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Water-Cooled and Evaporative Cooled Air Conditioning

Evaporative-Cooled Air ConditionersLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. are similar to typical units, except the condenser coils (located outside of the building) also use water to enhance cooling, not just air. The evaporation of the water on the coils greatly increases the energy efficiency of the system compared to an “air only” method.

Water-cooled systems use water to cool refrigerants many degrees cooler than even possible with an air-cooled system. Although water assists with the cooling process, this technology is different from conventional evaporative air-cooler technology. Water removes heat from the refrigerant and reduces the work of the compressor at the same time. Reducing the heat in the refrigerant circuit enhances the operating efficiency of a water-cooled unit and provides an efficiency advantage over conventional air-cooled units.

Buyer’s Guide to Water-and Evaporative- Cooled Air Conditioning

  • Ask for an ENERGY STAR® or high efficiency model. When purchasing central air conditioning from a retailer or contractor, requesting an ENERGY STAR certified or high efficiency model ensures you reap the greatest savings.
  • Check the yellow EnergyGuide Label. Use the yellow EnergyGuide LabelLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. to determine the model’s energy use, compare the energy use of similar models, and estimate annual operating costs.
  • Sizing and Installation. When buying a new ASHP, consider sizing and installation as much as product quality. Hire a participating BPI Accredited contractor who will size your heat pump based on the conditioned volume and specific characteristics of your house or building including insulation levels, window types, air leakage, etc. Proper equipment sizing should take your home or building's heat loss during cold weather and heat gains during warm weather into consideration. Sizing and other installation practices dramatically affects how well your new equipment delivers comfort and savings.
  • Test Airflow. Participating BPI Accredited contractors test your heating and cooling system’ airflow and adjust accordingly to ensure either system runs too high or low, both of which affect performance and comfort.

Energy Saving Tips for Water-and Evaporative- Cooled Air Conditioning

  • Consider regular maintenance. Regular maintenance optimizes your heating and cooling system performance.
  • Change the Filter. Changing your filter regularly (at least every three months) is a good idea, but it is hard to know how much energy it actually saves. Check your filter every month, especially during heavy use months (winter and summer). If the filter looks dirty after a month, change it.
  • Sealing Ducts. Ducts that move air to and from a forced-air furnace generally waste significant energy. Sealing and insulating ducts can improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as 20%. Yield better heating and cooling performance with ENERGY STAR home sealing (insulation and air sealing) and duct sealing available through the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program.
  • Test Airflow. Participating BPI Accredited contractors test your heating and cooling system’ airflow and adjust accordingly to ensure either system runs too high or low, both of which affect performance and comfort.

Find a retailer near you selling ENERGY STAR products!

Last Updated: 06/11/2014