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Is there any alternate of conventional Air Conditioner, which are costly and increasing green house effect?

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Do you mean cost-effective and decreasing the green house effect? –  Doresoom Apr 27 '11 at 17:47
    
No--the second half of his sentence refers to conventional ACs, not to alternates. –  Alex Feinman Apr 27 '11 at 20:52
    
Wow, I totally read that wrong. For some reason my mind read it as a question asking about expensive alternatives to air conditioning. –  Doresoom Apr 27 '11 at 22:06
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3 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Geothermal Heat pumps are more efficent than a traditional Air Conditioner/Heat Pump - if they are possible/practical/cheaper depends on your circumstances.

Simpler alternatives are opening the windows, a house fan, swamp coolers - depends on how hot/humid it gets

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The heat pump is still an AC during the summer. During the winter it's just operating in reverse instead of burning some fuel. Of course if your option is for an electric element, you want to use that pump as much as possible. –  BMitch Apr 27 '11 at 22:32
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But it's more efficent to pump heat from your house into the colder ground than to the hot outside air. In a physics sense an AC is a heatpump but most heating heatpumps can also operate in reverse –  mgb Apr 27 '11 at 22:57
    
You're referring to a geothermal heat pump. Most heat pumps that people purchase make the temperature exchange with the outside air. You may want to edit your answer to indicate this specific type of heat pump. –  BMitch Apr 27 '11 at 23:46
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  • geothermal
  • ceiling fans
  • larger overhangs
  • smart landscaping (trees for shade, etc.)
  • window awnings
  • more efficient windows (that prevent solar gain)
  • passive venting
  • strategic building positioning
  • increased insulation
  • reflective roofing surface
  • below-grade living
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Reflective roofing surface = "high-albedo roofing" or "cool roof." High-albedo roofing lowers AC bills by a significant amount. I forget exactly how much, but I think it's in the ballpark of 25%. –  Michael Apr 28 '11 at 17:48
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One simple additions to DA01's list:

  • Cellular light blocking blinds. I'm amazed by the temperature difference on each side of these, and you can pick them up relatively cheap.

Outside of various types of insulation, to block the heat, and ventilation ,to get any heat out, AC units remain the standard way to cool a home. That said, I'm interested in whether we'll see much progress in peizoelectric systems outside of the computer space:

http://www.frostytech.com/permalinkArch.cfm?NewsID=54891

There's quite a bit we can do to build homes better that DA01 summarizes very well, but it's a shame that hardly any of it is done in new construction today without custom building your home.

One other thought, I live in a townhouse with 3 stories. We switch our bedroom in the summer to be in the basement. If we were tight on space, we would simply be swapping the master bedroom with the guest room. In some very old, but high end homes that I toured recently, they had a front and a back so that they used the north facing rooms in the summer and the south facing rooms in the winter.

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