During the summer months across much of the US, the use of air conditioning in homes and work places causes electricity consumption to go off the scale. Most users have no idea just how much energy their system actually gets through each day and if they did and it was graphically presented to them in dollar terms, many would be shocked.
But the dollar cost of supplying so much electricity to the grid to power air cooling systems is not the real issue that should be worrying people up and down the country. It's the environmental impact of the process that produces that electricity that should get some real concern going.
It takes an unprecedented volume of fuel to produce the electricity that is needed to run air conditioning in homes, offices and work places, let alone all the other energy hungry appliances, entertainment systems and conveniences that we use on a daily basis. That fuel still comes from combusting solid, liquid or gaseous fuel that is mined from the earth in the guise of coal, oil or natural gas while a growing percentage comes from nuclear reactors.
These processes all produce a high level of pollutants that are cumulatively degrading the world that we live on by fouling the air we breathe, the water we drink and the soil that we grow our food on. More and more health problems are being identified as having their cause related to certain of these pollutants.
By far the lowest percentage of electricity production comes from renewable sources such as solar, wind and geothermal sources. Yet these are the very sources that provide the most promise of a future energy industry that is not limited by dwindling carbon-based combustible fuels or dangerous radioactive fuels.
Renewable energy sources as above produce no pollutants and are relatively in balance with the environment. Until the balance of energy production swings toward renewable sources, it is vital that we all do as much as possible to reduce our individual and collective impact on the environment by limiting the amount of energy we are using.
There are many ways in which we can each reduce our household energy consumption while businesses need to be taking a long hard look at their own power use expenses and do what is necessary to reduce them. It makes so much sense to lower our use of electricity because it can help to reduce the impact on the environment while saving us money and leaving more dollars in our pockets and bank accounts to use for buying more interesting things.
Many people that live in dry climates where humidity levels are generally fairly low can take advantage of low power evaporative cooling technology to replace high power consuming air conditioners and still enjoy the same level of temperature comfort indoors during the hot summers. Insulating homes can reduce wastage and utility bills while the inside temperature can be kept at a comfortable constant all year round for less power usage.
Of course that doesn't mean we have to go without a means to control the indoor temperature in our homes and places of work. Where it is necessary to have the higher energy-hungry cooling solutions, such as air conditioning Florida being one of those areas with higher humidity where evaporative coolers are less effective, the focus should be on how to keep costs to a minimum while still enjoying the comfort it provides.
The above video (from this Youtube channel) is a short reminder of how important it can be to enjoy a cooler home especially in hotter states such as Florida! All we need to remind ourselves is that while we can and should enjoy that comfort, we can also be doing whatever is necessary to keep that cool air inside and not let the hot air outside get in by properly insulating our buildings and making them as energy efficient as we can.