Future environmental impacts of room air-conditioners in Europe

TitleFuture environmental impacts of room air-conditioners in Europe
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsPout, C, Hitchin ER
JournalBuilding Research and Information
ISBN Number0961-3218

The potential environmental impacts of room air-conditioners in Europe are described, based on an analysis for the European Commission in support of the Energy-using Products Directive. About half the current cooling need of buildings in Europe is met by room air-conditioners - the rest being met by central systems. The likely market growth for such products over the next 25 years is assessed along with the consequent environmental impacts and the scope for reducing the global warming impacts by the use of 'best available' or 'least life cycle-cost' technologies. The analysis concludes that continuing growth of the room air-conditioners is likely over several decades, with resultant increases in environmental impacts if product design and use remain unchanged. However, Japanese experience shows that the energy-related environmental impacts could be considerably reduced without going beyond proven technology. Life cycle costing analysis suggests that the economically optimum performance lies between current European and current Japanese practice. Many room air-conditioners also provide carbon-efficient heating which can mitigate the impacts on greenhouse gas emissions.

URL<Go to ISI>://000267077100003