The traditional way to cool a building is to use special chemicals called refrigerants. The problem is that these refrigerants often contain agents that are harmful to the environment and cause damage to the atmosphere. Nowadays, however, there are techniques being developed that will allow you to cool down your building without using traditional refrigerants at all.
While it's true that using an air conditioner is often an effective way to keep your building cool, you don't necessarily need to use a mechanical device at all. If you want to keep something cool, all you have to do is prevent it from warming up in the first place.
This is exactly the technique that is being experimented with at MIT. They are developing a material that could reflect light and heat from a building with a high degree of efficiency. The problem with reflecting heat is that you have to reflect the heat from where it's hitting currently to somewhere else.
This would just pass the heat elsewhere which might cause someone else problems. The way MIT is solving this is by making it so that heat is reflected in exactly the right way to shoot it back into space.
The material, once developed, would be used to coat the tops of buildings. This is where the most rays from the sun strike. By bouncing these rays back into space, the idea is that the building would cool down without having to expend any energy at all.
Instead of using traditional refrigerants like Freon, recent technological breakthroughs in air conditioning have been experimenting with something called desiccants. These are agents that take moisture out of the air. The process uses something called a regenerator instead of the traditional compressor.
The water removed from the air is then used to eliminate heat. This then cools the room.
There are many advantages to using desiccant air conditioners over ones using traditional refrigerants. For one thing, desiccants don't have a negative effect on global warming. Additionally, they use as much as 80% less energy than air conditioning that uses traditional refrigerants.
This applies to air conditioners that are top of the line as well. Desiccant approaches are just more energy efficient. It's also true that desiccants can be used in dryer environments where traditional evaporative coolers wouldn't work as well.
As a result, desiccant air conditioners are even more efficient in these conditions than traditional approaches.
For more information about your cooling options, contact a company like Ice Age Mechanical.