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There's Nothing Quite Like Common Sense Approach to Cooling Energy Reduction

Thomas Yoon

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In my previous articles on how to save energy from your air conditioning units, I have touched on some of the tasks you can do and also on some of the tasks that you need the expertise from Professionals.

In today's article, I am going to show you some common sense approaches to getting the cooling you want without spending much money.

I have mentioned before in another article that heat must flow from a higher energy state to a lower energy state - simply put; it means that heat can flow from a hot object to a cold object and not the other way round. Essentially, this means that if your surrounding atmospheric air temperature is 30 degree C, the temperature of the air in the room need to be above this value in order for the heat to be transferred out.

This requirement is made used of in the principles of mechanical refrigeration by making the condenser coils hotter than the surrounding atmosphere and then cooling it down to atmospheric temperatures.

Shading the Condenser Units

With that in mind, it makes good sense not to let the condenser coils become heated more than it should. Sunlight shining on the exterior condenser units of your air conditioner will reduce its efficiency because radiant heat from the sun adds to the heat load.

You can make the system more efficient by shading this outside component of your split central air conditioning system with trees, shrubs, a fence or even a roof. For window air conditioning units, you can locate them on the north and/or east side of the house where the sun seldom shines. However, be sure not to restrict the airflow around the unit, because that's how the cooling is done.

Increase Air Movement

Supplement your air conditioner with fans. The air movement in the room will make you feel cooler and allow you to raise the thermostat, thus reducing the air conditioner energy use.

However, do remember to turn off the fans, including ceiling fans, when you’re not in room. Leaving them on wastes energy and actually adds to the heat. Remember that ENERGY STAR qualified fans are not only energy efficient but are also quiet.

Nighttime Ventilation

Nighttime ventilation is another low-cost cooling strategy. If the temperature and humidity drop after the sun goes down, open the windows to exhaust indoor air and pull in cool outdoor air into the house.

Better still, you can install exhaust fans for this purpose. With timers set to start the exhaust fans at around 4 p. m. and stopping at around 7 a. m. , the cool air of the night will be drawn into the interior of the home to cool down its walls, floors, and ceilings in the night. During the daytime, the cool interior mass of building materials will absorb the heat of the day to give a resultant cooling effect to the occupants.

The above measures will reduce the cooling load on an existing air conditioning unit. If you want to do more, here are some other ideas:

Installing Reflective and Insulated Roofing

During the day, the sun gives out a lot of radiant heat to the surroundings. By building thick walls with good insulating properties, installing reflective window glass to divert the heat away, painting walls with light colors and insulating roofing from the direct radiation of the sun, you can help reduce the heat absorbed by a building.

Shading from Trees

Careful orientation of the building can reduce the cooling load on air conditioning system by reducing the radiant heat absorbed by the sun.

In fact if there are more trees around, you will have a natural way of cooling. If you have been to a dense forest stream area, you will understand that the lush vegetation and moisture in the air and on the ground helps cool down the surrounding atmosphere. It's not even low cost, it's no cost cooling!

Thomas Yoon specializes in cartoon illustrations at that will make an impact on people's opinions. More information on Marine and M & E engineering.


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