Embedded Sustainability Blog

Your heating and cooling system

When I want to reduce my environmental impact (or footprint), it probably makes more sense to worry about the house I live in, the car I drive, and what I eat than whether I choose paper or plastic at the check-out counter. Actually the right answer on that last issue is to use reusable bags, right?

But the point is to focus attention first where one has the biggest impacts. A recent study by Lux Research reminds us that “buildings consume 38% of primary energy in the developed world, of which heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) account for roughly 13%.” Imagine what a difference it would make to see disruptive innovation in HVAC systems that also make good economic sense.

Most builders and homeowners choose only incremental efficiency improvements in HVACs. Yet, according to the study, disruptive innovations are in the works with new technologies such as advanced heat pumps, absorption chillers, and evaporative chillers. Best of all, according to the study the new components offer fast returns on investment.

With a win for the environment and a win for your pocket book, what will you choose for your next HVAC system?