The Environmental Impact of HVAC Systems - Eco-Friendly Options for Florida

HVAC systems, like other things do have an environmental impact. Older systems used a coolant called Freon, which was a ChloroFluroCarbon (CFC). When this Gas leaked into the atmosphere it damaged our planet's ozone layer. The systems also released carbon dioxide and nitrogen into the atmosphere, contributing to air pollution.

However regulations passed in the 1990s ensured the use of more environmentally friendly refrigerants in the systems since.

With temperatures on the rise here in Florida, and in general globally, using HVAC systems are becoming a small necessity. But with all these systems in use, what is the impact they're having on our local environment? What can we do to lessen this impact? Are there alternatives? 

The Easy answer is yes.

We'll go through some alternatives that are available now...

Well with the energy consumption and Energy efficiency coming to the forefront of most the environmental debate, there are other things that we need to consider, especially in the case locally of the increasing water issues we're facing here in Florida.

There are a number of things as homeowners, activists and contractors that we can do collectively to lower the environmental impact on using these systems, both on the local scale and the global scale.

Many of the HVAC manufacturers are listening to both the legislative side and consumer side of the environmental coin. There have been new Energy Consumption Minimums put in place, as well as other initiatives to lessen the Environmental Impact these systems have had.

Some of these impactful initiatives we can start right in our own homes.
Upgrading to more energy efficient systems and installing components like:

Upgrading to a Zone-Controlled System

Using a Zone controlled HVAC Unit helps minimize the Load and Energy consumption of the system. This Lowers the Environmental impact by using less energy to run, and can save you money.

Using Smart Thermostats

Updating to a Smart Thermostat offers a number of advantages, such as Cooling/Heating Schedules, Energy Usage reports and regulating comfort according to your routine, helping you save more on utilities.

Solar Powered Systems

We are the Sunshine State after all, why aren't we harnessing this virtually inexhaustible source? Well Many Consumers and Manufacturers are!

Buying and or converting over to a Solar-Powered HVAC system is a highly efficient way to power your system.

Geothermal Systems

Geothermal? Yes we can use the Earth itself to utilize this innovative form of green energy. And guess what, these systems can both heat and cool your home.

Ice-Powered Systems

Ice? Aren't we in Florida? How will this work?

Ice-Powered systems work by freezing approximately 450 gallons of water (on average for a standard home) over night. This large block of ice is what the HVAC system then uses to cool the house down. It does have a compressor to add additional cooling, as the Ice-Powered system can offer up to about 6 Hours of Cooling time.

Going this route can cut your cooling costs by almost 40%.

DeVAP Air Consditioners

This is a newer innovation, and has more commercial applications than it does for home use.

DeVAP stands for Desiccant-Enhance Evaporative.

This is essentially a form of mechanized evaporative cooling. It uses a Desiccant (you know those moisture eating thing found in the "Do not eat" packets of some products). By removing humidity from the air, and then applying some heat to evaporate that water, it can produce cool air.

This seems like a highly effective system in Florida, but it is still new. Take that humidity!

Recycling Water

Well with the issues plaguing our water, what if we could reclaim all that water that the HVAC units expel from drying out and cooling our air? Guess what? We can!

By collecting this Air Conditioning water, and using a filtration system and collection tank, we could use this water for a number of non-potable purposes, like landscape, toilet flushing, cooling towers, and possible even supplementing the water source for Ice-Powered Systems and many other uses, thus cutting down on water consumption and waste.

Take into consideration that Residential units can make 5-25 Gallons of water a day, and that Commercial Units can make up to 200-400 Gallons a day.

That's a lot of water that could be reclaimed and reused elsewhere.

If we recycle the wasted water coming from these systems, we could Reduce Water Consumption, Lower Municipal Water Bills, and many other things.

Purchasing and Using High Efficiency Units

We had discussed about the new SEER Minimums that were enacted here in Florida. Purchasing a new HVAC System with a High SEER number helps, as this denotes they're Energy Efficiency, lowering the fossil fuel needed to power our power plants.

With these alternatives in place, and most already available, these are viable solutions to less the environmental impact that HVAC units are having here in Florida.

Contact us here at Arctic Air and Home Services to evaluate your current system and see if its compatible to upgrade to a Zonal or Smart Thermostat system today, and help contribute to the environmental solution!