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You’ve probably heard this phrase many times: It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. The adage appears to apply not just to human comfort but to greenhouse gas emissions as well.
The amount of energy used to power air conditioners has been well documented. New research from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado examines the less-studied environmental impact of removing humidity from the air.
The researchers found that about half of energy-related emissions from air conditioning are caused by controlling the air moisture — not temperature.
And while climate change causes an increasing desire to cool the air, the researchers say air conditioning is also contributing to worsening climate change.