How to keep brown air conditioning cool without expensive gadgets
For many people, the problem of brown air conditioners in the Miami area is more than a simple nuisance.
It’s a cost-saving measure.
“I have a house that I’m in and my kids, my wife, my husband and I all go to the same house, but my wife has a brown air-conditioner in her house and we all go through the same things, so it’s pretty frustrating,” said Nicole Kaczynski, a retired health and human services manager from Miami.
“You’re kind of stuck in that cycle of constantly having to switch out, and the kids are just always going to complain.”
For Kaczys family, this problem has made the switch to electric and natural gas a big priority.
“We had to do it, and now we’re making the switch and the savings,” she said.
“It’s saving us a ton of money.
I don’t want to have to do that.”
The savings are substantial.
In Miami, brown airconditioners cost between $1,400 and $2,500 a year, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
But that doesn’t include a water heater, gas stoves or other items needed to run the system.
A recent study published in the journal Science showed that by replacing white and grey air conditioner units with brown ones, about half of the residents of Miami spent $1.50 less per year on heating and cooling costs.
This is a trend that will likely continue.
But the cost savings are just a fraction of the savings to consumers.
“They have a different type of air-condenser,” said John DeWitt, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
“So there are different types of units that people might use.”
For instance, the type of units being replaced will have to be designed to meet different climate and air quality requirements.
The types of devices that will be in the future include: air-cooled water heaters (like the ones in homes in California and other warmer climates) that can cool homes at room temperature, or indoor units that can heat homes to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
The cost of the replacement of these types of air condition units could easily double in the coming years, depending on the size of the new system and how much of it is installed, DeWits research suggests.
“When it comes to climate change, there are some things that will get cheaper, but we don’t know what those are yet,” he said.
So far, the only people making a significant change to their homes are homeowners in cities with warm climates, like Miami, who are already cutting their heating bills and using more energy, but the savings are limited.
A new study released last month by the nonprofit Energy Information Administration showed that homeowners in the San Francisco Bay Area are paying the most for air conditioning in the country, with a cost of $1 billion annually.
“This is going to continue, and it will get worse,” DeWitty said.
DeWit and other experts believe the biggest savings will come from switching to cleaner energy sources.
For the first time, the majority of Americans will have electricity for a lot less than they used to, DeWayne said.
And it won’t cost a lot more.
“In many cases, it’s going to be about a third of what it was a few years ago,” he predicted.
But he said that’s still a long way from the majority being able to make that transition.