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Why Is Limiting Your Air Conditioner Usage Important?

SW unit installed on a tile roofAir conditioners and other HVAC systems are expensive to run and are surprisingly large contributors to environmental degradation and climate change. The energy used by these systems to keep us cool in increasingly warmer temperatures only serve to increase greenhouse gas emissions, making the planet even warmer. 

In 2018 it was estimated that the global stock of air conditioners was 1.6 billion. A figure expected to reach 5.6 billion by 2050. This is not a joke. Air conditioners are a serious problem in our fight against climate change. As Dr Raynes-Goldie describes it here, “the more we reach for the thermostat, the more we contribute to climate change”. Some suggestions that the article makes to stay cool without an air conditioner include:

  • Shutting all the windows and doors when the air-con is in use
  • Just cool the room that you are in
  • Set the temperature as high as you can comfortably afford

At Solar Whiz we offer a far more efficient way to stay cool sustainably; powerful ventilation and roof cooling systems.

 

Why Does Ventilation Matter?

Proper roof ventilation is one of the most cost-effective and energy-efficient methods of keeping your house cool and healthy. During summer, your roof space can heat up to ridiculously hot temperatures. It is not uncommon for roofs to reach temperatures about 65 degrees celsius, which can have serious impacts on your home. These can include:

  • Limited capacity for your air conditioner to work. When a roof space is incredibly hot the ducting for HVAC systems are also incredibly hot. That means that more energy is required to deliver a cooling effect. This is a highly inefficient and expensive way to stay cool.
  • Heat transfers into living spaces. Heat build-up in your roof radiates down into the below rooms making them hot and stuffy, increasing the need to run an air conditioner.
  • Damage to internal structures. If the temperature in your roof gets too hot, there is a risk of internal structures becoming compromised and damaged.

This is why ventilation and roof cooling systems are critical in reducing your dependency on air conditioners.

How Does Ventilation Keep You Cool?

Firstly, there are two main methods for ventilating spaces: passive and active.

Passive:

Passive ventilation mostly relies on design methods to improve heat and air movement and control. We have talked about it more here. Essentially, while passive ventilation doesn’t cost anything (after installation) to you or the planet it should not be depended on to achieve the necessary results.

Active:

Active ventilation uses some form of powered and mechanical machinery to ventilate a space. In order to have the smallest impact on the planet, solar power is the best and most sustainable way to power a fan. This is why Solar Whiz offers solar cooling fans as a ventilation solution.

 

The way it works

Solar energy cooling systems like Solar Whiz work by extracting hot and/or contaminated air and replacing it with cooler, ambient air.

We use one of three methods for ventilation:

  • Eave Vent Roof VentilationThis method works by extracting hot air from the roof space and replacing it with outdoor air, usually brought in through eave vents.
  • Ceiling Roof Ventilation – This method works by extracting hot air straight from the hot rooms inside the house. 
  • Ducted Ventilation/Exhaust – This is a specialised method of extraction most often used in commercial settings to remove fumes from workspaces

heat extraction diagram 1heat extraction diagramheat extraction diagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A properly ventilated home will stay cooler during summer and hot days. That means that you won’t have to use your air condition anywhere near as much (if at all) to stay comfortable. Solar cooling fans are the smartest and most sustainable option to invest in if you’re looking to improve your home’s energy efficiency. 

Get in contact with us at Solar Whiz to hear more about our solar energy cooling systems!