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Gels and insulation can reduce air conditioner use

Reliance on air-conditioning in hot and humid climates can be reduced by combining heat absorbing gels in building materials with night ventilation and improved insulation, a study by Griffith University in Queensland has found.

It tested the energy efficiency of phase change materials–cooling gels that expand to store large amounts of heat–in experiments with night ventilation air flows and changes to thermal insulation. The year-long experiment was conducted by scientists from the university’s school of engineering and built environment in Brisbane.

The results are published online in the journal Building and Environment.  

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