Over three quarters of American homes have an air conditioner, accounting for 6% usage of all the energy produced in the USA. In fact, it’s more common for an American home to have an air conditioner than a dishwasher, garage or even a dining room.

It’s unquestionably vital to people’s health and comfort levels especially in hotter regions. But the enormous amounts of CO2 that’s emitted from ACs are making outdoor temperatures warmer. This creates an even greater need to make things cool and bearable inside. A study done in Phoenix, Arizona found that AC units contributed to an increase in night-time temperatures by up to 35.6°F. This, in turn, causes people to crank up their ACs for respite leading to increase in peak power demand.

The AC boom

The global air conditioning market is booming as an estimated 700 million AC’s will be installed across the world by 2030. In North America, the air conditioner market is expected to reach $34.42 billion by 2022*.

AC units shipped

The above graph shows room air conditioning unit shipments - with figures from 2012-2016. The figure shown for 2018 is a forecast and is expected to exceed previous years.

Clearly, there’s a need for a more sustainable co-existence between the environment and a population blasting more and more air con. Let’s start with ways of reducing internal temperatures by reflecting solar radiation.

How a tiny microsphere can help solve a big problem

Expancel thermoplastic microspheres have high solar reflectance and is proven to reduce external roof temperatures by as much as 15°C**. A proven winner for elastomeric cool roof coatings that will help reduce internal temperatures and reduce the need for high power consumption, especially from air conditioning. Test results show that commercial cool roof coating formulated with Expancel and less titanium dioxide performs much better with spectral reflectance – compared to those without our microspheres. AkzoNobel’s research findings have seen that hollow ultra-low density thermoplastic microspheres used as filler can improve a host of properties in cool roof coatings. The positive results will be discussed in length at the American Coatings Show  so stay tuned for the exciting prospects.

Speak to us about formulating cool roof coatings and let’s work together in providing sustainable solutions for a planet that needs more of them.

For more on Expancel for cool roof coatings, click here.

*"North America Air Conditioners Market By Product Type, By Country, Competition Forecast & Opportunities, 2012 – 2022"

**Number may vary depending on intensity of solar radiation and roof type.

February 20, 2018

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