Air Conditioning Doesn’t Need to Be a Climate Killer

In 2019 we rebuilt the AC for our private rooms and lobby in an environmentally friendly way. Check out how we did it!


... if you use the waste energy for heating

Air Conditioning Doesn’t Need to Be a Climate Killer

Thanks to global warming, our rooms in Frankfurt can get rather stuffy on those hot summer nights. Gone are the days an open window and oscillating fan are enough to do the trick. As a result, guests asked for air conditioned rooms. Our building had a system from the 90s already installed, but it was partially broken. So, we asked ourselves what we should do. Would it even be efficient if repaired? Should we invest in a new system? Doesn’t an AC system also contribute to climate change?

Research shows that 40-50% of energy used for heating in hotels is for hot water.

Unlike an AC system, hot water is consumed year-round in our hostel. So, we calculated how much this would be in our case. And we discovered our hot water consumption was sufficient to absorb the waste heat of nearly half our space; so we put AC in the lobby and private rooms. And since dorm rooms typically always have the windows open, a fan was efficient enough.

The Total investment was 55,000 €

This cost was covered by our landlord in exchange for an increase on our rent. But what did we have to replace exactly? We refitted and adjust the existing pipe system, so we saved in having to install something entirely new. The cooling devices also functioned well, but some were added or replaced for efficiency purposes. Additionally we added a new compressor which connected with the heating system. And finally, we chose a system which uses no harmful chemicals or toxins. Only pure water is used to cool the rooms, which we think is pretty great!

Our gas bill went down by 10%

This was a bonus for us. And it’s not bad, especially if you take into account that the AC only runs about 3 months of the year. The system is only heats up to 35 °C, so gas is still required to bring it up to 50-55 °C. But since electricity is always more expensive, our bill did increase more than 10% (as expected).

In total we estimate that we replaced about 25,000 KWh of fossil energy with roughly 10,000 KWh of renewable energy. And along with our guests, we gained the comfort of AC to help us through those hot summer days!

Air Conditioning Doesn’t Need to Be a Climate Killer

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