15 Current and Revolutionary Technologies and Innovations in HVAC
Technological advancement has driven the HVAC industry to innovate more efficient and superior HVAC systems. The increase in construction of green buildings and demand for energy-efficient HVAC systems has further pushed innovators to create eco-friendly and energy-efficient HVAC systems. Below are some of the current and upcoming technologies and innovations in HVAC you should look out for.
1. Geothermal HVAC systems
Geothermal HVAC systems source renewable geothermal energy stored in the ground to efficiently heat or cool your home. They are eco-friendly since they make use of natural resources to function. Commercial and residential buildings can both use Geothermal HVAC systems.
The first geothermal HVAC system was a ground system that was invented by an American scientist called Carl Nielsen.
Geothermal HVAC systems can help you cut energy costs since they are highly energy-efficient. These HVAC systems can save you around 50% of their cooling costs and about 70% of your heating costs This innovation can also help HVAC companies make more sales since energy-efficient HVAC systems are likely to be in more demand in the future.
2. Ductless HVAC systems
Ductless HVAC systems are also known as mini-split systems and they are used to heat or cool a home without using connective ductwork. Traditional HVAC units use ductwork to effectively heat or cool a room which uses a lot of electric energy. About 30% of electrical energy is lost through ducts.
The ductless HVAC systems were invented in 1959 by Mitsubishi which is a Japanese company that continues to produce these units.
These type of HVAC systems are relatively small which make them flexible and effective for small spaces. Ductless HVAC systems can also be used to effectively cool several rooms at different temperatures.
They are also very energy-efficient and can help you cut down on utility costs. Mini-split systems are also relatively easy to install which can save you on installation costs and reduce the amount of time an HVAC technician spends in one home. There could be a rising demand for mini-split systems due to their energy efficiency and flexibility.
3. Solar-powered AC units
The need for sustainability in the HVAC industry has driven the innovation of solar-powered HVAC systems which use solar power for heating and cooling purposes. These eco-friendly HVAC units could become popular in the future since they use renewable energy and cut down on electricity costs.
The first solar-powered air conditioner was invented by a company in China called Shandong Vicot Air Conditioning Co. Ltd.
Solar-powered AC units can cool your home effectively because they soak up a lot of energy from the sun. solar energy could also be a great option in the future since it is environmentally friendly and reduces carbon emissions, unlike traditional AC units.
HVAC companies that manufacture solar-powered AC units might make more sales and profits in the future due to the demand for these units. For instance, a data scientist who owns an HVAC company said that they sell around 300 – 500 solar-powered AC units per month to different countries.
4. Dual-fuel heat pumps
A dual-fuel heat pump uses a combination of a gas furnace and an electric heat pump to efficiently heat or cool your home providing maximum comfort. The gas used by this system can either be propane or oil. Mitsubishi Electric Trane US is among the top producers of dual-fuel heat pumps.
This system alternates between using the heat pump and the furnace for heating. The heat pump heats your home until the temperatures become too low. This is where the gas furnace takes over and effectively heats your residence.
The dual-fuel heat pump is very energy-efficient and can provide you with maximum comfort especially if you reside in an area with varying temperatures. This HVAC system can also help you cut costs since it uses two types of fuel. The heat pump can also cool the air effectively without using too much electric energy.
Dual-fuel heat pumps could become popular as homeowners try to maximize energy efficiency and reduce their utility bills. If demand increases, the heat pumps manufacturing company might need to produce more heat pumps.
5. Ice-powered air conditioning
Ice-powered air conditioning uses thermal power to cool your home. This air conditioner has a thermal battery which it uses to store energy. The thermal battery fills with water which then freezes into a block of ice. The air conditioner then uses the block of ice to cool your home during the day. The ice-powered air conditioner uses minimal electrical energy since the compressor is not overworked.
The concept of ice-powered air conditioning was developed by a company called Ice Energy in 2017 which they said cuts down on energy costs by around 30%.
While this air conditioner is not yet popular, it could revolutionize the HVAC industry. This is because it can help you cut down your utility bills in the long run. The air conditioner is also environmentally friendly since it makes use of thermal energy to cool your home. As homeowners bend more towards sustainability, HVAC technicians could be required to venture more into ice-powered air conditioning.
6. Recyclable ductwork
Sustainability is a core concern when it comes to technologies and innovations in HVAC. Recyclable ductwork is the reusable material used to facilitate airflow within your HVAC system. The ductwork comes from a cardboard product that is stronger than the commonly used metal ductwork. Recyclable ductwork requires around 20% insulation. It ensures proper utilization of resources.
Using eco-friendly materials for your HVAC systems can help you save costs that you could otherwise spend by replacing your metal ductwork. Green materials also reduce emissions and also protect you from hazardous substances thus ensuring your safety. Recyclable ductwork is yet to become popular in the HVAC industry but has the potential of transforming the industry by making it more environmentally friendly.
7. Zoned HVAC systems
A zoned HVAC system allows you to control the temperature of individual rooms in your residence. A traditional HVAC system may not effectively heat or cool all the rooms in your house equally. A zoned HVAC system effectively maintains the desired temperature in all rooms. Zoning can help you cut utility costs by only heating or cooling the rooms in use.
A company called ZONEFIRST developed zoning systems in the 1950s and continues to manufacture and sell the products.
Most homeowners might prefer a zoned HVAC system in the future to maximize energy efficiency and achieve comfort in all areas of their households. HVAC technicians should consider investing in more energy-efficient HVAC systems.
