A/c units are typically powered by electricity, which is made from nonrenewable fuel sources. Using electricity requires a large amount of energy, which produces co2. At excessive levels, this greenhouse gas can trap heat near the world’s surface area and add to such environment damage as global warming. So when you use an air conditioning system, you’re contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. However, newer designs are more energy efficient and use less electricity than older models.
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the new AC system can save up to 20 percent more energy over ten years than older models.
Is an Outdated Air Conditioning System Worse for the Environment?
If your a/c system is outdated and inefficient, it will likely burn more electricity than newer systems and may be using more energy than needed. This means that you’re paying more money on your electric bill while producing more greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. And if they have not been cared for appropriately, they can leak refrigerant into the atmosphere. This is an ecological threat in addition to potentially detrimental to your health if it’s inhaled or touched.
How to Decrease Your Effect On the Environment
Air conditioning units have a substantial impact on the environment and can cost more than other types of cooling systems. The bright side is that there are ways to reduce your impact on the environment.
Air conditioners can be recycled and parts can be reused. The EPA approximates that 50 percent of units are still in working order after ten years and could be recycled instead of disposed of. In addition, most air conditioners are energy efficient, so it makes sense to keep them running as long as possible. When you’re ready to replace your system, purchase an Energy Star certified model that meets strict requirements for energy efficiency, performance and indoor air quality.
Here are some ideas to minimize your impact on the environment with your HVAC unit:
- Use a programmable thermostat and set it to 78 degrees or higher when you’re not home. This will permit the air conditioner to run less frequently, which minimizes its energy use and reduces your utility expenses.
- Clean or replace filters routinely because unclean filters limit airflow and minimize effectiveness.
- Use fans when possible instead of turning on the air conditioner unit. Fans cool many people by distributing air around the body, while central air conditioning cools entire spaces by removing hot air from inside your house and replacing it with cooler outside air through vents throughout your home. If you use fans during hot weather, turn them off when using your central AC system to prevent unnecessary energy usage when cooling needs are greatest.
New Air Conditioners have Greatly Improved Environmental Ratings
Today’s air conditioners use about 2 percent of all electricity consumed in the United States. They account for about 6 percent of all energy use in houses, according to Consumer Reports. The magazine says that’s because newer units use far less energy than older ones did.
The EPA states that new air conditioners have improved ecological rankings. It says that an Energy Star-rated system uses at least 15 percent less energy than a basic model and has features like timers and remote controls that let you change temperatures from throughout your house– and even when you’re far from home The agency adds that Energy Star-rated models even use less water since they don’t run until they reach their desired temperature levels.
Energy Star-Rated Units Installed by North Star Heating & Air Conditioning Lehi, UT.
As you shop for a new air conditioning unit, you might see that some styles have an ENERGY STAR rating and others do not. What’s the difference?
The Energy Rating label on your air conditioner unit tells you how much energy it uses and how much CO2 it produces. It even gives you an idea of how efficient your unit is and how much money you’ll save on your electricity costs.