Prize-winning air conditioner design reduces energy by 30 percent

New air conditioner designs deviate from classic function and save energy.

I love my air conditioner, but what I don't love is the increase in my electric bill that comes when the weather gets warm. This summer, that problem wasn't so bad because I followed a lot of energy saving advice that I found online, and was able to keep cost to a minimum. But a few weeks ago, my friend Paul sent me an article that suggested that one day in the future, I might not have to work so hard to lower my energy bills.

Last year, the Department of Energy ran a contest that called for college engineering students to design more energy-efficient home appliances, and the winning submission was an air conditioner. A group of students from the University of Maryland won the challenge, and the prototype that they designed uses 30 percent less energy than the average model on sale today. I can't wait until this energy efficient AC is on sale to the public, it would save me so much money every month.

Paul has some friends who were on the design team from at the University of Maryland. He says that they realized that air conditioners use more electricity than they have to because the part that removes humidity is too close to the part that provides cooling in the machine. Simply by separating these mechanisms, the students were able to design a cooling system that uses far less electricity.

These talented engineers will surely go to work for one of the big appliance manufacturers as soon as they graduate, and I can't wait for them to turn their knowledge into savings for my electric bill! Until these exciting new models come out in a few years, I'm happy with the job that my Energy Star-rated air conditioner does at keeping me cool and keeping electric bills to a minimum.

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