Specifier Review
Top tips for using air conditioning in a sustainable way: how to keep cool while saving energy

Top tips for using air conditioning in a sustainable way: how to keep cool while saving energy

While there is a plethora of advantages to using air conditioning, not everyone utilises it in an efficient way, which translates to added costs and superfluous energy waste.

This could easily be avoided by employing simple solutions and making small adjustments to our everyday routine at times when using air conditioning is absolutely necessary.

In this piece David Lewis, HVACR engineer at leading engineering firm adi Group provides expert advice on how to use air conditioning systems while reducing energy consumption and saving money. 

“What many don’t realise is that there are ways air conditioning can used efficiently, and that even the smallest of changes can help save costs and contribute to environmental sustainability.

It’s all about how we use air conditioning and the systems we choose. There are ways air conditioning can serve its purpose without causing more damage than necessary,” he states.

Below are some of the ways individuals can rely on air conditioning while ensuring their habits are not causing additional damage to the environment.

Choosing the right air conditioning systems

The efficiency of an air conditioner can have a significant impact on energy saving. By installing the right models, ones that are right in size but also suited to the environment they will be placed in, maximising energy efficiency becomes easier.

A unit that’s too large might cool an environment faster, but it is inevitably inefficient when it comes to saving costs and energy. A unit that’s too small, on the other hand, might need to be kept on for longer in order to work in the desired way, also resulting in wasted energy.

Choosing air conditioning alternatives that are HFC-free can have a significant impact when it comes to protecting the environment, particularly when considering that these greenhouse gases considerably contribute to global warming.

Faulty or poorly built air conditioning units can also leak or otherwise malfunction, damaging the environment by releasing climate-harming substances.

Choosing energy-efficient air conditioning units is a necessary step that won’t compromise their efficacy while having a positive impact on the planet, and it is one that is therefore worth taking.

Considering a building’s design

Depending on how a building is designed and where it’s located, it might be more likely to be reached by direct sunlight.

A top-floor office with large windows, for instance, might be a naturally warmer environment during summer months, making turning on air conditioning tempting.

However, simple solutions such as closing blinds or curtains can go a long way. By making an environment feel naturally less warm, individuals might be less likely to need to switch on air conditioners, or otherwise be able to keep it on at a higher temperature.

Properly insulating doors and windows can similarly ensure that no warm air gets in and that no cold air escapes, consequently increasing air conditioning units’ performance.

Changing our habits

Making even the smallest of adjustments to our routine when using air conditioning can make all the difference when it comes to saving energy.

For instance, remembering to turn off air conditioning when leaving a building and closing all windows and doors can help save a significant amount of energy.

Using a fan or ceiling fan can reduce the need to keep air conditioning on a lower temperature, and help cold air circulate in a building without wasting too much energy.

On a particularly hot day, individuals may also feel tempted to use air conditioning on a lower setting, but when it comes to energy efficiency this is not advisable, particularly when considering that going even 1 °C lower could add up to an extra 10% of energy use.

Installing a smart thermostat is another efficient solution, offering the option to set schedules and therefore make sure air conditioners aren’t kept on longer than they should, for example at night.

The importance of upkeep

Regular maintenance is incredibly important when it comes to saving energy.

By verifying that air conditioning units are functioning properly, individuals can be sure their air conditioners aren’t working harder than they should to do their job, wasting more energy than necessary.

Regularly cleaning air ducts and replacing potentially faulty parts can ensure that units continue to perform smoothly, helping save both energy and money.

It is estimated that replacing a dirty filter can decrease energy usage by 5-15%. It is therefore not difficult to see how failing to maintain air conditioning units can result in increased energy waste that can easily be avoided.

Relying on experts

Qualified engineering professionals can deliver effective solutions that are perfectly suited to clients’ needs as well as being energy efficient.

adi Group offer HVAC services and solutions that focus on sustainability at every stage while remaining reliable and effective.

For more information please visit: https://www.adiltd.co.uk/divisions/adi-facilities-engineering  

Top tips for using air conditioning in a sustainable way: how to keep cool while saving energy

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