A Guide to Environmentally Friendly Household Heating and Cooling

Home / Education / A Guide to Environmentally Friendly Household Heating and Cooling

A Guide to Environmentally Friendly Household Heating and Cooling

Are you stuck in this summer heat dreaming of being cool?

Choosing the right cooling system for your home or business can be difficult. It’s a decision that needs to a number of specific factors and with recent advancements in technology it is important to get the right advice.

To assess the best options for your individual needs you need to consider factors such as:

  • The size of the home or room you want to cool
  • The size and position of your windows and level of existing insulation
  • How cool you want the home or room to be
  • Number of occupants
  • Personal preference on ideal temperature and humidity levels; and
  • Of course, the local weather and climate in your area

When considering the best system for you, energy and water efficiency should also be placed on the list of considerations for both the long term sake of the environment and your wallet!

So where to start?

Here is a guide from our cooling specialists on the two more popular methods to maintaining a comfortable climate indoors.

Refrigerated Air Conditioning

There are two main types of air conditioning units:

  • Conventional Units which operate the compressor at one constant speed, switching on and off depending on the temperature setting. This is referred to as stop start principle.
  • Inverter Technology which allows the rotating speed of the compressor to move up or down depending on the required output of the unit and therefore never switches off completely.

Refrigerated cooling with inverter technology is the more environmentally friendly and energy efficient option out of these two above options

Positives of Inverter Technology

  • You can save up to 30-50% of your energy consumption by installing a unit with an inverter compared with a conventional air conditioner
  • Units reach the desired temperature quicker and maintain it with minimal fluctuations
  • Ability to operate consistently when the temperature soars above 40°C for cooling or falls below low minus 15°C for heating

Don’t forget the heating!

Another important consideration in selecting an air conditioner is whether it comes with a ‘Reverse Cycle’ mode that can also heat your home. This means that in winter the same air conditioner can act as a heater and can either supplement or replace your existing gas or electric heating at equal or often lower running costs.

Can it work with solar power?

Yes. For those home owners or businesses that have solar power installed of this type of system would in many cases have a zero running cost if powered by your solar array.

Size considerations

The appropriate sizing of the air conditioner is very important to ensure it does not work excessively and the inverter is used as it should. Under sizing the unit means it will over work to condition the area it has been installed in. Seek advice from an expert to ensure that you are getting the right system for your home and needs.

Brand comparisons

Daikin, Fujitsu, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Electric and ActronAir are all reliable, have excellent build quality and have the latest technology and features that provide all round comfort 365 days the year. From an environmental perspective Daikin is the first company in the world to manufacture a unit with a high efficiency 7 Star energy rating compared with the 3-5 stars of most other brands.

Ducted Evaporative Cooling

Evaporative-cooling-border1

How does it work?

Outside air is drawn through moist pads and ducted within the roof space to various zones of the property. This is done via a ventilation fan in the unit which directs the cool air through these ducts. Doors and windows must remain open while the unit is in use.

Positives of Evaporative Cooling

  • Evaporative units can have a lower upfront cost for installation into the home or workplace
  • The systems generally use less energy than a similar sized conventional air conditioning system and are comparative to modern inverter air conditioners

Can it work with solar power?

Yes. As evaporative coolers are usually used in the heat of the day, you can take advantage of free electricity from solar panels.

Negatives of Evaporative Cooling

  • Evaporative cooling systems do not work effectively on very humid days or on continued days of extreme heat due to the heat load build up in the house
  • Systems use a large amounts of water while operating– up to 25 litres per hour for a ducted home system
  • Some people can also feel the increased humidity from the evaporative cooler
  • Evaporative coolers also may need to be serviced more regularly than air conditioning systems due to salt build up on moisture pads
  • Studies by Sustainability Victoria have also found that ducting vents from evaporative coolers can represent a significant source of warm air leakage in Winter. Removable duct covers are available to block the air flow however require manually taking them on and off each year.

The different brands

Evaporative units come in various models also and degrees of quality. We install units from the Seeley range (Coolair, Braemar and Breezair brands) as well as Brivis with units available in a range of sizes and in various colours to suit your tiled or tin roof.

So which is better – Refrigerated Air Conditioning or Evaporative Cooling?

For most people this ultimately comes down to personal preference. Until recently evaporative cooling was thought to the more energy efficient option, however with the recent technology improvements, modern inverter air conditioning can now be as equally efficient or even more so in some cases. The one thing for sure is that average temperatures are on the rise, so sustainable solutions to keep us cool are becoming more necessary.

For more information or a quote on an energy efficient cooling or heating system please contact EnviroGroup today on 1300 430 430 or heatingandcooling@envirogroup.com.au.

Get in Touch

Please leave this field empty.

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment

Contact Us

Send us an email and we'll get back to you, ASAP.