As the warm season approaches, your energy bills might get exceptionally high as you attempt to fight back the heat and humidity. With the increasing global average temperature, air conditioners have become the holy grail for almost everyone around the world.
Homeowners are searching for the most efficient and cost-friendly ways to cool down their living spaces. Air conditioners can make your home feel like heaven on a hot day. However, they might not be so good for your wallet. Try switching off your air conditioners for a month during a moderate climate and calculate their total power consumption. The results will shock you!
Americans spend around 29 billion dollars yearly adjusting the temperature of their living spaces. And approximately 117 million metric tons of greenhouse gases are released into the air in due process. We are making the earth hotter in our attempts to make our homes cool, aren’t we?
A solar air conditioning system is one of the groundbreaking innovations of the 21st century. They cool down our homes using a clean and sustainable form of energy. Not to forget that it is exceptionally considerate to your budget.
A standard air conditioner depends upon electricity to cool your surroundings through ductwork inside your living space. They compress refrigerants using high power and pressure to transfer the gas into a liquid state. No wonder it requires excessive electricity!
A solar-powered air conditioner, on the other hand, saves energy by harnessing solar power. The solar panels continuously collect heat and convert it into ambient temperature to heat the refrigerant. Solar AC relies entirely on energy from the sun to compress the gas.
Are solar-powered air conditioners an excellent alternative to electric and fossil-fuels powered ones? Well, let’s find out.
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Advantages of Solar Powered Air Conditioners
If you consider remodeling your living space or building a new home, you might want to invest in a decent air conditioning system. You certainly have plentiful choices in the market; however, if you’re going to give back to nature, how about considering solar-powered air conditioners?
The best thing about solar-powered technologies is that it utilizes the most abundant resource on the earth, the sun. According to a few reports, solar-powered air conditioning could save you as much as 50% on your annual or monthly energy bills.
Numerous people are skeptical about investing a large amount of money in solar-powered air conditioners. However, the long-term energy saving will totally offset the initial upfront costs. The Return on Investment (ROI) is something fundamental to consider when evaluating the cost-effectiveness of your solar-powered AC.
This could also be a great selling point if you ever consider selling your home in the future. In any case, is there anything more remarkable than harnessing your energy? Not to forget that the energy from the sun is free and always will be!
Sustainable and clean energy
Since 1950, carbon dioxide levels on earth have increased by 100 parts per million. Just a healthy reminder for each individual to be mindful of our carbon footprints on earth!
Solar energy is the cleanest and the most sustainable form of energy, no doubt! The first choice of consumers who wish to go green and be gentle on the environment. Unlike fuel-powered air conditioners, the solar ones emit minimal greenhouse gases.
At the same time, they reduce the demand on the electrical grid. Anytime you switch to solar-powered inventions, you will directly contribute to environment conservation for future generations.
Minimal disruption or power failure
Install a solar-powered air conditioner, and you can sleep through a storm. I mean it literally! Occasional power cuts are not uncommon due to lousy weather. And if you are living in scorching locations, a power cut might be your worst inconvenience.
Install a solar-powered air conditioner, and you will never have to compromise your comfort, at least inside your home! When the storm knocks down the powers, your Wi-Fi might be gone for days, but at least you’ll have a chilled living space for a good sleep!
Low maintenance requirement
The solar panels do not require much maintenance and, as long as it rains five to six times a year, your panels will wash and clean on their own. And, this is a huge benefit most consumers do not grasp when it comes to solar-powered air conditioning systems.
Just think about the number of technicians and electric workers you might have rung up to fix your air conditioner. A solar-powered AC might need occasional repairs but not as much as your regular electric or fuel-powered AC.
The system works impeccably, and in case you need to replace a part, they come at a minimal price. The most exciting part is, few companies have fantastic schemes, and they are ready to fix your AC for little to no expense.
Considering the number of greenhouse gases emitted by a regular AC, governments are motivating the general public to go green and install solar-powered air conditioning systems. Today, finding an appropriate financing solution for a solar-powered system has become easy in most parts of the world.
Government initiatives, banks, national and international organizations are assisting solar companies in proposing premium subsidies, financing, and tax incentives to the consumers.
Many users have reported that solar air conditioners are very user-friendly and convenient to use compared to a regular air conditioning system.
Disadvantages of Solar Powered Air Conditioners
Like every other aspect of living, solar-powered air conditioners are not 100% full of pros and 0% cons, right?
High up-front cost
Investing in an excellent solar-powered air conditioning system for your living spaces comes with a high upfront cost. A significant amount of your investment goes towards getting solar panels, inverters, and batteries. Professional installation and electrical wiring make up for the remaining 25% of the total cost.
On average, about 20 to 22 solar panels are mandatory to fulfill the cooling requirements of a medium-sized house. And the installation cost for an average-sized home could be somewhere between 5,000 USD to 15,000 USD depending upon the solar company.
Reliance on weather
No matter how much we deny it, climate change is the reality of the present. Weather conditions have become very unpredictable in all parts of the world. This dramatically affects the efficiency of the solar-powered air conditioning system.
If your solar panels are not receiving enough sun, you will not be receiving enough power to run your AC. Thus, solar-driven air conditioners might not be advantageous throughout the year.
Due to this reason, many consumers go for a hybrid solar air conditioner. Hybrid technology combines Direct Current (DC) with Photovoltaic Technology (PV).
The system is designed to switch automatically between solar energy and battery power depending upon the situation. In hybrid mode, the AC charges the battery through solar panels. And, while in non-hybrid mode, the system utilizes energy from battery backup and charges from AC power. Incredible!
Solar-powered ACs utilizes one of the most abundant and sustainable forms of energy available for almost half of the day consistently. In the absence of sun, the system might not be as efficient during the night.
Today, almost all solar-powered air conditioners run on batteries capable of storing energy; however, solar power still works in a challenging manner at night.
Deterioration of solar panels
After some years of usage, it is not unusual for your solar panels to suffer damage and deteriorate. This affects the efficiency of your solar air conditioners, and the panels cannot produce energy to their full potential.
Although solar panels typically have a lifespan of about 30 years, external factors such as dust, snow, foreign particles, etc., might affect their efficiency.
Nevertheless, if you do not want to deal with such issues in the future, you might have to invest in a high-quality panel. With a bit of extra payment, some companies provide a good warranty and even a lifetime guarantee.
Slow market growth
The most significant disadvantage of the solar-powered air conditioning system is that it is not popular among the general public. In order to increase the preference of people towards solar-powered AC, the upfront cost needs to be subsidized. And, for the upfront fee to be subsidized, there needs to be good public demand.
Steps have been taken to promote solar-powered air conditioning systems by the government and environmental agencies. However, there are still many areas to improve.
Air conditioners are a basic need in hot and humid climates. However, it is necessary to determine what option is the best for you, depending upon your location. If you live in Delhi or Texas, solar-powered air conditioning could prove a good investment. However, you might want to consider a hybrid air-conditioning system if you live in a gloomy location.
Although there are plenty of advantages and disadvantages of a solar-powered air conditioner, it might look as if the pros outweigh the cons. One cannot argue the unbelievable savings you will make on your long-term utility bills.
Harness the energy of the sun to cool your living spaces. After all, it is the most innovative way to protect the earth and save some money.
(Last Updated on August 3, 2021 by Sadrish Dabadi)