An AC unit should not be seen as a standalone system. Instead, you should look at it as an active cooling system that can benefit from some passive cooling strategies. Active cooling refers to something that uses electricity to cool your home, and passive cooling refers to something that taps into natural phenomena to either cool your home down or prevent it from heating up in the first place. Because you do not have to pay for the energy not used in passive cooling, you can decrease your cooling costs by implementing them in your home.
Start at the Top
Your roof gets the most exposure to the sun. This means that your roof is responsible for most solar heat gain during the day. In other words, it is highly likely that your roof absorbs the sun's energy and then conducts it into your home in the form of heat that your AC unit then has to contend with. If you want to decrease the amount of heat that enters your home through your roof, little things can make a big difference. For example, simply using a white roof can reduce cooling costs by up to 15–20 percent. The trick is that a white roof will reflect most of the sun's energy away from your home. While you should not feel like you need to rush out and replace your roof, you should consider replacing your existing roof with a white roof whenever it seems possible or necessary.
Turn to the Trees
While a white roof will help to prevent your home from heating up in the first place, you can also take steps to improve the functioning of your AC unit. For example, you can help your condenser coils to cool air more efficiently by planting trees. A condenser unit depends on a steady supply of relatively cool air in order to cool the refrigerant running through it. Trees cool the air through a process known as evapotranspiration. The air cooled by the trees will then settle into your yard, where it can be used by your condenser to cool refrigerant. You might think that you would have to wait decades for a tree to grow enough to make a difference, but by planting fast-growing trees, you could see benefits in just a few years.
The two tips discussed above should be enough to prove the merits of passive cooling. Little things such as a white roof can make a big difference in cooling costs. If you are dealing with exorbitant cooling costs, utilizing passive cooling strategies may be part of the answer for making your costs more manageable.
For more tips on both active and passive cooling, contact a professional HVAC contractor.Share
14 July 2017
As a DIY enthusiast, I started doing everything I could to make my household appliances more effective then ever before. I insulated my attic, worked on cleaning the vents around my kitchen appliances, and eventually turned my attention to my air conditioner and furnace. Unfortunately, the process of taking care of my HVAC system was more intense than I had originally anticipated. I realized that I needed to read about air conditioners and furnaces before I started tinkering around. I made this blog to showcase all kinds of different articles that talk about HVAC, so that you can become a more informed homeowner.