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Thread: Is it time for Americans to stop using their air conditioners?

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigsnake49 View Post
    Not true, a white or reflective roof reflects as much as 80% (white) and 90% (aluminum) back into space, lowering the albedo (reflectivity) of the whole planet. Not to mention that it keeps the roof temperature about 10% above free air temperature. On a 100F day, it keeps the roof itself at about 110F where as dark asphalt roof shingles can reach as much as 180F. Now if you're up north where heating and not air-conditioning is the problem then you want dark roof shingles to absorb as much heat as possible during the winter.
    Not True! Most of the deflected heat is not going into Space: Greenhouse Effect and Atmospheric Pressure :)

    ... besides that, you agreed with what I said, you made my point, thank you!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Salento View Post
    Not True! Most of the deflected heat is not going into Space: Greenhouse Effect and Atmospheric Pressure :)

    ... besides that, you agreed with what I said, you made my point, thank you!
    I'm not sure if he is going back to space or not. But even if it is not shouldn't change anything for the Earth temperature if it is absorbed by the dark paint or going back into the atmosphere. So white painting is always better. If the heat is reflected back into space, that's a plus. If it's trapped into the Earth's atmosphere, at least it cools down buildings and requires less air conditioning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    The problem is that these averages are based on several decades and do not reflect the strong increase in temperatures in the last few years. A typical summer in Belgium used to be in the range of 15 to 25 degrees C, with exceptionally a few days with 30 degrees. Now even spring is hotter than than. Now summer is 20 to 35 degrees - easily 5 degrees above what used to be normal.




    And how is Phoenix representative of the whole USA, or even the average?



    Do you mean with cities like New York, Washington, Chicago, Seattle or San Francisco? Agreed. Phoenix is really in a category of its own.



    Bricks can be made almost anywhere. Even if the local clay isn't good enough bricks can be imported from other parts of the country. Even Neolithic people imported the huge stones of Stonehenge from Wales. Don't tell me that with modern transportation bricks can't be brought anywhere in the US. Anyway it sounds like an excuse since 90% of American houses are made of wood, not brick. It's not an issue specific to the Mississippi delta.



    Like in Japan, and that's even worse than wood as concrete heats up quickly and keeps the humidity inside. It's probably the worst choice of material for a region like Florida. What they need is big stones that stay cool in the heat.



    It would already be a big help if people in northern states stopped using them. South States (from North Carolina to Arizona) only represent one third of the US population.
    The sunbelt represents 1/3 of the population now, but they are the fastest growing region. At even 1/3 it represents over 100 million people.


    Predicted growth rates.



    Phoenix is just an example of the weather of Nevada, Arizona, etc, the desert southwest.

    Maybe it's better to visualize the entire country so it's easier to see how different it is from northwest and northern Europe.








    weatherspark.com provides high and low temperatures (and averages) by year and month for numerous European locations. Munich in July in 2018 had an average high in the low seventies, and mid seventies in August. There were individual very hot days, but those are the averages, and it seemed about the same in 2019.

    A large majority of the U.S. has a climate in summer much hotter than northwestern and western Europe, and much of it has winters much colder. Some, like the midwest, are both hotter and colder in the respective seasons. Western Europe really benefits from the Gulf Stream.

    Last edited by Angela; 13-08-20 at 01:53.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Salento View Post
    Not True! Most of the deflected heat is not going into Space: Greenhouse Effect and Atmospheric Pressure :)

    ... besides that, you agreed with what I said, you made my point, thank you!
    No it does go back into space unless absorbed by dark particulates in the air such as soot. It has the same effect as snow or ice cover for northern/arctic climates. Climate scientists are freaking out about losing all the reflective effect of snow/ice in places like Northern Canada/ Alaska/Arctic Ocean/Greenland/Siberia and have it replaced by much darker sea water/grasses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigsnake49 View Post
    No it does go back into space unless absorbed by dark particulates in the air such as soot. It has the same effect as snow or ice cover for northern/arctic climates. Climate scientists are freaking out about losing all the reflective effect of snow/ice in places like Northern Canada/ Alaska/Arctic Ocean/Greenland/Siberia and have it replaced by much darker sea water/grasses.
    Blow your nose after spending a few hours outside in a City, (London too), ... soot is everywhere, ... more or less,
    ...another Greenhouse ‘Trapping’ Effect.

