A new day is dawning for residential gas cooling
Although popular during the 1960s, natural gas air conditioning fell out of favor until recently due to lower efficiencies and higher purchase costs. Since that time, conventional electric air conditioning gained in popularity but did not offer acceptable solutions to the need for zoned cooling in larger, high-end homes.
Increasingly larger newly constructed homes teamed with recent advances in cooling technology are making natural gas a practical option for air conditioning. As reported in the ASHRAE Journal, the average new home size has grown to more than 2,000 ftIncreasingly larger newly constructed homes teamed with recent advances in cooling technology are making natural gas a practical option for air conditioning. As reported in the ASHRAE Journal, the average new home size has grown to more than 2,000 ft2 and more than 10% of all new single-family detached homes built today are more than 4000 ft2. According to ASHRAE, the installation of traditional electric air conditioning units in such large homes results in uneven temperature distribution or requires multiple, expensive and complex zones with two or more noisy cooling units. Additionally, as electricity costs increase, the efficiency and economy of natural gas becomes an attractive solution to the high cost of comfort cooling.
Over the last decade, advances in natural gas cooling technology made large chiller units available to business and industry, allowing them to take advantage of the efficiency, economy, reliability and superior performance of natural gas. Now, this same technology has been applied to small packaged units in sizes suitable for residential homes.
Additionally, for maximum cooling efficiency, residential homeowners can now take advantage of a cooling technology that’s been successfully applied in and enjoyed by the occupants of many commercial, institutional and industrial facilities for years—gas-fired desiccant dehumidification. Teamed with natural gas cooling, gas-fired dehumidification provides maximum cooling comfort, efficiency and economy.