Air conditioning

Air conditioning in the U.S. is present in almost every home and building. It is often run 24 hours a day in commercial buildings. Large airports are air-conditioned 24 hours a day throughout the entire year. Americans often use substantial amounts of money during hot summer months and cold winter months to keep the temperature in their home around 70 degrees Farenheit. These practices represent a focus on the output – comfort – over other considerations such as environmental toll, cost, etc.

The U.S. Department of Energy recently passed increased standards for heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment used in homes. These new standards will gradually take effect over the next several years and will require newly installed heating and cooling equipment to be higher efficiency equipment. Although this act shows that the government is serious about curbing energy use in American homes, enforcement will be difficult.

Some companies have realized that they spend large amounts of money heating, cooling, and lighting empty offices during nights and weekends. Many have adopted technologies that program equipment to automatically switch off at certain times of the day.