Pros and Cons of Solar-Powered Air Conditioner

Joe Brennan
Feb 7, 2024

Are you tired of paying high electricity bills to run your air conditioner? Do you want to switch to a more eco-friendly and cost-effective cooling solution? 

If yes, then you might be interested in a solar-powered air conditioner, a system that uses solar energy to power your AC unit. But what are the benefits and drawbacks of this option? How does it work, and how much does it cost? 

In this blog post, we will answer these questions and more, so that you can decide if a solar-powered air conditioner is right for you.

What is a Solar-Powered Air Conditioner?

It is a type of air conditioning system that uses solar panels to generate electricity for the AC unit. There are two main types of solar-powered air conditioners: hybrid and off-grid.

The table below summarises the main differences between the two types of solar-powered air conditioners:

Pros of Solar-Powered Air Conditioner

A solar-powered air conditioner has many advantages over conventional AC systems, such as:

Lower Energy Costs

By using solar energy to power your AC unit, you can significantly reduce your electricity bills, especially during the summer months when the cooling demand is high. Depending on the type and size of your system, you can save up to 80% on your energy costs compared to a standard AC system.

Environmental Benefits

By using solar energy to power your AC unit, you can also reduce your carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions, as solar energy is a renewable and clean source of energy. Unlike fossil fuels, solar energy does not produce any harmful pollutants or contribute to global warming. 

By switching to solar-powered air conditioners, you can help protect the environment and combat climate change.

Long Lifespan

Solar panels have a long lifespan of up to 25 years, and require minimal maintenance. They are also durable and resistant to weather conditions, such as rain, snow, and hail. This means that you can enjoy the benefits of a solar-powered air conditioner for a long time, without worrying about frequent repairs or replacements.

Tax Credits and Incentives

By installing solar-powered air conditioners, you may also qualify for various tax credits and incentives from the government and utility companies, depending on your location and system type. These can help you offset the initial cost of your system and increase your return on investment. 

For example, in Ireland, you can apply for the Solar PV Grant Scheme, which offers up to €2,100 for installing solar panels and battery storage systems.

Cons of Solar-Powered Air Conditioner

Solar-powered air conditioner also has some disadvantages that you should consider before making a decision, such as:

High Initial Cost

The main drawback of solar-powered air conditioners is the high initial cost of the system. Depending on the type and size of your system, you may need to invest thousands of euros for the solar panels, batteries, inverters, wiring, installation, and other components. This can be a significant upfront expense that may not suit your budget or financial goals.

Space Requirements

Another drawback of solar-powered air conditioners is the space requirements for the system. You will need to have enough roof space or land space to install the solar panels, which can vary from 10 to 100 square metres, depending on the size and efficiency of your system.

 You will also need to have enough indoor or outdoor space to store the batteries and inverters, which can take up a lot of room.Make sure to have enough space for your system, and that it does not interfere with the aesthetics or functionality of your property.

Performance Variability

Another drawback of solar-powered air conditioners is the performance variability of the system. The output of your system will depend on the weather conditions, the time of the day, the season, and the orientation and angle of your solar panels. 

This means that your system may not be able to provide enough power for your AC unit at all times, especially during cloudy days, rainy days, or night time. You may need to supplement your system with the grid or a generator, or adjust your cooling demand accordingly.


Solar-powered air conditioners are a great option for anyone who wants to save money on their energy bills, reduce their environmental impact, and enjoy a long-lasting and reliable cooling solution. However, it is also important to weigh the pros and cons of this option, and consider the cost, space, and performance factors that may affect your system. 

If you are interested in installing solar-powered air conditioners for your home or business, contact Going Solar today. We can help you design, install, and maintain your solar-powered air conditioner system, and provide you with the best quality and service.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the advantages of solar-powered air conditioners?

Solar-powered air conditioners offer numerous benefits, including energy savings by utilising free solar energy, reducing reliance on the electrical grid, and emitting fewer greenhouse gases compared to traditional AC units. They are also user-friendly and can provide a reliable power supply even during power outages​​​​.

How does a solar-powered air conditioner work?

Solar ACs use solar panels to collect solar energy and convert it into electrical energy to power the air conditioning system. Hybrid models can switch between solar and battery power, automatically using the most efficient energy source available​​​​.

What are the disadvantages of solar-powered air conditioners?

The primary drawbacks include high upfront costs for installation and equipment, reliance on weather conditions for optimal performance, potential deterioration of solar panels over time, and less familiarity in the market compared to traditional AC units​​​​.

Are solar-powered air conditioners cost-effective in the long run?

Despite the high initial investment, solar-powered air conditioners can be cost-effective over time due to significant savings on electricity bills. The return on investment (ROI) is also an important factor, as the energy savings can offset the upfront costs​​​​.

Do solar-powered air conditioners work at night?

Solar-powered air conditioners may face challenges at night due to the lack of sunlight. However, models with energy storage capabilities or hybrid systems that can tap into the grid or store power can overcome this limitation​​.

What factors should be considered when choosing a solar-powered air conditioner?

Important factors include the payback period, system size and capacity to meet cooling needs, seasonal variations, and weather dependency. Assessing the need for additional battery technology for uninterrupted operation is also crucial​​.

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*FYI, parts of this blog post were drafted by artificial technlogy. But rest assured, it's been thoroughly researched, edited, reviewed and me & my team.
Author Fahad Zahid
Founder @ Going Solar

Joe Brennan, the founder of Going Solar, is dedicated to making solar power mainstream in Ireland and meet SEAI objectives. With a focus on affordability and sustainability, he is bringing renewable energy solutions to homes, reducing costs & environmental impact.