Energy consumption in air conditioners have greatly improved over the past several years to the point where we’re paying practically nothing in energy costs (I think I average to approx. $2.50 a month, if that, with my 5,000 BTU Frigidaire Window Unit). However, after a recent development this weekend (via Slashdot), we may, in the future, see newer types of air conditioners that perform up to 90% more efficiently than current Energy-Star rated models.
How do they work? These units use an already-existing process (evaporative cooling) along with a new solution and even newer technology to separate said solution and form cooler air. The best part about this new technology is that the heat necessary for cooling (and evaporating the water in the process) can be generated from more earth-friendly sources like solar panels. For a more detailed and in-depth look at how these devices work, visit the NREL site for loads of descriptions and diagrams to whet any techie’s appetite.
Don’t let this deter you from picking up a new air conditioner. This technology won’t be available to consumers, for NREL only recently started the research and development phase on this experimental technology. After all the kinds are ironed out (if ever), consumer grade models would, to my estimation, be available well after your current air conditioner ceases to function. Regardless, once more information on this greener tech becomes available, we’ll report it to you first, right here on the Appliance Authority blog.