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Sun May 29, 2022, 09:22 AM

What affect does the regular use of A/C contribute to global warming?

Taking warm air out of the inside of millions of homes and businesses, and expelling the heat into the atmosphere can't be helpful for combating climate change.

If you stand outside behind a unit in use you can feel the amount of heat that is expelled continuously.

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply What affect does the regular use of A/C contribute to global warming? (Original post)
MichMan May 2022 OP
Red Mountain May 2022 #1
Voltaire2 May 2022 #2
CrackityJones75 May 2022 #4
CrackityJones75 May 2022 #3
Scrivener7 May 2022 #10
CrackityJones75 May 2022 #12
in2herbs May 2022 #15
Takket May 2022 #18
Kaleva May 2022 #5
obamanut2012 May 2022 #6
hunter May 2022 #9
MLAA May 2022 #11
hunter May 2022 #14
in2herbs May 2022 #17
hunter May 2022 #19
hunter May 2022 #7
fescuerescue May 2022 #8
CrackityJones75 May 2022 #13
Ferrets are Cool May 2022 #16
werdna May 2022 #20
OtterDave Oct 5 #21


Response to MichMan (Original post)

Sun May 29, 2022, 09:35 AM

2. Primarily it is the energy production

which is 60% from fossil fuels that is the problem, not the heat exchange.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #2)

Sun May 29, 2022, 09:36 AM

4. Right.

 

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Response to MichMan (Original post)

Sun May 29, 2022, 09:36 AM

3. I don't think it is the expelling of the heat.

 

It is the burning of the fossil fuels to run the equipment.

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Response to CrackityJones75 (Reply #3)

Sun May 29, 2022, 10:04 AM

10. But it is a legit point that the heat exchange heats the air around the unit and

millions of such heaters must contribute to warming.

So there are two sources of warming: the fossil fuels and the warming by each unit.

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Response to Scrivener7 (Reply #10)

Sun May 29, 2022, 10:22 AM

12. Not sure

 

I donít think moving the heat from inside the house to outside the house makes a difference. Running the machine creates additional heat.

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Response to Scrivener7 (Reply #10)

Sun May 29, 2022, 11:38 AM

15. For the heat exchange to heat the air around the unit in the SW during the

summer the heat from the AC would have to be in excess of 110 degrees on most days for several months at a time.

I have a hard time believing that the heat an AC gives off is warming the air when the air is already HOT!

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Response to Scrivener7 (Reply #10)

Sun May 29, 2022, 11:46 AM

18. no, that's not a legit point

moving heat that already exists from one place to another does not contribute to the overall warming of the system as a whole, if the system is Earth.

What contributes to warming on the whole is the release of heat that is "trapped" as potential energy is a source such as a lump of coal or barrel of oil, and even then that isn't so much the problem as the emissions that energy release process (i.e. burning) gives off that creates the greenhouse effect for the planet.

but if you never ran your A/C during the day, and just let your house warm up, the heat trapped inside would just be radiated off when your home comes into thermal equilibrium with the surrounding atmosphere at night. Running your A/C simply hastens that energy removal process.

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Response to MichMan (Original post)

Sun May 29, 2022, 09:40 AM

5. It's the energy needed to run the units that is the issue

This is really going to be a problem when wet bulb temperatures start hitting dangerous to life levels in certain areas of the country on a regular basis.

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Response to MichMan (Original post)

Sun May 29, 2022, 09:45 AM

6. Solar powered multi splitters is the way to go

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #6)

Sun May 29, 2022, 09:58 AM

9. Solar seems like a good fit for air conditioning but it's not.

Electric power usage begins to peak just as the sun is waning. And people who live in hot climates tend to run their air conditioners all night.

There are ways to store "cold" (making ice, for example) but these systems are uncommon, especially for household use.

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Response to hunter (Reply #9)

Sun May 29, 2022, 10:21 AM

11. I live in a desert climate. Not too long ago I installed solar panels and batteries.

Throughout the spring, summer and early fall I typically cover 99 percent of my power needs for the whole house. The 1% of power I have to buy happens sometimes when the air conditioner (a 10 year old heat pump) first starts. The exception during this period is the rare cloudy days which primarily occur during summer monsoons. Though it is rare (and welcome) to have full days of rain, it is rare even during monsoon season.

