Alternative Air Conditioning Options
Alternative air conditioning is on many people’s minds these days because of environmental concerns. Air conditioners have long been blamed for adding harmful chemicals to the environment, and although newer models are more “green” in terms of using fewer of these chemicals, many people are looking for alternative air conditioning solutions.
Some alternative air conditioning strategies
- Swamp coolers. Also known as evaporative coolers, desert coolers, or wet air coolers. These units don’t use harmful refrigerants, but rely on the cooling effect of water evaporation to lower the air’s temperature. The technology is simple, cheap, and time-tested, and it works very well in dry climates.
- Ceiling fans. Ceiling fans do a great job of circulating the air, and a ceiling fan in each room of your house or apartment can make the air feel fresher and cooler. This is another time-tested method for cooling the air in hot climates.
- Whole house fan. You can reduce the air temperature in a house by installing a fan system that pumps air in through the cool basement and out the hotter attic and roof. This will circulate air throughout the whole house, and helps reduce the overall temperature in the building.
- Ice block cooler. These devices create blocks of ice at night with a non-toxic refrigerant, and then cool the house during the day by pumping melting water and the associated cooler air through buildings and homes.
- A ground source or geothermal heat pump. This technology uses the temperature in the ground to heat and cool your home. A geothermal heat pump or ground source heat pump (GSHP) is a heating and/or cooling system that pumps heat to or from the ground. It uses the earth as a heat source in winter or a heat sink in summer. This technology uses the moderate temperatures in the ground to boost efficiency and reduce costs of heating and cooling systems, and may be combined with solar heating to form a geosolar system with higher levels of energy efficiency.
- Insulation. A simple way to keep cool air in and hot air out is to add more insulation in your attic and other areas of your home. There are lots of insulation options to choose from, including types that can be blown into your walls without much trouble. A bonus is that you may qualify for a government grant to help offset the cost of this kind of upgrade. A home that has well-insulated walls and attic will actually keep the heat out in hot seasons.
You don’t have to stay with traditional forms of air conditioning. There are alternative air conditioning systems that offer energy efficiency, low cost, and “green” technology to give you a viable alternative to the traditional systems.