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AIR-igator: Collects AC Water For Your Garden

via gizmag.comvia gizmag.com

 

In some places (like where I live) it's too hot to turn off the AC unit and open up the windows. On some days temperatures can reach over 100 degrees, that's why our AC stays on all the time. Asking us to take off more clothes to cool off and conserve energy would leave us naked, so how do we, the consumers, stay cool and cut down on our carbon footprint? We could try an AIR-igator.

Solar powered AC's are not in our budget nor are they readily available for consumer just yet, at least not that I am aware of, but an AIR-igator system is an innovative gadget that can help AC consumers make their daily air-condition use a little more planet-friendly. It could also help everyone save a little money and keep his or her garden green and fruitful.

The AIR-igator works like this: it collects condensation water from your AC unit and stores it in a 65-gallon (ideal size for residential applications of three to five ton AC capacity) underground tank. To make use of the stored greywater water, once the tank is full the "float inside the reservoir will either start the pump, running until the tank is empty; or signal a timer, allowing the system to run at a specified time." In other words, the float activates the water pump submerged in the underground tank. The stored water is then pumped out into the garden until the tank is empty. In addition the system is set so that water loss is kept to a minimum. Water that is usually wasted can now be used for something useful and hopefully fruitful.

An amazing tid-bit: an AIR-igator underground tank can store over 15 gallons of water a day from a three-ton air conditioner. Wow! I didn't even know an air conditioner unit could waste this much water per day. Saving this much a day would save 5475 gallons of water per year.

The price of the AIR-igator isn't cheap, at almost $500, the gadget will pay for itself maybe after a few years, depending on your water bill fees and water usage. The good news is that in times of drought like some of us are in now, this is good way to conserve water and maintain a healthy garden too. Since the AC greywater is clean and pollutant free it can also be used in a vegetable garden.

For more information on the AIR-igator and how it works visit the Air-igator site here.


Via Ecofriend and Gizmag


Comments
Jul 4, 2009
by Anonymous

calico

How is an AC "wasting" water if there is no input of fresh water? all it's doing is condensating air moisture, not removing it from your well or freshwater source.

I am suspicious of this invention. For it to be useful, you'd need to be running the AC and be in a humid location (not a desert). In most humid locations you also get occasional rain. Wouldn't you capture far more water by using a plain old rain barrel on you roof's downspouts?

Speaking of saving water, why do we care about a few gallons a day from a AC when we waste massive amounts in other ways. Here's a trivia tidbit: if you count all the irrigation water sources, a pound of beef takes over 10000 gallons of water to produce. Do I worry about 5 gallons of condensate/day from my AC or do I just skip meat one day a week to save over 1000 gallons?

Jul 4, 2009
by Anonymous

re: calico

AC is something that is already being widely used and condensing water, regardless of humidity--I am fairly certain that even desert areas have some humidity, particularly at night.

It's not exactly wasting the water, but at the same time that greywater could go toward a better use: in this case, it replaces water that would normally come from your well or freshwater source, to water your garden. There is a definite effect on personal water usage because no one is going to come into your house and run your tap.

When it comes to meat, that is a different story. Whether or not you skip meat one day a week, the same amount of meat is still being produced, and the same amount of water is being used, so your diet change has next to no effect. If enough people did this to affect the economy in a serious way, then production might slow, but that hasn't happened yet. (That's no reason not to try, though)