Cooling your home involves air being circulated over a surface which has been maintained at a lower temperature. This surface may be in the space to be cooled or at some remote location with the air being ducted to and from the space. Usually water or a refrigerant is the cooling medium. There are three basic cooling technologies you may choose to use in your dream home. They are air conditioning, heat pumps and evaporative cooling.
An air conditioner is basically a refrigerator without the insulated box. It uses the evaporation of a refrigerant, like Freon, to provide cooling. The mechanics of the Freon evaporation cycle are the same in a refrigerator as in an air conditioner. Depending on your needs, you may choose either a room air conditioner or a central air conditioning system.
Heat pumps can work to either heat your home or cool it. When they are in the cool mode, heat pumps move heat from your cool house into the warm outdoors. Because they move heat rather than generate heat, heat pumps can provide up to 4 times the amount of energy they consume. There are two types of heat pumps - air source and geothermal heat pumps.
An evaporative cooler (also known as a swamp cooler) produces effective cooling by combining a natural process - water evaporation - with a simple, reliable air-moving system. Fresh outside air is pulled through moist pads where it is cooled by evaporation and circulated through your home by a large blower. As this happens, the temperature of the outside air can be lowered as much as 30 degrees. Evaporative coolers work well when the outside air is dry and desert-like. As the humidity increases, however, the ability for them to cool the air effectively decreases. Since water is continually lost through evaporation, a swamp cooler can use between 3 to 15 gallons of water a day. For evaporative cooling to work properly, the cooled outside air must be allowed to escape. By choosing which doors or windows in your home you leave open, you can help direct the flow of cooled air to areas where it is needed. The type of cooling system right for your dream home is based on many factors - budget, your area's weather and the size of your home. Talk with your architect or designer on what is the right system for you and your family.