The whole chains of exergy flows for different cooling systems were compared. The effects of cooling demand (internal vs. external solar shading), space cooling method (floor cooling vs. air cooling with ventilation system), and the availability of a nearby natural heat sink (intake air for the ventilation system being outdoor air vs. air from the crawl-space, and air-to-water heat pump vs. ground heat exchanger as cooling source) on system exergy performance were investigated. It is crucial to minimize the cooling demand because it is possible to use a wide range of heat sinks (ground, lake, sea-water, etc.) and indoor terminal units, only with a minimized demand. The water-based floor cooling system performed better than the air-based cooling system; when an air-to-water heat pump was used as the cooling source, the required exergy input was 28% smaller for the floor cooling system. The auxiliary exergy input of air-based systems was significantly larger than the water-based systems. The use of available cool exergy in the crawl-space resulted in 54% and 29% smaller exergy input to the power plant for the air-based and water-based cooling systems, respectively. For floor cooling, the exergy input to the power plant can be reduced by 90% and 93%, with the use of ground, and use of the ground and the air in the crawl-space, respectively. A new approach to exergy efficiency was introduced and used to prove that the exergy supply from the ground matches well with the low exergy demand of the floor cooling system.