cooling refers to the way we condition indoor air. In areas of extreme
climates, furnaces and air conditioners may be a necessity. In areas
with more moderate climates, heating and cooling are nice to have.
Air is heated several ways. Burning wood and coal heats up air. Air
can also run over hot metal coils. Fans can spread air around making
a room feel cooler. Air conditioners run air over coils that condense
the moisture in the air and remove the heat.
youre really cold, you shiver. Thats your bodys
natural reaction to try to warm up, and it takes energy to do all
that shaking. Just like your body burns energy to keep warm, energy
is burned to keep houses and businesses warm or cool.
cooling a home uses more energy, and more money, than any other
system in the home. According to the Department of Energy, 44% of
a homes typical utility costs are for heating and cooling.
Beyond the personal cost, theres also an environmental cost.
In the United States alone, heating and cooling systems emit over
a half billion tons of into the atmosphere each year, adding to . They also generate about 24% of the nation's sulfur
dioxide and 12% of the , the chief ingredients in .
also use a lot of energy to heat and cool. Space heating and cooling
use 46% of all energy consumed in U.S. buildings. Air-conditioning
is the single leading cause of peak demand for electricity and is
a major user of
unlikely that homes and businesses will simply turn off air conditioners
and furnaces, how can the environmental problems associated with
the systems be addressed? Efficiency. The Department of Energy states
that advanced energy conversion technology can save 50% of the energy
currently devoted to heating and cooling. The improved technologies
can also eliminate CFCs completely. Besides saving energy, the advanced
systems substantially reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (a greenhouse
gas), sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides, which contribute to smog
and acid rain (emissions that result from the burning of fossil
fuels used to generate electricity).
Technologies like , improvements in efficiencies of gas-burning furnaces,
and utilizing can help realize these goals.
There are even
simpler things everyone can do, that dont involve installing
entire new systems. Using the "whole-house" approach can
have a huge impact on energy bills. Look at your entire house's
energy use. By combining proper equipment maintenance and upgrades
with appropriate insulation, weatherization, and thermostat settings,
you can cut your energy bills and your pollution output in half.
- Energy Efficiency
and Renewable Energy Network (Department of Energy). "Heating
and Cooling." (Online)
- Energy Efficiency
and Renewable Energy Network (Department of Energy). Office of
Building Technology, State and Community Programs. (Online)
pumps are the most efficient form of electric heating in moderate
climates, providing three times more heating than the equivalent
amount of energy they consume in electricity. More
passive solar design techniques to heat and cool your home can be
both environmentally friendly and cost effective. More
A look at the
air conditioning efficiency debate.
Keeping cool indoors when it is hot outdoors is a problem. Air conditioning
can be expensive to install and operate. But, there are alternatives
to air conditioning.