Airspool Blog

The 10 Ways that Mini-Splits Pay for Themselves

After being the standard heating and cooling overseas for years, mini splits are finally gaining wide-spread adoption in the U.S. Why? They're easier to install, add more comfort, and save energy over traditional heaters and air conditioners. Soon, you'll see this same technology take over whole house heating and cooling.

2023: The hottest year ever

2023 was the hottest year ever recorded for our planet. And, since there's nearly-perfect correlation to man-made CO2 level increases and temperature increases, it would seem obviously important to mitigate or lower these levels. Solar, and, in Airspool's case, solar-powered air conditioning, is helping.

Is solar air conditioning worth it?

Solar-powered air conditioners are now gaining traction. More specifically, solar-powered hybrid (meaning that they can run using grid power, too) heat pumps (meaning that they can heat, too) are gaining traction, since they run using much less power, are much simpler, and need a much-smaller upfront investment that previous systems that required batteries, external voltage controllers, and inverters. But, are they cost justified? If so, when, where, and how are they cost justified?

Is solar air conditioning any good?

For most, solar air conditioners are now a wise investment, since newer technology in these units and lower costs for solar panels make them cost justified. The Inflation Reduction Act and environmental benefits are icing on the cake.

If Electric Utilities are Using Solar, too, Why are Utility Prices Always Increasing?

The price of solar modules keeps coming down. Western utilities in sunny states are paying less than $.02/kWh now, and they're buying more of it. So, why is just about everyone in the U.S., including in the West and other sunny locales, seeing increased pricing for their energy.

Using solar in the winter to run a solar-hybrid heat pump may have its challenges, but there's a huge upside

Using solar in the winter for heating may have its challenges... Shorter days? Check. Weaker sunlight because more of the sun's rays need to go through more atmosphere? Check Potentially your solar panels are at an angle of trajectory more suited for summer--something like your latitude minus 14 degrees? Check Snow on your panels? Check. Need for more BTUs, since for much of the country, going from, say, 35 degrees for heating to a setpoint of, say, 75 degrees is more of a lift than going down from 95 degrees in air conditioning to 75 degrees? Check But, solar panels are around 1/3% per degree below 77 degrees Fahrenheit more efficient in the winter, where their 1/3% per degree above 77 degrees less efficient in the summer. And, solar heating is free, so you can keep your house (or your cabin) heated all winter long, and if you come back (at least during the day), the house will be comfortable. #solarheat #diysolar #heatpumps

We're offering pre-charged, and pre-installed, line set by the foot. Why?

The last element of true DIY solar-powered air conditioning is adding the chance for users to get pre-charged, pre-installed line set by the foot. Why? Because if you're indoor and outdoor unit are too far away, you're going to need to call a contractor to lengthen the line set, even if you have quick-connect refrigerant lines. So, to avoid this expense and friction, Airspool now offers pre-installed, and pre-charged, line sets.

Draft Form 5695 for 2023

Draft of the as-of-now intended Form 5695 for 2023. Once this finalized, looks like you'll use line 1 for your solar equipment and labor deductions, and line 22a for your Energy Star-approved (e.g., Airspool MS12) equipment and labor deductions.

The Challenge of a Grid-tied Net-metered Solar Array During a Power Outage

What happens to solar panels that are grid-tied during an outage? Unfortunately, they're dead in the water. Or, dead on your roof, as it were. Your local utility requires your inverter shut off during such events to protect utility workers and equipment. Airspool can't run your whole house in such events, but at least you'll stay cool (or warm) as long as it's sunny out, since Airspool's panels are not tied to any utility.

Airspool's new Quick 'n' Easy revolutionizes mini split installation

You want a mini split, especially an Airspool solar-hybrid mini split, but you're afraid of the time, effort, and money the installation process may take. You're a good candidate for Airspool's new patent-pending Quick 'n' Easy unit that allows for connecting the indoor and outdoor units' refrigerant lines and communication control wires, along with the alternating current and DC solar power lines, in less than 5 minutes instead of the 5+ hours it takes most novices. No HVAC installation experience needed. And, literally, the only tool you'll need that Airspool doesn't provide in their Quick 'n' Easy kit is a drill. The Quick 'n' Easy is a true do-it-yourself mini split.

We just got Energy Star approved. What's in it for you?

Airspool is now Energy Star certified, meaning that, in addition to getting a 30% tax credit for any solar equipment, accessories, and installation costs associated with getting your Airspool solar hybrid air conditioner set up, you'll also get the same 30% for the actual Airspool heat pump unit and setup cost (since Airspool has now been certified by the Air-Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute as efficient in both heating and cooling). It's a badge of honor for us and 30% off for you!

See How Inverter Compressors Level the Power Roller Coaster for Energy Savings

Yes, an inverter compressor levels power spikes to save energy and helps maintain your temperature setpoint, but how? And how does this look graphically?

How is a kilowatt-hour (kWh) calculated? How's it different from a kilowatt? What does all of this have to do with running home appliances?

How is a kilowatt-hour (kWh) calculated? How's it different from a kilowatt? What does all of this have to do with running home appliances? What's potentially the future for home power and energy?

