Different technologies to cool your home

If you ask most people to list as many different cooling technologies as they can, they'll normally stop pretty abruptly after 'air conditioner' and 'fan'.

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While these two options do sum up most of what's commonly available, it's also well worth thinking about the types of aircon that are available - and about automated controls, and less-common alternative systems (some of which are vastly more energy efficient).

Likewise, it's worth understanding what different technologies offer in terms of cooling ability. If you've done your reading and you're set on an air conditioner, for example, you'll still need to choose between evaporative and refrigerative technologies. The humidity where you live can make all the difference.

The cooling technologies listed below differ hugely in terms of their initial cost, running costs, energy consumption and environmental impact, and of course on how effectively they actually cool the air in your home.

Ceiling fans

Ceiling fans

Simple but incredibly effective and available in all shapes and sizes. Fans have been in use in some form or another for as long as humans have appreciated a breeze.

Refrigerative air conditioner

Refrigerative air conditioners

Air conditioners are refrigerative coolers. While these aren't the most efficient coolers available, they are incredibly effective and provide excellent cooling in any climate.

Evaporative air conditioners

Evaporative airconditioners or coolers

Evaporative coolers work by blowing air across wet elements to create a chilled breeze. These types of coolers are best suited to less humid climates.

Geothermal heat pump

Geothermal heat pump systems

Geothermal heat pump systems are able to draw heat from the ground to use for cooling your home. Geothermal systems are expensive to install but very cheap to run.

Roof sprinkler

Roof sprinklers

Roof sprinklers spray roof surfaces with water, in an effort to cool the roof and therefore lower the temperature inside the house.

Heat recovery ventilators (HRVs)

Heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) and energy recovery ventilators (ERVs), while they do use energy, are an efficient and effective way to ventilate a tightly sealed home while maintaining the temperature.

Solar cooling

Solar cooling

Solar cooling uses the sun's heat in one of several ways in order to improve airflow and help to draw heat out of the house.

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