8. Smart thermostats
These are devices that are enabled using WIFI to let you automatically adjust your temperature from your smartphone to achieve comfort. The first smart thermostat was invented by Stuart, John, and Mark from Ecobee in 2007.
These thermostats can be adjusted even when you are away from home. The increase in smart homes has contributed to embracing technology to increase convenience.
Automatically controlling your temperature helps you spend less on energy costs. For instance, you can set the thermostat to an optimal temperature that uses little energy when you are away from home. With the increase in smart homes and advances in technology, the HVAC industry could be on its way to total automation.
9. Smart sensors
Smart HVAC systems have these sensors. They automatically turn themselves off when there is no one around saving energy. They also turn themselves on when they detect movement in the house.
You can integrate these sensors with other systems in your home to further save your energy. For instance, the sensors can automatically turn your lights and thermostat off when you are not home. Smart sensors can help you reduce utility bills and maximize efficiency.
The smart HVAC control market size was more than $7 billion in 2017 and was projected to grow at a CAGR of 19% between 2018 to 2024. The global shipment of smart HVAC controls is estimated to reach 250 million units by 2024. More homeowners might incorporate smart HVAC systems into their homes. HVAC technicians could try investing more into smart HVAC technologies.
10. Smart vents
Smart vents combine the use of smart thermostats and sensors to automatically open or close to regulate airflow in your home. You can control the airflow using an app on your phone from wherever you might be. For instance, you can close the vents when you are away from home to reduce utility costs.
Smart vents are a recent development. Ecovent made the first smart vents. The goal of the vents is to increase comfort and promote energy saving.
The need for comfort and cost savings could drive more homeowners to adopt HVAC systems with smart vents. This in turn could translate to the growth of your HVAC business through the sale and installation of vents.
11. Predictive maintenance
The power of prediction is a full-fledged human desire. Predictive maintenance alerts your technician when corrective measures are needed to prevent system failure. Predictive maintenance saves you on costly repair costs and ensures your HVAC system runs smoothly to prevent inconveniences. Your technician addresses potential issues before they escalate into much larger ones.
CH Waddington invented the concept of predictive maintenance after he noticed that there were a lot of system failures and repairs even with planned maintenance.
The IoT has revolutionized the maintenance of HVAC systems potentially increasing the durability of some HVAC systems. This is because regular system failures and repairs can reduce the life cycle of your HVAC system. Smart HVAC technology can analyze data related to equipment status and air quality and effectively predict the ideal time for maintenance.
Predictive maintenance also helps HVAC technicians identify the exact issue they should address which eliminates time wastage while trying to manually check your HVAC system for errors. They can therefore tend to other matters and manage their HVAC business better.
12. Energy analysis software
This is a program that helps you analyze and select the most suitable HVAC system for your property in regards to energy efficiency and costs. This software can calculate the estimated energy your building can use and the potential savings you can make on utility bills. The software helps you keep tabs on your energy consumption rate and utility bills.
Energy Technology Systems Analysis Programme, which is part of the International Energy Agency, devised the energy analysis.
When your bills are too high you can work out a strategy that reduces costs by turning off your AC unit when there is cool weather. This software can also help HVAC technicians easily educate property owners on the most ideal HVAC systems to use. HVAC technicians should consider leaning more towards modern technology to keep up with the advances in technology.
13. Virtual reality HVAC training
One of the most important technologies and innovations in HVAC, is virtual reality. It has many application commercially as a training tool or as daily use technology in the field. Virtual reality HVAC training is where HVAC students and technicians receive instructions about advanced HVAC and construction technology using simulations. It helps HVAC technicians grasp information easily. They get practical skills that help them handle both traditional and advanced HVAC systems.
Virtual reality was first witnessed in 1968 when Bob Sproull and Ivan Sutherland created a head-mounted display.
By using virtual components, HVAC students and technicians are more prepared to handle the real equipment which minimizes risks and reduces the cost of training. You can use virtual technology to illustrate how HVAC systems would look like once homeowners install them.
14. Wearable technology
Before, few thought that we would be wearing technology as part of workplace culture. This innovation is making that a reality. Wearable technologies and innovations in HVAC, are shaping safety and performance standards. Wearable technologies are electronic devices that an HVAC technician can wear to help him perform his tasks effectively. These gadgets include:
Wearable technologies can help an HVAC technician effectively troubleshoot mechanical faults in your HVAC system. These technologies help in saving the time needed to identify and fix a problem. This is a new trend that the HVAC industry seems to be keen on adopting. Wearable technologies can take predictive maintenance or repairs to another level.
15. 3D-printed air conditioners
Generally, 3D technologies and innovations in HVAC have been a game changer. These are 3-dimensional air conditioners. you can make them from a computer-generated design. Haier developed the first 3D-printed air conditioner in 2015.
This type of air conditioner is yet to gain popularity in the HVAC industry. However, 3D-printed air conditioners could make a statement in future with the continual technological advancement. You can apply this technology in making air conditioner prototypes with minimal wastage of materials.
3D printing can also enable the production of more complex and flexible air conditioners in the future. You can enhance the durability of AC units.
The HVAC industry can benefit from the numerous impressive technologies and innovations. Property owners and HVAC technicians could potentially be steps away from making the industry greener and energy-efficient with the adoption of automated and sustainable HVAC systems. Contact us today to acquire more information regarding trends and innovations in the HVAC industry.