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    I began this conversation by saying ‘Counterintuitive’ because the extra variables change or prevent what seems obvious and common knowledge from taking place.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Let's close the discussion on regional variations of climate within the USA. I agree that the hot-dry and hot-humid regions of the south require air conditioning. That does not explain why over 85% of Americans living in regions described as cold or very cold feel the need to have air conditioning (as opposed to 1% in regions with a similar climate in Europe). That's even more than in the mixed-dry/hot-dry parts of the US like West Texas, southern New Mexico and Arizona, where "only" 78% of homes have AC.




    The bottom line is that Americans should think twice before turning on their AC when it's not absolutely necessary. High July/August temperatures in the 70°F (21-26°C) like in New England, Michigan or Washington state are comfortable and do not necessitate AC. Temperatures in the 80°F (26-31°C) outside should be perfectly bearable without AC inside in a well insulated home that remains a few degrees cooler than outside.

    But perhaps the most important is to opt for newer models of air conditioners using R290 instead of HFCs or HCFCs. The refrigerant gas using HCFCs is known as R22, while those using HFCs are called R-410A, R-32, and R-134. Their Global warming potential (GWP) are respectively 1810, 2088, 675 and 1430. R22 also depletes the ozone layer. The only environmentally friendly refrigerants are R290 and R600A, which have a GWP of only 3! (source)
    Last edited by Maciamo; 16-08-20 at 16:53.
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    Yesterday The Guardian published an article explaining how the UK has become so hot in summer that people are considering air conditioning for the first time in their life.

    Considering air con? That’s how much the UK’s climate has changed already

    "I don’t think I had a single conversation about air conditioning until 2005, when a burst of August weather that we would now consider a respite felt like the mouth of hell.

    Sitting in a pub living some Smiths lyrics (gasping, dying, but somehow still alive), a lugubrious friend who took delight only from grim irony said: “If this carries on – which it will, because it’s not a freak event – everyone will want air conditioning, which will only make climate change worse.” I said: “Don’t be ridiculous; this is freak weather, not British weather. Nobody will want air conditioning, because it’s an Americanism, culturally anathema, like Halloween.” Fifteen years later, air con is all anyone talks about. I may also have been wrong about Halloween.
    "

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Yesterday The Guardian published an article explaining how the UK has become so hot in summer that people are considering air conditioning for the first time in their life.

    Considering air con? That’s how much the UK’s climate has changed already

    "I don’t think I had a single conversation about air conditioning until 2005, when a burst of August weather that we would now consider a respite felt like the mouth of hell.

    Sitting in a pub living some Smiths lyrics (gasping, dying, but somehow still alive), a lugubrious friend who took delight only from grim irony said: “If this carries on – which it will, because it’s not a freak event – everyone will want air conditioning, which will only make climate change worse.” I said: “Don’t be ridiculous; this is freak weather, not British weather. Nobody will want air conditioning, because it’s an Americanism, culturally anathema, like Halloween.” Fifteen years later, air con is all anyone talks about. I may also have been wrong about Halloween.
    "
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-53788018

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    I'll give up my A/C when you give up your heating system.

    We are a little bit warmer over hear on average and you are a little cooler over there, so I guess it's even trade, yes?

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    Norway, Sweden and Iceland may not need their air conditioners. In Texas and Georgia, they do. Africa and India's populations are exploding, and as their economy improves, they are going to want air conditioners. I say let them beat the heat. Why put the HVAC guys out of work to boot? This doomsday global warming bs is highly political and propagandized. I believe a lot of doomsayers just want to control other people. I just want control my room temp.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nordicwarrior View Post
    I'll give up my A/C when you give up your heating system.

    We are a little bit warmer over hear on average and you are a little cooler over there, so I guess it's even trade, yes?
    Touche.

    Quit burning that wood and coal. Quit using that electric heat. Quit eating, consuming, reproducing, and breathing. It's all good for the environment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elghund View Post
    Touche.

    Quit burning that wood and coal. Quit using that electric heat. Quit eating, consuming, reproducing, and breathing. It's all good for the environment.
    Europeans know what's best for Americans. They are sure it is comfortable in big cities without A/C. Also they know what's politically best for us. Its American stupidity that we don't see the beauty of open borders for Hispanics.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by nordicwarrior View Post
    I'll give up my A/C when you give up your heating system.

