Air conditioning is exactly the same as heat pumps , but just turned round the opposite way. All heat pumps and air conditioning are a failure of building design. with modern materials and systems it should be possible to control the atmosphere in buildings without the vast use of energy.
I blame all architects and planners for poor designs over the years , as they failed to address the real needs of housing , that is of long-lasting sustainable design with low embedded energy and that has space both inside and out to fulfil the basic needs of humans.
Designers and planners seem intent of on their own self esteem and standing rather than of long term prosperity and welfare of the people using the buildings.
When do you see an architect living in a block of flats in East London, or in an area where there is only a concrete jungle surrounding them rather than trees and streams ?
A good designer is someone who designs with the final user in mind and also is the everyday user themselves , not just a look nice thing on the shelf!
Air Con is the Con of a Life-time, tricking us to believe we have sorted the problem , but its just a sticking plaster over the whole building sector hiding all the warts of bad design and materials.