Green living: Save Our Earth By Living Green

What is the Environmental Impact of Air Conditioning?

The use of air conditioning is basically universal in many places in the world. Even though air conditioners have made life more convenient and enjoyable during the hot summer months, these appliances are known to pose certain environmental hazards. Here are some of the key environmental impacts of air conditioning.

Electrical Power - What is the Environmental Impact of Air Conditioning?

Reliance on Electrical Power

Air conditioners don’t power themselves and must rely on a power source to operate. Electricity is used to power most air conditioning units, and this traditional fossil fuel is known to pump more pollutants into the air. The power lines that are needed to deliver the electricity to air conditioners can also harm the environment by disrupting forests, wetlands and other natural settings where they pass through to get to homes and businesses. This is a systemic problem of how power is generated, and obviously little can be done on an individual level. However, getting solar panels if you can afford it, using public transportation, or just getting a solar phone charger would help in this regard.

Increased Carbon Footprint

The size of your carbon footprint is determined by how much carbon dioxide and similar greenhouse gases are emitted from the appliances and other machinery that you typically use in your daily life. Using an air conditioner can increase your carbon footprint. Leaks or other problems with your air conditioner that can make your carbon footprint get even bigger. Another way to keep your air conditioner from increasing your carbon footprint is to replace the air filter regularly so that your unit doesn’t have to work as hard to function.

More Mold and Bacteria Growth

You may have noticed water dripping from your unit, and that water is the condensate that is produced from the process that your air conditioner must go through to supply you with cold air. The condensate can cause more mold and bacteria to grow. This increase of mold and bacteria can negatively impact the environment along with your physical health. The condensate may also affect water pH levels and be harmful if it drips into any water sources where fragile aquatic life lives. Checking your AC unit regularly can help fight against this impact.

Of course, climate change is happening on a scale where it is no one individual’s fault. However, it is also our responsibility to mitigate our environmental impact as much as we can. Along with all the pros of having an air conditioner, these common household appliances can have some negative drawbacks. You can do your part to help the environment by using HVAC services to check on your unit and taking additional precautions to reduce pollution.

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