    We are a little bit warmer over hear on average and you are a little cooler over there, so I guess it's even trade, yes?
    Nordic Europeans use more energy per capita than other Europeans because they have higher heating consumption. But even so, their total energy consumption is lower than that of Americans (except for Icelanders but they are really up north and have a tiny population of 360,000).




    This energy use represents the total of gas, petrol, coal, wood and electricity consumption in watts or in thermal unit equivalents. It does not take into consideration that air conditioners also emits greenhouse gases with 2000 times greater global warming potential than CO2 from burning gas, coal, wood or petrol.

    In other words, even if the energy consumption was exactly the same for Europe and the USA, energy used for heating causes much, much less global warming than energy used for cooling (unless very new models of AC are used).

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    Quote Originally Posted by elghund View Post
    Norway, Sweden and Iceland may not need their air conditioners. In Texas and Georgia, they do. Africa and India's populations are exploding, and as their economy improves, they are going to want air conditioners. I say let them beat the heat. Why put the HVAC guys out of work to boot? This doomsday global warming bs is highly political and propagandized. I believe a lot of doomsayers just want to control other people. I just want control my room temp.
    Only 5% of Indian households have air conditioning (against 90% in the USA). The highest percentage of AC in Africa is in relatively well off South Africa, where it is only 6%. Elsewhere it is less than 1%.

    Anyway, all new models of AC from this year (2020) must comply with the new international regulations (Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol) banning the use of refrigerants with high global warming potential like R-22 (a type of HFC) and progressively phasing out completely the use of HFCs by 2030. So even if Africans and Indians suddenly decided to all get AC units, these would be new climate-friendlier models than cause approximately 800 times less global warming than the older HFCs used in most American air conditioners today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yetos View Post
    change your electrical system from 110 V to 250 V.
    I had never thought about that, but you are right. I looked it up and according to this guy 220V is less wasteful. DC power conversion requires less heat at this voltage because there are fewer amps to do the same work. Not sure just how much difference we are talking about though. But it would be extremely costly to replace all electric cables and appliances in North America, Central America and Japan (the regions that use 100~120 V) to 220~240V, so I don't think it's worth the investment.

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    This is the air conditioning installed in the living room of my apartment. Fujitsu Inverter 220V ~ 60Hz 23,000 BTU / h. The bedrooms (4) are equipped with equipment of 8,000 BTU / h. I have no problems with the electricity bill. The building has solar energy capture plates and the KWh equivalent generated is deducted from the electricity bill by the energy distribution company.



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    For us, we suffer from seasonal and indoor allergies. Our HVAC system does help with it, because of the allergen filtration. I've noticed a big difference in the quality of my breathing, and in-turn sleeping.

    Growing up, my family had an old steam heating system, and I would constantly get sinus infections.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duarte View Post
    This is the air conditioning installed in the living room of my apartment. Fujitsu Inverter 220V ~ 60Hz 23,000 BTU / h. The bedrooms (4) are equipped with equipment of 8,000 BTU / h. I have no problems with the electricity bill. The building has solar energy capture plates and the KWh equivalent generated is deducted from the electricity bill by the energy distribution company.



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    Maciamo, you're assuming that I've conceded that man-made global warming is a settled science. I have not.

    Even if the planet is increasing in temperature, I'm not convinced the cause is related to man. Look at the size of the sun vs. how puny we are even on a global scale... a more likely cause is variation in the sun's output.

    Frankly I would pay more attention to this issue if the green party types weren't obsessed with slapping a carbon tax on all of us. I see global warming... or I should say "climate change" now because it's a far fuzzier and inclusive term... as a way to generate a stable income for the lazy elites.

    But I will agree a cautious approach is better than a reckless one. I think wind and solar energy production should be increased where possible in the event we are the cause, but if these carbon taxes keep coming up... you may lose me all together on this issue.

    Obviously Nuclear isn't the solution-- it's too dirty because the half life of so much fuel-rod material extends into the thousands of years.

    -------
    -------

    P.S. A somewhat related topic to climate change is the ozone damage caused by certain fluro-carbons... that is an area that I am in full agreement with the green types... I have worked with commercial grade refrigerants that were used in older systems and know how nasty some of that stuff can be. I can see that eating huge chunks of the ozone layer so I have no problem correcting this specific issue.

