your system and raise your power bills, and problems that are left untreated can worsen over time.
3. Upgrade Your Filter
Keeping your filter clean is a key to environmental friendliness, as a dirty filter will make your system work harder. But to truly go green, consider upgrading to a better filter. HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters remove significantly more unhealthy matter from the air than traditional filters. In fact, the best genuine HEPA filters (as opposed to knockoffs) can remove some mould spores, bacteria, and even viruses. The filters are more expensive, but they are well worth the additional cost, especially for those with asthma or other health conditions.
4. Add Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are an excellent way to improve cooling in an eco-friendly manner. By circulating the air in a room, they cause your body to feel cooler. Just keep in mind that fans only cool people, not rooms. Turn off the ceiling fans when leaving a room, or they simply become a useless waste of energy.
5. Choose a Programmable Thermostat
There is no need to cool your home to a comfortable temperature when you are not there, yet it is no fun walking into the blistering heat of a home that has had the air conditioner turned off all day. Shutting the air conditioner off completely also forces it to work much harder when you turn it back on, offsetting the energy savings of turning it off.
Instead, select a programmable thermostat. This allows you to set the temperature in your home to a moderately high level during the hours that you are gone, and then to your preferred room temperature when you get home. Zoned cooling is considered the premium option, as it allows you to independently control the temperature of different parts of your home. For example, you might set the bedrooms to a warmer temperature during the day, and then schedule them to cool to your preferred sleeping temperature just before bedtime. Likewise, you might choose to raise the temperature in the common areas, such as the living and dining rooms, late at night.
Jim’s Heating & Cooling is a trusted provider of air conditioning and heating in the greater Adelaide region. We offer a wide range of heating and cooling solutions, along with special discounts and financing offers. Call locally on 131 546 now or request a quote to get started!