How to Make Your Air Conditioning More Sustainable

If you’re looking for ways to lower your carbon footprint you're not alone. According to the Office for National Statistics, 77% of UK adults have made some or a lot of changes to their lifestyle to help tackle climate change.

Yet our changing world brings about conflicting priorities. We want to lower our energy consumption, but we also want to protect ourselves and our families from the potential dangers of rising temperatures.

Whether you already have an air conditioning system or are looking to have one installed, there are ways you can improve its eco credentials.  

How Can I Make My AC More Environmentally Friendly?

Make Sure it Sized Correctly

Correct sizing is essential for optimising the efficiency of your air conditioning system. Too small and it won’t be able to generate enough power to cool the space effectively - and it will waste a lot of energy attempting to do so.

At the other end of the scale, if your system is too big you’ll likely find it runs irregular cycles, powering up and shutting off inconsistently as it tries to regulate the temperature in a space that is too small for its output. 

Either way it is not an efficient use of energy, so be sure to seek professional advice on the right size system for your needs.

Use a Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats are one of the easiest ways to make your air con more environmentally friendly, because they do all the work for you. 

At a basic level you can control your system remotely through an app on your phone. This means you can ensure a cool environment when you get home without leaving it running all day, or shut your system off if you’re away from the house for longer than expected. 

With a more advanced set-up a smart thermostat can use sensors and programmable features to react to your schedule, learning when the house is likely to be empty and when there’s likely to be high traffic. Some can even track the weather and make adjustments to your temperature settings accordingly.

Keep on Top of Maintenance 

Just like any energy consuming appliance, if your AC system is not well maintained it won’t perform at its best.

You can keep things running smoothly with some general AC maintenance, like cleaning or replacing filters regularly and keeping debris away from the outdoor condenser unit. 

In addition, be sure to book an annual service with a qualified engineer. They’ll thoroughly inspect your system to check for faults and leaks, give it a professional clean and run performance tests. All of this will keep your system running at optimum levels, thus lowering its energy use. 

Pair it With a Renewable Energy Source

If you have a modern system like an ASHP and have the capacity to do so, pairing it with a solar panel and battery system is a great way to bring your carbon footprint down. It may be a big investment to make, but in the long term it's of benefit to both the environment and your pocket. 

Of course this is not an option for everyone. A more accessible alternative would be to sign up with a renewable energy supplier. 

Upgrade Your System

If you had your air conditioning installed a while ago you may find that its energy efficiency rating is somewhat lower than that of the systems available today. Technology has come a long way and an upgrade to more modern equipment could see your carbon footprint reduced significantly.

Air source heat pumps (ASHPs) are a particularly good option. They work in reverse to provide heat in the winter months, making them a low carbon alternative to traditional gas boilers. 

The tips above for sustainable air con apply to both households and small commercial properties alike. If you’re a business running a larger system with an effective rated output of 12kW or more you can arrange a TM44 inspection for advice on how to improve its efficiency.

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