During winter I cover about half our energy consumption. Shorter days of sun and the heater draws much more energy to start up and run than the air conditioning. Iím adding some extra panels and an additional battery, so that should help but likely wonít cover all our needs.

The downside is this solution is very expensive. If I remember correctly when I bought the first round of equipment 2 years ago the tax credit for federal and state were somewhere around 23 percent. This certainly helped, but didnít make it widely affordable.

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Response to MLAA (Reply #11)

Sun May 29, 2022, 10:47 AM

14. If that's net metering then it's an accounting trick.

If you've got batteries it is, as you say, a very expensive solution that's not extensible to everyone on earth who uses air conditioning.

Buying a $150 air conditioner is one thing. Buying enough solar panels and batteries to support it is quite another.

Most people are going to rely on the existing electric infrastructure to keep their homes cool.

In California the biggest source of energy for the electric grid is natural gas for the simple reason the sun doesn't always shine and the wind doesn't always blow. We also get a lot of energy from hydropower and the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant.

In many parts of the U.S.A. the primary energy source for electricity is coal. In France it's nuclear power.

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Response to hunter (Reply #14)

Sun May 29, 2022, 11:46 AM

17. Your price point for an AC, $150, is way off. Last time we had to replace one of our ACs the

price of the AC was over $5,000 -- 11 years ago, installation brought the tag to $12,000+. I'm not talking about window units, I'm talking about house/ground units.

A lot of people don't know that solar is not very efficient in the SW during the summer because it's too hot for solar to work. Solar is very effective on the East coast for more days than in the SW.

I have a solar system (30 panels) that tracks the sun so it is very efficient.

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Response to in2herbs (Reply #17)

Sun May 29, 2022, 12:58 PM

19. I think you missed my point entirely.

When my wife and I were poor and living in the Midwest a coal powered (via the grid...) $150 air conditioner probably saved our marriage. It didn't cool our bedroom much below 85 Fahrenheit but it did keep the humidity in our house at tolerable levels.

The "solutions" wealthier people find for environmental problems are rarely applicable to the environmental problems of the world at large.

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Response to MichMan (Original post)

Sun May 29, 2022, 09:45 AM

7. The actual heat added to the local environment is measured by the electric bill.

Air conditioned buildings are not perfectly insulated and cold air leaks out of them, so most of that heat coming out of the air conditioner condenser is balanced by the "cold" leaking out of buildings. (Actually it's the heat leaking into the building, but most people don't think of it that way.)

It's the greenhouse gasses generated at the power plant that are the most serious problem. Also, if a power plant is cooled by lakes or rivers, then the waste heat can significantly raise the temperature of those waters which has very significant environmental impacts.

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Response to MichMan (Original post)

Sun May 29, 2022, 09:49 AM

8. Yes. But not for the reasons listed

AC just moves heat from inside the house to outside the house. If the house wasn't there, it would still be inside the atmosphere.

It's the power generation required to run AC that contributes to global warming.

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Response to fescuerescue (Reply #8)

Sun May 29, 2022, 10:25 AM

13. exactly

 

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Response to MichMan (Original post)

Sun May 29, 2022, 11:39 AM

16. If you live where I do (south Alabama) I dare you to go a day without AC

I did it when I was a youth, but I would literally die now.

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Response to MichMan (Original post)

Sun May 29, 2022, 03:36 PM

20. And the scientists say -

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-to-prevent-air-conditioners-from-heating-the-planet/

One of the great ironies of climate change is that as the planet warms, the technology that people need to stay cool will only make the climate hotter. By 2050, researchers expect the number of room air conditioners on Earth to quadruple to 4.5 billion, becoming at least as ubiquitous as cell phones are today. By the end of the century, greenhouse gas emissions from air conditioning will account for as much as a 0.5-degree Celsius rise in global temperatures, according to calculations by the World Economic Forum.

. . .

In November 2019, eight finalists were announced for the $1 million competition to design a room air conditioner that produces five times less greenhouse gas over the course of its lifetime than does a standard room unit.


The details are in the article at the attribution link above.

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Response to MichMan (Original post)

Wed Oct 5, 2022, 12:44 AM

21. This is an not science

 

No logic in this theory

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