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Global Warming: It's Getting Hot

Global Warming: It's Getting Hot

About 75 percent of households in the United States have air conditioners, which use approximately six percent of all the electricity produced nationwide. As the planet gets hotter due to global warming, air conditioner sales are expected to increase significantly. However, a future that relies on air conditioning is unsustainable. 



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Air Conditioners: A Double Blow To Earth

Air Conditioners: A Double Blow To Earth

 Air conditioners consume large amounts of electricity, which primarily relies on fossil fuels to generate power. Moreover, the units themselves contain greenhouse gasses (GHG) known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that deplete the ozone layer. The warmer it gets, the more people use air conditioning, which increases GHG emissions that further add to the warming of the planet.


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Electric Fans Increase the Body’s Threshold for Thermal Discomfort

Electric Fans Increase the Body’s Threshold for Thermal Discomfort

The primary driver of air conditioning use is thermal discomfort. When ambient temperatures—the air that you’re occupying—exceed your threshold, you’ll feel uncomfortably warm. That causes people to turn on the air conditioning unit and keep it on until the temperature drops below that threshold.

Moving indoor air with electric fans increases the temperature threshold at which people feel uncomfortably hot by about three to four degrees Celsius. 


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Explore other sustainable cooling solutions

Explore other sustainable cooling solutions

You can cool a room without air conditioning by using window coverings to reduce heat gain, painting the walls a lighter colour to reflect heat away, or placing vegetation around the home to cool the environment through evapotranspiration.

Other ways include drinking cold water, applying ice towels, or donning wet clothing. Immersing the feet in cold water and self-dowsing with a spray bottle or sponge can also improve thermal comfort. 


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