Air conditioners have become a crucial part of our lives especially when the temperature goes up. Almost every one of you would agree that it is hard to imagine our lives without an air conditioner. We depend on air conditioners to climate-control our home, office space, commercial space, etc.,
Yes, it indeed makes our lives cool and comfortable. While we appreciate how good air conditioners are, we should also be aware of their impact on the environment. Remember, air conditioners can impact our environment just like how other machines that burn fuels do; they can emit harmful gases into the atmosphere.
Most of the air conditioners run through electricity and also use a refrigerant that results in emitting gases that contribute to global warming & ozone layer depletion. Also, some of the studies predicted that by 2050, around 25 percent of global warming caused will be due to the harmful effects of air conditioners. Well, that is why lots of discussion and research is evolving on the topic – ‘How does using less heat and air conditioning help the environment?’ and how to curb the air conditioner harmful effects.
Let us broadly look at 4 Environmental Impacts of Air Conditioners:
1. HFCs / CFCs
Air conditioners are considered to be complex machines that include many different parts which work in multiple ways. That way, HFCs and CFCs are said to be cooling agents that are present in air conditioners when released can increase the holes in the ozone over some time. Older models which relied on HFCs and CFCs contributed to global warming on a larger scale while newer models of air conditioners that rely on HFOs and HFCs also play a major role in ozone depletion.
2. Energy Use
Air conditioners require a high level of energy to work properly. It releases pollution as it consumes so much electricity. Carbon dioxide, which is also known as the greenhouse gas, gets released into the air when fossil fuel gets burned; this, in turn, is a major contribution to ozone depletion.
A typical and average air conditioner will consume around 3000 – 5000 watts of electricity per hour depending on the season. This is expensive and also gets very harmful to the environment.
3. Unclean Ducts
Beyond the effect of Air conditioners on global warming, there are also other impacts on a small scale. Over some time, the ducts in the air conditioner will collect bacteria and dust, and whenever the air conditioner is turned on, they get released. This is indeed toxic for humans, especially for kids. There are ductless mini-split brands that focus on the safety of both people and the environment.
4. Materials Used
Previously, air conditioners were made out of metals, and over the years, as metals were considered expensive, plastic opted. Though both are harmful to the environment, plastic is said to be completely non-biodegradable and is considered an enemy of the environment. Also, the production of plastic itself is extremely dangerous as it releases carbon dioxide into the air and causes the greenhouse effect.
Negative Effects of Air Conditioning on Health
Though a gentle blow of cool air can melt our hearts during summers, there are some negative effects of air conditioners on health. Below are some of the side effects of air conditioners that you should be aware of:
- Dry eyes
- Respiratory problems
- Dry skin
- Asthma and allergies
- Other health hazards
Yes, air conditioners have become vital for our survival. And due to global warming, some places are extremely warm where the presence of a coolant is very much crucial. Though air conditioners contribute to global warming we need them to survive the hot temperatures.
However, it is also our prime responsibility to reduce heat and air conditioning to fight global warming; we can still consider buying environment-friendly air conditioners that can be beneficial for both your health and the environment’s health.
1. Why is AC bad for the environment?
Air conditioners are considered to be a significant contributor to global warming because they emit greenhouse gas due to increased energy use. They also emit HFCs which are more potent than carbon dioxide. All these factors have a great impact on global warming.
2. Are Air Conditioners safe for the environment?
Air conditioners hurt the environment. They emit harmful by-product gases into the air which results in depleting the ozone layer.
3. How does AC pollute the environment?
Yes, Air conditioners do pollute the environment. As it consumes a lot of electricity it ends up polluting the air.
4. Does AC pollute the air?
Yes, Air conditioners pollute the air.