    But having Europe lecture the U.S. on our energy consumption seems odd given the fact that we ship thousands (if not millions) of tons each year of pelletized timber material over there so you guys can burn it to stay warm. Not to mention all the natural gas we ship over. Plus the U.S. helped build at least one of the pipelines you all are now using to power your grid.

    We (meaning the U.S.) do charge for this annual fuel supply (not to mention the labor and material needed for the pipeline I mentioned)… but we do it at greatly discounted rates because we don't want you guys to get too reliant on the Russian Empire. This stuff may not be free, but it's really really cheap compared to what the open market would allow.

    I guess my point is the thread does seem a bit tone deaf given our numerous contributions made to our friends overseas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duarte View Post
    This is the air conditioning installed in the living room of my apartment. Fujitsu Inverter 220V ~ 60Hz 23,000 BTU / h. The bedrooms (4) are equipped with equipment of 8,000 BTU / h. I have no problems with the electricity bill. The building has solar energy capture plates and the KWh equivalent generated is deducted from the electricity bill by the energy distribution company.


    I looked up the specs as your pictures did not show the type of refrigerant used. It turns out that it is R410a, the worst type of HFC, with a global warming potential of 2088 (against 3 for new non-HFC models). Unbelievably Fujitsu mentions that R410a is an ecological gas because it does not deplete the ozone layer! Only R12 and R22 deplete the ozone layer, but R12 was banned worldwide in 1994 and R22 is already being phased out in the EU and USA. So I am sorry to inform you that your AC units are not eco-friendly at all.

  23. #48
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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jovialis View Post
    For us, we suffer from seasonal and indoor allergies. Our HVAC system does help with it, because of the allergen filtration. I've noticed a big difference in the quality of my breathing, and in-turn sleeping.

    Growing up, my family had an old steam heating system, and I would constantly get sinus infections.
    Steam is terrible for the respiratory system. Even humidifiers tend to be full of flying bacteria.

    For allergies we use air purifiers with carbon filter + HEPA filter (such as this one). It's cheaper and does not use harmful refrigerant gases. What's more, I have learned while living in Japan that most air conditioners quickly get mouldy inside and spread mould spores in the air unless they are cleaned at least once a year (ideally by a specialised service). Moulds, and especially toxic black moulds (Aspergillus niger or Stachybotrys chartarum) found in AC, are some of the worst pathogens for health. The Satratoxin-H found in Stachybotrys chartarum was even used as a chemical weapon by the USSR in their war in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nordicwarrior View Post
    But having Europe lecture the U.S. on our energy consumption seems odd given the fact that we ship thousands (if not millions) of tons each year of pelletized timber material over there so you guys can burn it to stay warm. Not to mention all the natural gas we ship over. Plus the U.S. helped build at least one of the pipelines you all are now using to power your grid.
    Pellet fuel is not a very common way of heating houses in Belgium. I don't know anyone who uses that. Most people use central heating with a natural gas condensing boiler (98% thermal efficiency), which is less polluting and more energy efficient than wood burning. According to this detailed report, wood pellets are mostly used in the UK and for electricity production rather than heating. It is Italians who use it the most for residential heating, followed by Americans (page 14).

    Nevertheless Britain is constantly increasing its share of renewable energy, which reached 47% in early 2020, while coal burning accounted for a mere 3.8% of British electricity generation. Oil, wood pellets and others stood at 2.7%. As the UK is the biggest consumer of wood pellets in Europe, it means that in absolute terms wood pellets represents only a tiny percentage of energy generation in Europe.

    The US is in a completely different league. Renewable energy stood at 11% in the US in 2018, with petroleum generating 36% of electricity, natural gas 31% and coal 13%.

    Combining all types of fuels, Americans produce about 50% CO2 per capita than the average European. The petrol consumption per capita is particularly high in the USA (about 400 to 500% more than Europeans).

  25. #50
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    pellet is not common also in Greece,
    but in Central Makedonia is typical for villages and houses.
    even the kernel of peaches and shellσ of nuts.
    sometimes they are pressed with accacia glue or pine resin and some oil to briquette sizes.




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