NV Energy bills increase 30-40% year-over-year. Avoid the pain with Airspool.

Change the attitude or change the situation. Either be happy continuing to be take these NV Energy rate increases, or get an Airspool unit for air conditioning and heating to shave off much, or in many cases, most of your electricity bill.

How often does an air conditioner need to be recharged?

Many people not familiar with air conditioning think that adding refrigerant to a system is a necessary part of maintenance. In fact, refrigerant should never need to be added. Adding refrigerant means you have a leak, since air conditioners are closed-loop systems. So, find the leak an seal it up, or get a new unit. Adding refrigerant eventually will likely not be sustainable, since through that same leak, air and dirt will be getting into the loop, and at times, the compressor will undoubtedly be running on too little refrigerant. It's a ticking time bomb.

48v battery solar air conditioners vs. 310v hybrid solar air conditioners

48v battery solar air conditioners and 310v hybrid solar air conditioners are both technological marvels, and offer many of the same advantages, but they operate quite differently.

Why is solar-powered heating harder to do that solar-powered air conditioning?

There are 5 primary reasons why running a solar-powered heat pump for heating is more difficult than running it for air conditioning. It all comes down to location, timing, and delta T.

The Cool and Efficient Kid: The Analogies and Advantages of Heat Pumps

Heat Pumps not the new kid in town, but he's been working out to get better, and he's ready to satisfy all of your heating and cooling needs.

What's the difference between AHRI and ASHRAE?

AHRI and ASHRAE both are organizations involved in the heating and air conditioning industry. AHRI primarily sets standards and certifies products, and its subsidiary, IEC, hosts the largest air conditioning and heating show in the U.S., the AHR Expo. On the other hand, AHRAE is a society of engineers, architects, and building professionals that conducts research and develops standards for the industry, in part to promote a sustainable world.

Five Great Commercial Applications for Solar-Powered Air Conditioning

Commercial buildings often have a high heat load, which means they have a high air conditioning cost. Sola-powered air conditioning is now challenging the cost/BTU of traditional RTU, WSHP, or chiller/AHU/fan coil applications. Although not yet ready to take over the full needs of commercial buildings, it's already a good way to help owners augment their current setup to save money.

Five Great Residential Applications for Solar-Powered Air Conditioning

Solar air conditioning's now a thing, and here are 5 great ways to make it work for you to save money and save the environment.

10 fact about solar air conditioning you may not have known

10 things are making solar air conditioning (and heating) now viable. Why air conditioning with solar panels is now affordable with a much-lower price than 10 years ago. How air conditioning with solar power is now simple and smart.

Why are heat pumps more efficient than baseboard heating?

Baseboard heating is efficient in one sense, since it targets only 1 space at a time. But heat pumps use the magic of the refrigeration cycle to carry free heat from the outside even when it's very cold outside, making them the clear winner.

Will getting a new heat pump save you money in the long run?

Setting aside the huge (possibly irresistible?) IRA tax incentives for purchasing a heat pump, will it actually save you money?

Harvesting North African solar energy and transporting it to Europe

Solar energy's now running under the Mediterranean to power Europe.

Solar-powered heating with high-tech heat pumps is now here

Heat pump will be all the rage soon because of the Inflation Reduction Act. Soon, adding solar and batteries to them will help to further cost justify them en route to a cleaner environment.

Utility-scale solar is dominating. Where's our savings?

As utilities continue to employ solar in order to save money, even over burning coal and natural gas, their rates to the end consumers continue to rise.

How to tame utility time-of-use plans with Airspool and Kasa

Although you can't always defeat utility time of use plans, you can at least tame them with the right tools--Airspool and Kasa.

Why is a mini split more efficient?

Minisplit air conditioners are more efficient since they i) don't have duct work ii) focus on cooling or heating only one room iii) often use super-efficient variable-speed compressors and fan motors.

UNLV Capstone project

Here's what we're working on with Dr. Greg Chmaj and his senior class as a potential Capstone Project.

The home of the future will be DC

Since so many of your appliances now run on DC power (computers, TVs, air conditioners (the good ones, anyway), and since solar creates DC power, it's beginning to make more sense to have one's home run on DC power. And, these guys from Purdue have created a model home to illustrate just that.

What is a 'solar ready' mini split?

What is a solar-ready or an ac/dc mini split? Quite simply, it's a mini split air conditioning heat pump that allows plug-in solar. The solar panel array just clicks onto the MC4 connectors on the outside unit. Cloudy or nighttime? These units are usually hybrid, so they also efficiently use grid power when not enough solar is available. Solar is always prioritized, though.

Yes, turn your air conditioner off if you're away (if it's not solar-powered)

Three engineers examined homes in hot dry AZ and hot humid GA on how to best manage the air conditioner when you're away from home. As expected?, the best savings came from turning it totally off if you work from work, especially if you have poor insulation.

Consumer Reports analyzes the Inflation Reduction Act's heat pump provision

Consumer points out that (albeit circuitously) that lots of folks won't qualify for any rebates for buying a heat pump

Attn. Californians: Heat wave? Set your air conditioner colder and save money

California's grid operator and utilities are encouraging citizens to increase their energy savings by increasing the air temperature in their homes. Just say no! Get Airspool's (https://airspool.com/) solar-powered minisplit and set it to whatever temperature is most comfortable. It runs for free when it's sunny and very efficiently when grid power's needed.

