Alternative Air Conditioning Technologies

Alternative Air Conditioning Technologies

When it comes to air conditioning, there are many different options, rather than the typical air conditioning systems we have become accustomed to seeing as consumers. Many of these options are more eco-friendly and energy-efficient options for your building as well. Read on to learn more about some of the different alternative air conditioning technologies out there!

Geothermal Heat Pumps

While geothermal technology is not new, it has experienced a surge in popularity in recent years. Geothermal heat pumps are also considered the most energy-efficient and eco-friendly option for heating and cooling a building. How exactly does geothermal technology work to make it so energy efficient?

This type of heating and cooling technology functions by drawing energy directly out of the earth. Rather than using the heat that is inside the earth, these systems tap the constant temperatures of geothermal wells below the surface. When you need to cool your space, the geothermal heat pump works to draw the heat out of the home. Alternatively, when you need to heat your building, the geothermal heat pump then works in reverse to extract heat from the ground and bring it into the space. This is known as a geo-exchange system. 

Another advantage to geothermal technology is that it also gives you free hot water! In some instances, geothermal heat pumps can even be combined with solar panels. These heat pumps work best– as most of these air conditioning technologies do– in buildings that are well insulated. Otherwise, the heat pump is forced to work much harder and may not give you the low cost and low energy usage results that you are expecting. 

Thermally Driven Air Conditioning

Thermally driven air conditioning is a newer technology that emerged within the last ten years. It is a low-cost alternative to the traditional air conditioning unit, and it is also energy efficient. Thermally driven air conditioning works by eliminating the need for electricity to power the system, in turn eliminating any potential electric operating costs. It instead takes its power from the energy that is generated from solar panels. If the output of the solar panel is too low, thermally driven air conditioning systems are often supplemented by natural gas. 

Ice Powered Air Conditioners

Ice-powered air conditioning units do two jobs– they cool spaces, whether homes or commercial office buildings and also reduce the building’s total net energy consumption. This type of air conditioning system functions by first freezing large volumes of water overnight in a tank, which makes ice that is available for use the following day.

Then, once switched on, the air conditioning unit can provide up to six hours of nonstop cooling powered by the ice. When the ice has melted, the building’s commercial air conditioning unit then kicks in. This is one of the greener air conditioning options on the market now, and is still being developed even further– so we may see more innovations in this type of air conditioning option soon! 

Why Are Alternative Air Conditioning Technologies Important?

Alternative air conditioning options can be both better for the environment and better for your budget when compared to the typical air conditioning unit. Air conditioning systems can be a threat to environmental health because their electricity usage is so large– they contribute significantly to a country’s energy load.

Also, as coal or gas is burned to power an air conditioning system, the building is putting out more climate pollutants and greenhouse gasses into the environment. Any alternative technology that lessens this energy output makes a difference, especially when adopted by those who use their air conditioning system heavily. 

An awareness of the environmental impact of air conditioning units has affected the way engineers look at heating and cooling systems, and how they are designed. Now, there is more of an approach to keeping people cool in an energy-efficient way, which can also help a business to save money on costly electrical bills.

When deciding on an air conditioning system, it is important to take into account the energy and cost-efficient qualities of the different options out there. However, you should also discuss your options with a consultant who can guide you through the implementation process and help you to determine the best options for your business, based on the building’s qualities and individual needs. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the alternatives to air conditioning?

There are a few different alternatives to the traditional air conditioning system. These include geothermal heating and cooling, a ductless or mini-split air conditioning unit, and ice-powered air conditioning units. There are also the more basic alternatives of electric floor or ceiling fans, rather than the typical air conditioning unit. 

What is the most eco friendly HVAC system?

Geothermal heat pumps are noted as the most environmentally friendly HVAC system– this is according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Geothermal heat pumps are said to be the number one option in terms of energy efficiency, eco-friendliness, and cost. 

What are different types of cooling devices?

There are several different types of cooling devices. These include heat pumps, central air conditioning systems, window air conditioning units, ductless mini-split air conditioning systems, and evaporative or swamp coolers.

What are the most common cooling systems?

Some of the most common cooling systems are central air conditioning, ductless mini-split systems, and evaporative air conditioners. However, these systems being the most common does not necessarily mean that they are the best or most efficient options. You should do your research to find the best system for your needs and your space. 

What can I use instead of AC?

There are other options on the market besides the traditional air conditioning unit. Some options include geothermal heat pumps or ice-powered air conditioners, both of which are more eco and cost-friendly options. If you do not want to install an alternative air conditioning option, you could also use a portable fan or portable standing air conditioner unit. 

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