Green Wiki



Green A/C Alternatives and Home Improvements to Minimize Home Energy Consumption== Of all home appliances, the largest consumer of home energy is without a doubt central A/C systems .

People who live in warmer desert climates may fell that there is no real alternative to running air conditioning if they want to keep their homes comfortable .

While it may be true that the need to run an air conditioner in your home may be unavoidable, there are things you can do to make your A/C run more efficiently, and there are other options to help you stay comfortable in your home without the use of central air conditioning, including:

  • Home ventilation improvements: There may not be a "solution" to A/C use but there are eco-friendly alternatives. Whole house fans, garage fans, and attic fans all do a really good job of ventilating a home and sweeping in cool, refreshing outdoor air while using a fraction of energy as a traditional A/C unit. QuietCool products work really well as they come with an Energy-Efficient PSC Motor or Ultra-Energy Efficient ECM Motor. Their whole house fans are also much quieter than a traditional whole house fan thanks to their patented design that puts the motor farther away from the home. All you need to do is turn on your whole house fan when it is cooler outside than inside. The thermal mass of the home will then change as thousands of CFMs of air sweep through the home and you will instantly feel a 10. Unlike an A/C, this affects the physical heat of household items and furniture which allows your home to stay cooler, longer.
  • Replacing older units with more efficient newer units. This may not be the most budget friendly option to cut home energy use, but it will make a difference. If your home's A/C system is 15 or so years old, then it's working much harder than it needs to in order to cool your home. EnergyStar ratings make it easy to choose a new air conditioner based on efficiency.
  • Use of ceiling fans, room fans, pedastal fans, etc. Air movement itself can lower the ambient temperature of areas withing your home. Ceiling fans have the advantage of being relatively inexpensive, unobtrusive, customizeable, and decorataive. They have a larger diameter than most box fans and other fans of that type, meaning they generally move more air with less power draw. It may be to your advantage to employ a licensed electrician if you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with electrical wiring.
  • Opening windows and letting your home "breathe." Homes that are well insulated can be prone to accumulating stuffy, oxygen-depleted air . Opening the windows on adjacent ends of the home can help create a crossbreeze, bringing in fresh outside air. This can be especially useful during morining and evenings if the temperature outside is lower than the thermal temperature of your home.
  • Mechanical ventialation systems . These are semi-permanently installed "fan systems" that manually expel stale hot air from homes. Common types of mechanical ventilation systems include attic fans , garage fans , and whole house systems . These systems work by cooling the thermal structure of the home, meaning that they move enough air to dissipate heat from the actual materials of your home. This results in a much-lessened need to run central A/C systems.
  • Home insulation improvements. This may not be an "alternative" to A/C use per say, but it can definitely help you run your air conditioner more efficiently. Window and door improvements and upgrades can make a fairly drastic impact. Poorly insulated windows in doors let small amounts of warm air in when your A/C is running. The effect is obvious, your A/C can effect the ambient temperature of your home with much less work when your home is well insulated.

When more and more homeowners adopt energy-efficient lifestyles in their home, we make a bigger impact on the big picture. Most (over %70) electricity is derived from fossil-fuels and other non-renewable resources. Not only will reducing your home energy use help us prepare for and deal with any energy crisis and shortages, but it can help decrease the possibility of energy shortage in the first place. It also works to ease the transition into use of renewable energy forms. So don't think you can't make a difference, every watt you save counts.