During the summer air conditioning season, saving energy becomes a major concern. There are all sorts of steps you can take to keep your HVAC system from using too much power, from basic conservation tips to shopping for a more energy-efficient unit. But there’s one option you might not have thought of: tapping into renewable energy sources like the earth and the sun, with solar thermal and geothermal cooling and heating.
Geothermal cooling and heating is perfect for a temperate climate like Toronto. It works using heat energy from the ground. It transfers heat from the ground to your home to warm it in the winter, and cools it in the summer by transferring heat from your home back into the ground. Geothermal energy provides several advantages over traditional HVAC systems.
The utilization of the ground’s energy allows it to use up to 50 percent less electricity. It can reduce energy consumption by up to 72 percent compared to a regular air conditioner.
Geothermal cooling and heating systems lend themselves perfectly to zoned cooling, allowing you to cool different rooms of the house to different temperatures. They’re also good for reducing humidity.
Geothermal equipment is smaller and takes up less room than a full sized HVAC system. It also makes much less noise.
Geothermal systems tend to be very durable, with indoor components lasting for 20 years or more. The parts under ground can last up to 50 years.
Another alternative to traditional air conditioning is solar thermal cooling. When you think of solar energy, you usually think of it generating heat. But that heat can be used for a form of evaporative cooling. The evaporation of water using solar energy can be used to cool the surrounding air using much less electricity than a regular A/C. That combined with a desiccant, which draws moisture from the air and dehumidifies the room, makes for an effective and efficient alternative cooling method.