Solar Air Conditioner

A solar air conditioner can make a huge difference for homeowners looking to utilize the sun's energy to cool their homes during the hottest months of the year.

solar air conditioner

Can you use the sun to cool your house? Absolutely. It seems like an oxymoron doesn't it? The idea of using the sun to cool your home? But, it really does work!

Power companies across the country and worldwide dread the summer months because they know that when the air conditioning units begin to operate, they'll experience the highest peak usage of the entire year!

Some areas of the world experience power failure due to the extreme energy drain that standard air conditioners put on the power grid. Is there anything we can do as homeowners to reduce our power footprint if you will and still enjoy the cool environment that an air conditioner provides us during the hot weather? Yes, there is!

What Are Solar Powered Air Conditioners?

Solar AC systems are any system that utilizes the sun to cool your home. They're powered by solar panels typically installed on the roof of your home. The panels can be installed in locations other than the roof, but that's usually where the panels will receive the most direct sunlight.

The solar panels soak up the sun's energy and that energy is received into what is called a solar power chiller using a type of anti-freeze solution called glycol.

A simple system of pipes, pumps, and controlling mechanisms are designed specifically for the purpose of cooling your home using the sun's energy.

Types of Solar Energy Air Conditioner Systems

  • Solar air conditioning using safe desiccants

  • Passive solar air conditioning

  • Solar thermal cooling

  • PV (photovoltaic) solar cooling

  • Geothermal cooling

  • Solar thermal fan-assisted AC

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar AC Units?

The advantages of using a solar powered air conditioner include:

  • Reducing environmental impact, as they require no chemicals to operate

  • No electricity needed to operate

  • Providing improved air quality inside your home

  • Saving money and energy

  • Requires less power to cool your home - one-tenth of the power required to operate other AC units

  • Can be used any where in the world

  • They require only the sun to keep us cool and comfortable!

Some disadvantages of solar AC units are:

  • The initial investment, in the range of $40,000 to $50,000, can be cost prohibitive for many businesses and homeowners

  • Your solar powered air conditioner won't work on a cloudy day

  • The space required for some systems could prove to be a challenge for some locations

What to Consider if You're Thinking About Solar Air Conditioning

  • Climate - if you reside in a location that is sunny most of the time, you can consider a solar AC unit that operates independently of the grid. However, if you have some cloudy days, a hybrid system may be more suitable.

  • How cool do you want to keep your home?

  • How many square feet do you want to cool?

  • How much can you spend and how long will it take to see a return on your investment?

Air conditioners powered by solar energy are primarily used for commercial applications, but more residential uses are being seen as the technology improves and the costs of adding this feature to the home decreases. Businesses spend a great deal of their yearly budget on cooling their buildings or factories, so finding a way to reduce their cost is a priority. Solar AC units are an efficient and environmentally friendly method for commercial businesses to cut their costs while still enjoying cool environments during the dog days of summer.

Are Solar Powered Air Conditioning Units Available for Residential Use?

There are a few online companies who offer solar energy air conditioning units for residential use. It's not apparent at this time whether hard goods stores carry solar AC systems on site. We've listed a few of the online sources here for you.

A company called SolCool offers this solar AC unit for residential use.

Coolerado offers a 6-ton air conditioning system that can cool up to 3,000 square feet using 600 watts of power to do so. Compared to other air conditioning units that require 6,000 watts of power to cool the same space, this solar AC unit is much more efficient. You'd need 4 solar panels on your home to power this system. offers a solar AC unit already being used by the U.S. Navy.

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