Lots of folks in high-rate states like CA, MA, NH, VT, and ME still don't have air conditioners. Good solar air conditioner candidates.

The reasons can be debated, but the world, including areas that haven't had air conditioning in the past, are warming. Good candidates for solar-powered air conditioning.

Huge incentives for solar-powered heat pumps under the Inflation Reduction Act

Will it reduce inflation? That's debatable. But, there's a wave of huge free-money savings coming to anyone going solar or getting a heat pump--30% or more off.

Q: How often should my air conditioner run? A: Always, if it's efficient.

Traditional air conditioners are constantly turning on and off which i) isn't energy efficient, since their one-speed motors need 4-6 times more startup current than running current ii) wears down the motors, so they need more maintenance iii) create a larger temperature operating range, so users are less comfortable. Variable-speed motor, variable refrigerant flow (VRF) now efficient units run faster or slower depending on the heat load. Thus, they run slower, more efficiently with less motor wear and tear and with a tighter comfort range (deadband).

What the Inflation Reduction Act may mean to (solar-powered) heat pumps if passed

They have a deal! Biden, Schumer, and Manchin came up with something agreeable, and it's good news and big tax credits for the solar industry and (solar-powered) heat pumps. $369 billion for clean energy incentives.

Out in the desert

Desert off-grid TikTok video showing Airspool running off of only 2 panels. www.tiktok.com/t/ZTRrG7wTq/?k=1

What's solar augmented air conditioning?

By placing a smaller, more efficient solar-powered DC inverter air conditioner in the area of your home with the most demand, you can save a substantial amount of money at a much smaller cost than replacing your older system.

5 Factors Driving People Off-grid in the U.S. and How Solar-Powered Air Conditioning Helps

Utilities may not be shaking in their boots yet, but more and more individuals and families in the U.S. are building remote compounds to go off-grid for 5 primary reasons. Solar air conditioning fits in well for off-grid since motors are now primarily DC powered, the same power the solar panels create.

What's a hybrid solar DC air conditioner?

What's a hybrid solar DC air conditioner? Why did Airspool choose this technology to be the best value for those who want solar-powered air conditioning?

SEER vs. EER (and COP)

How exactly is EER calculated? How does it relate to COP? And, how can the COP of a unit be greater than 1, by the way? How exactly is SEER calculated? Why do we need SEER?

Why solar-powered air conditioners need more panel power on hot days

Spring/fall shoulder months greatly skew the SEER value of an air conditioner or heat pump's efficiency. But the pendulum really tilts in the other direction when it's 110 out.

Happy Summer Solstice

On the first day of summer, the day is long and hot. But with Airspool, at least your air conditioner's running for free.

Puerto Ricans take power management into their own hands

The government response to grid rebuilding in Puerto Rico has left much to be desired. But with solar+storage, citizens are end-running their public utility.

Wind and solar energy by hour for the continental USA

How does your state stack up for wind and solar availability?

How many solar panels are needed to run an air conditioner off-grid?

Airspool needs 3 solar panels, making it an outlier. Other normal air conditioners either need many more panels or they need a whole lotta batteries. Airspool needs not batteries, voltage regulators, net metering, or power inversion.

Don't be like Mr. Burns this Earth Day!

Net metering, slowly but surely, is going away, driving solar users to off-grid or hybrid

Is this a battle that's worth worrying about needing to fight in the future? Control your solar production and use it locally to heat and cool your home. Leverage the grid when it's cloudy or nighttime. State’s Department of Public Service recommends cuts to net metering rates https://vtdigger.org/2022/04/19/states-department-of-public-service-recommends-cuts-to-net-metering-rates/ via @vtdigger Net metering, slowly but surely, is going away.

More hurricanes? Airspool stays running even when the power's out after storms.

Solar-powered air conditioning units that are capable of running off-grid stay up and running, even when the grid and net-metered rooftop solar power is down.

Yes, solar is projected to save the world

Ember confirms that we can do this preventing future global warming thing. U.S. is still under 5% renewables, but we'll get there.

Why Solar is Heading for a Win

Q: What's carbon-neutral, and continues to get cheaper every year to use? (Hint: it's already cheaper than coal or natural gas, without even taking into account the sizable environmental impact of these fuels.) A: It's solar!

Where Solar-Powered Air Conditioning Works and Why That's Good News

In short, solar-powered air conditioning works where it's sunny, and that's good news since air conditioning units are forecasted to increase 250% by 2050, and since the greatest adoption in the coming years will be in the sunniest parts of our planet.

Hello World--Welcome to the Future of Air Conditioning

Solar-powered air conditioning was neither affordable nor viable in the past, since solar panel and electronic design technology wasn't where it is today. Now, 3 or 4 solar panels can run 12,000 BTUs of air conditioning. Cloudy or nighttime? No problem. Plug into 120v grid power for super-efficient 22-SEER cooling. Save money and save the environment with Airspool.