Clothing Technology Promises to Reduce Air Conditioning Dependence

air-conditioningAir conditioners are reliable sources of relief whenever it gets hot inside a room. However, their high energy consumption can result in large monthly bills. Occupants also have to compromise on a single setting despite their individual temperature preferences. Now scientists are offering a better and more personalized form of cooling using advanced clothing technology.

According to the researchers, they were able to develop a material that is capable of lowering the body’s temperature by as much as 4F. Clothes made using it will be able to reflect sunlight making it suitable for outdoor pursuits. It also allows a greater amount of heat radiation to escape instead of getting trapped inside.

This represents an incredible breakthrough in clothing technology. In the past, most studies were aimed at creating materials that could keep us warm in the cold. Little has been done to address cooling in warm environments until recently. Most of these have been aimed at athletic gear but regular people should also be able to benefit from this advancement.

The study was undertaken at Stanford University. Their goal was to develop a low-cost textile that could let body heat escape while blocking light and heat from the outside. They called it the nanoPE. The results were published in the Science journal. The researchers say that their project could help those living in hot climates to do away with air conditioning. At the very least, wearing clothes with this textile can improve their tolerance to heat and reduce the urge to reach for the AC remote.

By cooling the people directly, homes and offices can potentially save a great deal of energy. ACs can be configured with milder settings, if they are ever needed. More research is required before this can be ready for large-scale use. The material is now undergoing rigorous testing in different usage scenarios.

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