As the world keeps getting warmer, air conditioners are likely to become an increasingly common element of home design. With that said, these appliances are themselves a burden on the environment because they’re so energy-hungry. The same goes for heaters that are intended to keep us warm during winters which are also likely to become colder in the future.
In an effort to reimagine conventional cooling and heating technologies, a company called Gradient has developed an innovative window unit that’s both efficient and eco-friendly.
Recently, centralized heat pumps have been growing in popularity for their energy-efficient technology, but these systems tend to be quite bulky and expensive to install, preventing their adoption on a larger scale. Gradient’s technology, however, offers a sleek, affordable, and compact alternative to traditional window units.
What’s also attractive about the unit’s design is the way it drops below the surface of the window so it doesn’t block the view, eliminating the eyesore of most window units. Additionally, it’s easy to install, taking less than 15 minutes with minimal tools.
On top of introducing an attainable way of cooling spaces, the unit also produces heat. According to the company, the device uses 30 percent less energy than a standard AC window unit. And when used as the primary source of temperature control, Gradient offers an estimated 75 percent carbon reduction. As green energy sources are increasingly feeding into the grid, the firm hopes to achieve 100 percent carbon reduction.
Refrigerants inside AC units are another environmental concern since they are considered potent greenhouse gases, which ironically contribute to global warming. Gradient, on the other hand, uses a low-emission coolant that goes beyond what regulations require from the industry.
As reported by Fast Company, unlike a conventional AC that has two options —on and off— the Gradient device can turn up and down, using only the required amount of energy. The unit is also connected to Wi-Fi, so it can adjust itself when there’s heavy demand on the electric grid.