These days with the constant use of air conditioning and heating, we may want to make sure we use the air con in a way that is eco friendly. This not only helps to save our precious resources; it also saves on running costs and will preserve the life of your air conditioning unit. Most people consider keeping the filters clean to be sufficient, but there is much more you can do to help the planet that requires little effort.
If you are getting a split system, make sure it’s an inverter. These have variable speed so rather than switching the compressor on and off all the time, they simply reduce its speed automatically to match demand. This results in less power use and less wear the tear on the compressor.
Before purchasing an air con, make sure it is the right size for your needs. If you get one that’s too big for the area to be cooled it will be constantly turning on and off, which costs more to run. If it is too small, you won’t be as cool and the unit will always be working harder to cool the area. This will make it wear out much more quickly.
A licensed electrician and authorised air conditioner installer will know how to estimate your heat load and tell you what size unit would be best.
Look at the energy rating labels on the air con before you choose what to get. The blue band is for cool air and the red band is for heat. In some cases, there is another short band above the bottom one that also contains stars. If they are solid in this area it means that air con is super efficient. 7 to 10 stars is good for efficiency and so sustainability.
While ducted air conditioners are great in providing cooling and heating in the whole house, they are not considered to be really sustainable – eco friendly – because they lose so much cool or hot air through the ducting. In a large home, the ducting goes a long way between the unit and the vent. You can reduce this loss by making sure the ducting is insulated and checking it for holes or tears on a regular basis.
Split air conditioners are considered to be the most efficient and hence, the most eco friendly. However, if they have only one head, they won’t cool the whole room. You may need to consider a multi head unit and look carefully at the price.
Your climate will dictate to a great extent what kind of air con you purchase. It is not always necessary to have a refrigerated type that is reverse cycle. In hot, dry areas, an evaporative type is popular because it allows moisture into the cool air. This would not be good for humid areas as they would make it even more humid. Even if they did cool the air, mould would still grow.