Heat pipes can increase the efficiency of any air conditioning system. They work by transferring heat from the warm return air to the cold supply air, creating the double effect of pre-cooling the air before it goes to the evaporator and then immediately re-heating it, thereby reducing the supply air relative humidity.
With lower relative humidity, indoor comfort can be achieved at higher thermostat settings, which results in net energy savings. Generally, for each 1° F rise in thermostat setting, there is a 7% savings in electricity cost. In addition, the pre-cooling effect of the heat pipe allows the use of a smaller compressor.
Activated by temperature difference alone, heat pipes consume no energy. Due to the pre-cooling effect, a heat pipe allows the evaporator coil to operate at a lower temperature, thus increasing the moisture removal capability of the air conditioning system by 50-100%.