Keeping Cool without Hurting the Planet: 5 Tips to Consider for Conscientious AC Users

30 April 2015
 Categories: Business, Articles


Climate analysts claim Australia is going to be hugely affected by global warming. The increased temperatures make air conditioning seem more critical for comfort, health and safety, but unfortunately, air conditioners contribute to global warming. This quandary leaves conscientious people with one question: is it possible to stay cool while minimising damage to the planet?

In most cases, it is as long as you keep the following ideas about home and vehicle air conditioning in mind:

1. Be hotter

Excessive heat makes it hard to work and study, but a planet with intense temperatures and rising water levels doesn't really make working or studying any easier. To help keep climate change under control, be willing to be hotter.

Turn on the air conditioner, but don't turn the thermostat down too far. Instead, leave your home warm but tolerable. Dress in as few clothes as possible, and if you run an office, consider modifying the dress code so workers can wear shorts, sundresses or other items that make working in relatively hot temperatures more comfortable.

2. Boost your system's efficiency

Regardless of the temperatures you embrace, you need an efficient unit. Even at relatively high temperatures, inefficient units waste energy. Learn how to change your filters, ensure your ductwork is clean and keep your system running efficiently with regular professional maintenance. This is true for both car and home air conditioners.

If your air conditioner is more than ten years old, have an air conditioning service look at it and determine if you should trade it in for a new, more efficient unit.

3. Tap into natural cooling methods

One theory explaining why people have become so reliant on artificial cooling has to do with worldwide changes in how the environment is working. In the past, temperatures used to cool down at night, and as a result, people could turn off their air conditioners and open the windows.

Unfortunately, in many parts of the world, nights are not as cool as they used to be, and this fact necessitates the need for more artificial cooling. The increased cooling, in turn, increases temperatures, and the cycle continues.

When trying to reduce how much you use your air conditioner, you can't just think about your personal temperatures, the system's efficiency and how sealed your home is. You also need to think about the area around your home.

Tap into natural cooling methods by planting trees. These shade your home, reducing your need for air conditioning, and they also help reduce greenhouse gasses. As you wait for your trees to grow, integrate shade sails around your home and garden. Consider adding a pond and foliage into your landscaping to create a cool, riparian area as well.

By helping the environment to be cooler in your corner of the planet, you reduce your own need for cooling, but you also help the planet as a whole.

4. Change your coolants

If you have an old air conditioner, you may have CFC coolants in it. These coolants are known to be harmful to the ozone layer, and if possible, you should look for an air conditioner that uses gases that are less harmful to the environment.

If you have an older system, talk with an air conditioner repair person about the possibility of removing the existing coolant in your system and replacing it with something more environmentally friendly.

5. Modify your cooling strategy on the road as well

When it comes to making air conditioning more efficient and less harmful to the environment, many people focus exclusively on their home or work air conditioning. However, if you own a car with an air conditioner in it, you also need to think about that as well.

Keep the advice from above and be willing to be a little hot in your car. Also, use a windscreen shade or a shady parking spot to keep your car cool when not in use.

You can keep cool and own an air conditioner without wrecking havoc on the planet. You simply need to use it less, embrace natural cooling methods and always be vigilant. Whether you are at work, at home or on the road, pay attention to how often you use your AC and how efficiently it runs.