Air Conditioning to Fight Global Warming
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Air conditioners offer respite from the heat of the sun, cooling not only your home but shopping malls, hospitals and offices. Choosing to install air conditioners in the home and commercial buildings has become an increasingly popular choice for many due to rising temperatures around the world – we now currently have 1 billion running air conditioning units worldwide.
Air conditioning lowers the temperature in a room, but can also change levels of humidity and the quality of the air – making air conditioners highly desirable in hot countries. In recent decades, air conditioning went from a luxury to a standard in many countries, with Japan leading the way with over 90% of the population having installed air conditioning in their homes.
Concerns with Air Conditioning
Air conditioning has posed an interesting problem for those fighting for greener policies from corporations and governments. As the planet gets hotter, air conditioning use increases. This leads to greater energy consumption, which itself contributes to the warming of the Earth’s climate. It’s a problematic cycle.
Cities contain an abundance of concrete structures — from buildings to bridges — all of which absorb heat during the day and release it during the night. This process can raise nighttime temperatures by up to 2°C, causing residents to increase the use of their air conditioning.
On top of all of this, air conditioners run on greenhouse gases called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are thousands of times more powerful than carbon dioxide. This gas leaks from air conditioners, especially those in vehicles, into the surrounding atmosphere, causing extensive damage to the ozone layer, contributing heavily to global warming.
Top 5 Ways Air Conditioning Companies Can Fight Global Warming
- Environmentally-friendly refrigerants.
The very first air conditioning units used flammable and toxic gases to fuel the appliance, such as ammonia and propane. Fatal accidents occurred when the air conditioning malfunctioned, so refrigerants were created, known as CFC, HCFC and HFC which were non-flammable and non-toxic, making them more suitable for use. R-22 (an HCFC refrigerant) was the most commonly used refrigerant up until 2011, when a phase-out occurred after it became apparent it was massively contributing to climate change.
Recent technological developments have lead to the discovery of more environmentally friendly refrigerants, such as hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs), which have low toxicity, global warming potential and ozone depletion potential. Manufacturers are slowly incorporating this technology into new models, but work still needs to be done to perfect the formula, as HFOs can be highly flammable. HFCs such as R410A and R134 are by far the most popular choice currently, as they offer better air quality, increased comfort and reliability.
- Inverter technology
Using high energy and high efficient products from now on, in every industry, is crucial to combating climate change. Inverters are a piece of technology which accurately controls the voltage, current and frequency of the compressor motor, which is the main component of an air conditioner. With an inverter, an air conditioner uses 58% less energy, as it maintains the surrounding temperature without turning the motor on and off (which consumes more energy).
- Newer and stricter guidelines for manufacturers.
Enforcing minimum energy performance on appliances and making energy labels that are clear to the consumer are some of the quickest ways to improve efficiency and reduce emissions. Unfortunately, regulations aren’t strictly enforced in many countries, leading many corporations to give inaccurate and puzzling information when selling their products. If stricter guidelines are established, it’s predicted millions of tonnes of CO2 emissions could be saved from just this initiative alone.
- CO2 extraction
Technology is currently in development, which allows air conditioners to extract CO2 from the surrounding area and transform it into fuel powerful enough to run cargo ships. Although the concept is still in progress, this method of CO2 extraction may become relied upon in the near future.
- Recycling programmes
Recycling initiatives are a great way of protecting the environment from harmful waste, such as old air conditioners. Many organisations have started to offer a recycling service when you trade in your old one for a newer one. Reducing the number of air conditioners sent to landfill will prevent dangerous refrigerants from being released into the atmosphere, contributing further to global warming.
What Manufacturers Are Doing to Help
Companies such as Toshiba, Mitsubishi and Airway Group, have all started to implement environmental policies and processes to help tackle the issue of climate change. Toshiba offers an easy way to upgrade your current air conditioning units – the service offers the collection and recycling of your old system when you buy a newer, more efficient air conditioner. Mitsubishi has also developed an end of life recycling system, using third-party services to provide an easy way of disposing of old units the safest and most environmentally friendly way possible.
The air conditioning brand Daikin, spreads the use of inverter technology globally, as it wholeheartedly believes in the use of inverters to significantly reduce global emissions from air conditioners. When inverters first entered the market, they were considerably more expensive than non-inverter products. Daikin has done extensive work to make inverter products more affordable, so it’s easier for the consumer to make a more environmentally-friendly choice.
Here at Airway Air Conditioning, we are proud of our status as a Daikin D1+ Premium Partner, which allows us to offer a 7-year warranty on all our Daikin air conditioners. The team are highly qualified and have the knowledge required to provide the highest quality installation in your building. We are committed to ensuring our company aims to be as carbon neutral as possible, and employ policies such as:
- Recognises relevant legislation, regulations and government guidance
- Meets industrial codes of practice
- Minimise all waste, and conserve energy and natural resources
- Registered waste disposal companies must be used, as must licensed tips for any waste disposal
- Take proactive steps to ensure our customers are in compliance with all F Gas regulation
Click here for more information on our environmental policies.
Air conditioning has always been a topic of debate when it comes to global warming. With climate change becoming a bigger concern, it’s evident companies are redirecting their business plans in line with more environmentally friendly policies. If you’re looking for a carbon-neutral way of cooling your home or business, please get in touch with a member of our friendly team today.