August 3, 2021
The next innovation in the HVAC industry is … paper? Learn more about how an everyday material could soon be cooling down YOUR home. No electricity required!
Professor Yi Zheng and the rest of his research team from Northeastern University in Boston have been working on a method for cooling homes without the need for electricity. (And yes, that would mean without the need for air conditioners.) The professor thought to himself that paper – which comes in any color, has slightly porous fibers, and can be joined with other materials like Teflon – would be the perfect starting point for a new and creative cooling method. So, he and his team have been working on this project since 2018, with the help of an award and grant from the National Science Foundation.
You are probably thinking, “What? ‘Cooling paper?’ How does a piece of paper cool down anything?” And we wouldn’t blame you! The idea of “cooling paper” sounds a little confusing until you think that light colors reflect the Sun/heat instead of absorbing it. That’s why you want to wear light colors in the summer! So, that is a small part of the trick to this “cooling paper.” By coating your roof or home with this material (and don’t worry, it doesn’t look like you’re plastering individual pieces of paper on your home. It’s more like a giant seamless wrap.), your home is reflecting light instead of absorbing it.
Of course, that’s just a small part of what Professor Zheng and his team are doing. The main way that cooling paper works is with the help of how porous the paper is, which cleverly absorbs heat from inside your home at the same time as it’s reflecting heat from outside! Also (originally by using a regular old kitchen blender), Zheng blended paper with Teflon to ensure that the coating was non-stick and would repel water and humidity.
So basically, cooling paper works by being light in color, reflecting outside heat, being fibrous to absorb indoor heat, and using Teflon to ensure humid air is not absorbed.
The purpose of the cooling paper is to keep homes cool in the summer without the need for A/C (or at least greatly supplementing it), but it has another purpose as well. You see, not only is cooling paper pretty “cool,” it’s also potentially significant for the environment. This is because it’s recyclable, and after being exposed to the elements year after year and needing to be replaced, it can just be blended into a pulp and remade again! Without any compromise on how effective it is.
Speaking of which, let’s answer that question! Is it effective? Yes, it can actually reduce the temperature in your home by up to 10 degrees – and that’s without any added A/C! So, you can see why Professor Zheng is excited to get this product on the market.
So, when and where will the cooling paper be available? The answer is, no one knows yet! It would be great if everyone could wrap their homes in cooling paper one day, but for now, the best solution is investing in a high-efficiency air conditioning system and also taking good care of the system you have. Learn more about our maintenance agreement and become a member of the “Parker Family” for priority service and an automatic 10% discount on everything. We may not have access to technology that’s not for sale in Phoenix yet, but we do sell the best tech that we can!