September 13, 2021

Becoming a fan of air con alternatives in the face of climate change

Global warming’s slow push that is seeing the world’s average temperature rise to a critical point is seeing plenty of homeowners make the choice to implement air conditioning units within their homes. As a result, the HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) market’s value is set to double by 2025, reaching an estimate of $20.4 billion.

Of course, there is an opposite reaction. With air conditioning equipment comes higher greenhouse gas emissions and we come no closer to driving our emission levels down to net zero. In order for us to build towards a sustainable future, it’s imperative we look to other options to control temperature within our homes.

Electrical fans manufacturer Big Ass Fans recently held a seminar discussing the latest climate conscious building and renovation trends, and the impact we make with greener choices. The Block’s Shelley Craft, Guymer Bailey Architects’ Phil Jackson and Alycia Chapman from Renovating Australia, as well as 2020 The Block Contestants Harry and Tash spoke at the seminar.

Shaun Brehaut, Big Ass Fans’ Managing Director, says Australia is falling behind the benchmarks set by Sweden and New Zealand who have upped their sustainability efforts in a bid to reach net zero as quickly as possible.

“Old habits die hard and people are used to continuing in their current way of living. Sustainable design is not being promoted as much as it could be, which means not enough change is happening that we should be seeing,” he says.

“Despite big companies not talking about it enough, people are slowly becoming more environmentally aware.”

Phil Jackson from Guymer Bailey Architects says many companies are becoming more environmentally aware, stating that companies are realising the full impact of design and infrastructure on the wider world.

“Companies are not just recognising that we need to make a change, but also that it’s economical for them to do so,” he says.

“For example, when you don’t get the orientation right at the beginning, you’re introducing a whole lot of layers you wouldn’t need if you got it right in the first place. Companies that do it right from the start find they save a lot of money and can reinvest these savings into other avenues that make them even more sustainable.”

Brehaut believes using fans as opposed to air conditioning units is a wise alternative. The Big Ass Fans representative’s belief is backed by a Federal Government study that found ceiling fans produced around $5 and 15kg in greenhouse gas emissions, whereas a split system air conditioner $35 and 160kg GHG in a 12m2 room annually.

The full panel discussion can be viewed here.


Source: Architecture & Design

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