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Comparing Solar Air Conditioning Providers: Save Money and Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

CEO Khai Intela
Stay cool without breaking the bank or harming the environment! Everyone wants to keep cool during the summer, which is why most homeowners have air conditioning systems in their homes. But running those AC units...

Stay cool without breaking the bank or harming the environment!

Everyone wants to keep cool during the summer, which is why most homeowners have air conditioning systems in their homes. But running those AC units can be costly - an estimated 12% of the average home’s energy consumption in the United States goes to air conditioning[^1^]. Not to mention, air conditioning contributes to climate change by releasing 117 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year[^1^]. So, how can we stay cool without breaking the bank or harming the environment? The answer is solar air conditioning.

what is solar air conditioning Caption: Discover the benefits of solar-powered air conditioning.

What is Solar Air Conditioning?

There are two different solar-powered air conditioning options, each with its own unique way of functioning.

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Air Conditioners

Solar PV air conditioners work just like traditional split air conditioning systems, with one key difference: instead of drawing power from the grid, they are powered by solar energy generated by solar panels. The number of solar panels required depends on the system's size, typically ranging from two to six panels. These systems can also be paired with solar batteries, allowing excess energy to be stored for use when the sun goes down. These battery-equipped systems are known as "solar hybrid air conditioners".

Solar Thermal Air Conditioners

Solar thermal air conditioners utilize solar collectors to heat a liquid, such as water, which then evaporates and passes through the system. This evaporation and condensation process produces cool air for your home.

How Much Does Solar Air Conditioning Cost?

Solar-powered air conditioners are more expensive than conventional units, with a price tag of around $2,000 before installation[^2^]. Additional installation costs can raise the total to approximately $5,000. Several popular solar air conditioners on the market include:

  • SolarAir World’s 100% Off-Grid Solar Air Conditioner, priced at around $1,700 before installation, is ideal for off-grid applications and runs on DC power[^2^].
  • GREE’s solar air conditioning hybrid system costs about $1,800 before installation and can run using just two solar panels[^2^].
  • HotSpot Energy’s hybrid mini-split heat pump cooling system costs around $1,800 before installation and provides off-grid solar AC throughout the day, even when solar panels aren't producing electricity[^2^].

The good news is that your solar air conditioning installation may qualify for the 30% federal tax credit, significantly reducing the overall cost. Additionally, there may be state and local energy efficiency incentives available in your area. Consult with a local installer to explore the rebates you may be eligible for.

Is Solar Air Conditioning Worth It?

The answer to this question is both yes and no. While installing solar air conditioning alongside your current HVAC system can save you money on your energy bills, you'll generally get more value by installing a residential solar panel system that covers your cooling costs as well.

Take, for example, the Smith family, who spend $1,400 per year on electricity, with $170 of that attributed to air conditioning[^2^]. If they install a solar air conditioner costing $3,700 after the federal tax credit, it would take them approximately 21 years to recover the system's cost, assuming it covers all their cooling needs[^2^].

In contrast, if the Smiths opt for a solar panel system costing around $13,200 (the average cost after the tax credit), they would reach payback in just 10 years. Moreover, this solar panel system would cover their cooling costs too[^2^].

The payback period for a solar panel system is significantly shorter compared to a solar air conditioner. Once you reach your solar payback period, you'll enjoy free energy for the remaining lifespan of the system! Determine the solar payback for your specific home using our solar calculator.

Are There Cases Where Solar Air Conditioning is a Good Choice?

There are specific scenarios where installing a solar air conditioner might be suitable. Limited roof space, for instance, could make it challenging to install a full residential solar panel system. In such cases, a solar air conditioner allows you to take advantage of renewable energy, reduce power consumption, and see energy savings on your utility bill.

Off-grid homes can also benefit from a separate solar air conditioning system, providing comfort even without grid power. However, it's crucial to engage a local HVAC company for proper installation and handling of refrigerants. In most cases, a residential solar PV installation remains a better long-term investment.

By choosing solar air conditioning, you can stay cool while making a positive impact on both your wallet and the planet. Explore the options available from reputable solar providers near you and embark on your journey towards a more sustainable and cost-effective cooling solution.

Don't let the heat drain your funds or the environment. Go solar and stay cool!

[^1^]: Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration [^2^]: Prices and product information sourced from various solar air conditioner manufacturers.