Air conditioners aren’t generally known for their eco-friendliness, but sometimes they get a bad reputation that they don’t deserve. Air conditioners can use a lot of energy to cool your home; if that energy comes from non-renewable sources, it can be hard on the environment and strain natural resources. Some people also express concerns about the presence of hydrofluorocarbons in the air conditioning unit. This is the chemical inside the air conditioner that actually produces the cool air; you’ll find the same compound in your refrigerator. These chemicals have been linked to global warming (however, rest assured that if your air conditioner is working correctly, those chemicals will not be released into the air!).
So is it possible to have a cool home without damaging the environment? Absolutely. Our heating and air conditioning services company in New Braunfels has worked with many customers in the area to help them find an air conditioning unit that’s the right balance of eco-friendliness and cooling efficiency. Here are some of our best tips for finding an AC unit you can feel good about having in your home.
Tips to Help You Choose an Eco-Friendly Air Conditioner
Read the labels.
Reading the labels on the air conditioning units you are looking at is key to finding one that’s going to be easier on the environment. More specifically, you need to be looking at their energy rating labels. These labels will tell you how much energy you can expect to use during the course of a year running the unit and how much money it’s likely to cost you. Compare the labels on the units carefully; some units can use up to 50% less energy than other units, both saving you a lot of money and strain on natural resources. You’ll be surprised how much difference there can be in energy usage between two similar-looking AC units!
Look for two-stage compressors.
Air conditioners work by compressing the heat out of the air. Some air conditioners have a single state compressor, meaning they work just as hard to remove the heat when the outside air is cool as they do when it’s hot. That means they are wasting energy on cooling air that might not need to be cooled as much. A two-stage compressor, though, will adjust along with the outside air temperature so it doesn’t use as much energy to cool your home when the outside air is cooler, too. Less energy means less money and less strain on the environment.
Right-size your AC.
Some homeowners are tempted to get the biggest air conditioning unit possible for their home in order to ensure they are always nice and cool. It can actually work against your comfort. First, larger units are going to be more expensive to run and use way more energy than is necessary. Of course, choosing the smallest unit possible isn’t a good idea, either. Units that are too small for the space are going to work harder for longer and use more energy in the process (plus you won’t get to enjoy the benefits of the cool air in every area of your house, either). Picking an air conditioner for your home is a lot like the story of Goldilocks and the three bears: you need to pick one that’s not too big, not too small, but just right.
Maintenence is key.
Air conditioners aren’t a “set it and forget it” appliance. They need to be regularly maintained by a professional in order to ensure they are in good working order and there are no issues looming in the near future. Poorly maintained units are going to have a negative impact on the environment; they could be leaking chemicals into the air and ground around them, as well as using more energy to produce less cool air for your home. Maintenance can help prevent hydrofluorocarbons (mentioned above) from impacted the environment as well. Not only is this an environmental issue, units that aren’t maintained at least annually are going to be more expensive to run, too.
Change your thermostat.
If you aren’t already using a programmable thermostat, you need to make the change immediately. That’s because a programmable thermostat makes your heating and cool much more energy efficient. You’ll be able to set temperatures that require less energy usage when you are going during the day and create the right temperatures at night when you are sleeping. You should explore smart thermostat options, too. These units allow you to change the temperature of your home on your phone, so you can even turn down the temperature when you are out for the evening to ensure you aren’t using too much energy. They are easy to install and can integrate with virtually any HVAC system.
Want Help Finding and Installing the Right AC Unit for Your Home?
We can help! Contact Legacy Services and ask to speak to a team member in our heating and air conditioning services department. We can help you find an air conditioning unit for your home that’s eco-friendly and within your budget, then get it installed for you right away. It might be the beginning of the year but this is the perfect time to start thinking about your cooling needs! Get in touch with our team to get a free quote on our services and to learn more about how we can help you create an eco-friendly home today.