During particularly hot summers, air conditioning is the only thing that makes your home bearable. Unfortunately, you pay dearly for the energy that runs your air conditioner. In fact, the average 2800 square foot home uses anywhere between $2,000 and $6,000 per year of air conditioning. So, solar powered air conditioning is a fantastic alternative that not only allows you to save money, but do your part for the environment.
If you’re interested in learning more about the cooling power of solar powered air conditioners, contact Cool Breeze Comfort Solutions today. Our Greater Tucson area solar air conditioning experts are among the most skilled and trusted around.
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How Does Solar Powered Air Conditioning Work?
So, what makes solar powered air conditioners so different from standard models and how do you cut out all of that excess electricity use? The technology itself isn’t all that new. Absorption chillers, the most common kind of solar air conditioner, have been used for almost 100 years to provide cooling in various parts of the world where electricity costs are extremely high.
An absorption chiller works by distributing water to a number of coils or heat exchangers where it’s used to cool the air. That cooled air is then distributed throughout your home. Where does the solar power come in? While not all absorption chillers are solar powered, the ones that are use solar hot water panels on your roof to heat a water source.
That water is then circulated through your chiller. You’ll have a chamber in your air conditioner filled with a solid-like silica gel. That gel presents a very low humidity environment through which the hot water can pass, evaporating the water at very low temperatures, and therefore cooling it. Because silica gel is inexpensive and requires few moving parts, it’s easy to maintain and it costs very little to recharge.
Solar Air Conditioning Installation
Installation of a solar air conditioner requires the placement of heat absorbing panels on your roof. These panels can also be used to heat your hot water supply, providing an added cost benefit and helping to further reduce your use of electricity or fuel.
The hot water can be directly or indirectly piped into the heating panels and then to your absorption chamber. Indirect solar water heating is recommended especially for those living in environments where temperatures freeze frequently. Because water will freeze easier than a coolant like antifreeze, indirect heating uses antifreeze to circulate through the solar collectors on your roof. That heated water is then transferred to a hot water tank in your home where a heat exchanger transfers the heat from the antifreeze to water.
Both methods are equally energy efficient and will support the use of a solar air conditioner. Just make sure to ask your technician about placement of your solar collectors and if you’ll need a traditional electric air conditioner as a backup.
Another thing to keep in mind is that your home should be properly insulated and protected against the sun. A solar powered air conditioner is powerful, but if your attic isn’t ventilated with a fan and your windows are not covered with awnings or shades, the excess impact of the sun’s rays will make it difficult to keep your home cool.
If you’re ready to learn more about how solar air conditioning can help you, contact Cool Breeze today. When it comes to home cooling services, no one is more experienced or trusted than our Tucson, AZ area solar experts.