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We All Want To Be Cool
One of the most essential things that we, as humans, seek is comfort. We do not want to experience any kind of extreme climate. The other quaint thing is that we want cool when hot and heat when it is cold. Humans being inventive have always strived to find viable solutions to our constant problems. Many a time our inventors have come up with a great device but missed out on calculating the impact on the environment and the long-term damage to personal health. There is this big debate between ‘air conditioning’ and ‘evaporative coolers’ and it’s a one-way flight that Evaporative cooling systems win hands down. It’s really a ‘no brainer’ that we must choose nature-friendly systems over technology that’s bad for the environment.
Let’s analyse our needs. We want to feel cool but guilt-free. Evaporative cooling systems offer the best option to give you guilt-free cooling. Look at the pros and cons. Evaporative cooling systems use outside fresh air and filter it before cooling it down with water. You see, there is no unnatural process required in this system. On the other hand, Air conditioners, especially the split systems air conditioning, take the air available in a closed room/building and cool the air by passing it over compressed gas in pipes/coils. You can clearly see that air conditioning systems have no way to infuse fresh outside air to replace the stale air inside the room/building.
Pros & Cons.
Common science tells us that we inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. When we do this constantly then every time we inhale the air in the room, we consume some of the oxygen from that air and then exhale carbon dioxide. The oxygen content in the room is constantly depleting as people in the room continue to suck out the oxygen. At one point the air conditioner is recycling air which has significantly lower oxygen content. But because the air is cool one feels it must be good. This is the most important decision that concerns your health directly. People working for long hours in air-conditioned buildings often complain about headaches and fatigue. They tend to take frequent breaks to step out for fresh air.
Evaporative cooling systems are by default built to constantly replenish oxygen in the room. This results in a good feel and mood for the people in the room. The productivity of such an environment is sure to be a lot better.
The big con for the air conditioning system is the gas (R410A or R32) that is used in the compressor. The compression of this gas freezes the gas in the coils and the air passing through is cooled. So many things are going wrong here simultaneously. One, the compressor is a big power guzzler. The production of power uses fossil fuel which is extremely bad for the environment and climate change.
So, while we sit in and feel cool, the planet earth is getting warmer because of power production. Two, because of the gases that are in the air conditioners. While the air conditioners throw in cool air, they are throwing hot air outside. A large number of these hot air throwers means that the ambient temperature of the area will get warmer.
The third problem is the frequent leakage of the gas in the compressor. Though the copper pipes are supposed to be stronger, they sprout tiny holes leaking the gas in the environment. These gases are GreenHouse gases and none of them are safe for global warming. Evaporative coolers, comparatively use very little power 200 watts to 2 kW of an air conditioner. The power bills of air conditioner users are always through the roof. There are no global warming gases or chemicals in an Evaporative Cooling System.
What’s Good For Our Health?
For an air conditioning unit to be effective one needs to seal the room i.e., close all doors and windows. If any of these things are open or have space to leak out cool air then the unit will not function effectively. This can be traumatic for people with claustrophobia also for the health of the skin. Spending a long time in an air-conditioned room can get you very dry skin. The air conditioner unit sucks in all the moisture in the room resulting in parched skin. Comparatively, when one is in an Evaporative cooling room, it is most natural. Your skin breathes naturally as all doors and windows remain open. There is no need to trap the cool air to feel cool.
As we gather more knowledge through scientific research, we realise that many of the methods that were used earlier were far more environmentally friendly and better for our health. This research teaches us to retrace our steps and choose wisely.
Proof From Olden Times.
There are many architectural marvels made centuries ago that were natural evaporation cooling systems. A palace found in northern India’s city of Lucknow has one such system. In the ancient palace of the Nawab (Prince), there is a basement that could be at least 5 degrees cooler than the extreme summer heat of that geography. The amazing magic happened because of hundreds of tiny via ducts that ran down the walls down to the basement. These ducts crisscross making a maze. As the wind moved through these via ducts, they cooled on the water rivulets running through them. This resulted in the basement cooling down considerably. One can see other innovative solutions too in some geographies, which have a tendency to get extremely hot in summers. People create a wall-like shape made of dried grass that is spread and tied down. When this wall is doused with water and hung in the door, the hot air outside gets cooler when it enters indoors. The grass is porous allowing the air through the water trapped in the dried grass. Ingenious.
What About Servicing?
Also, there is a big difference in the maintenance and servicing between the two systems. The air conditioning system servicing and maintenance can be intensive. The air filter in the air conditioner gets clogged with dust and the gas may get leaked, require expensive refills or worse, change the entire pipe system. The unit is super heavy and cannot be moved at will. In contrast, evaporative cooling service and repairs is a cakewalk. Most of the time it is just cleaning and refreshing that is required. No heavy units are to be lifted. Maybe change the pads and clear the water system. Sometimes it could be an electrical issue that can be fixed in a jiffy.
The best part is that Evaporative Cooling systems are available in many styles and designs. The unit can be fixed in your roof or the window, or simply placed anywhere in the house where the wind blows. They also come with wheels for easy mobility. After all, the system must blend in with your décor and keep the home all-natural and organic.
Isn’t it wonderful when we can do our bit to stop global warming without compromising our comfort? All we need to do is make a wise decision. Doing the right thing is the best thing anyone can do for our planet. We must remember, we do not have another.