Technology is changing every industry as well as all of our daily lives. From how we work and network to our transportation, technology has dramatically improved over the years. Your home, and the systems within that home, are no different.
HVAC systems have seen a lot of advancements over the last several years, and the coming decade is only getting better with new technologies being used to customize your home’s airflow to your specific needs and wants, all while improving efficiency and environmental impact in order to give you a system you can afford and feel good about.
The History of the HVAC
While air conditioning systems were not commonly found in the American home until the 1970’s, the technology that led to the in-home HVAC system was invented long before that by an engineer. In 1902, Willis Carrier invented a machine that sent air through water cooled coils, but his motivation for his invention had nothing to do with physical comfort.
His intention for his creation was to combat the humidity in the printing plant he worked for, but this slowly started the process that eventually led to our modern A/C systems, which the majority of Americans now have in their homes. And while the last 120 years have seen huge leaps in innovations in the technology that has brought us to where we are today, the best is yet to come!
The Future and the Environment
Unfortunately, the boom of air conditioners did not come without consequences. In the 20’s and 30’s, in an effort to move away from chemicals that were dangerous for humans, Chlorofluorocarbons (or CFCs) began to be the coolant solution that helped revolutionize air conditioning. Unfortunately, scientists and environmental specialists started to notice that CFCs were directly linked to the destruction of the ozone layer. Ironically, the same products we were using to keep us cool were actually causing our climate to become warmer – a vicious cycle.
CFCs were eventually banned and replaced by a more friendly refrigerant known as hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, which allowed for the ozone layer to start recovering from the damage brought on by its predecessor. However, HFCs are not flawless and have undergone mandatory changes by the EPA as studies have shown areas for improvement. The HVAC industry has worked very closely with the EPA in order to put out products that are friendly to the environment as well as effective for the customer. This is one of the greatest innovations for the coming years.
Innovations in Sustainable Energy
As 2020 has seen a wide spread moving away from HFCs in order to find better, more earth friendly cooling solutions, the HVAC industry has been taking energy efficiency to the next level. The HVAC industry has worked with eco-friendly builders to create strategies that reduce the amount of energy needed to run an hvac system altogether.
By rethinking and strategically approaching air flow and ventilation of the home as well as utilizing building materials that allow for more natural temperature control and consistency, utilizing an HVAC system can be way more affordable.
Other technology improvements that have also improved the efficiency of an HVAC system include digitally and sensor controlled vents. Instead of turning on the heat or air conditioning and forcing your HVAC system to bring the entire house to the same temperature, you can customize each room. You can also do this remotely, so if the house is empty for the day or even for a week while you are away on vacation, you change the thermostat digitally from your cell phone in order to reduce your HVAC system’s use while you are gone (not to mention, you can reset it to a comfortable temperature on your way home, so it can be cool by the time you walk through the door). By controlling the temperature from room to room, you are able to reduce energy usage by using the HVAC system for occupied rooms only, instead of the whole house.
Innovations in Preventative Maintenance
Not only does the new HVAC technology help you save on your energy bill and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the smart technology can also help you monitor the state of your HVAC system as a whole, allowing you to streamline its upkeep.
An HVAC system is a complex combination of various pieces of equipment, and it is hard to know what needs to be fixed and when. Through the use of sensors, this new smart technology can notify you when something needs attention. Much like the various lights on your vehicle’s dashboard, these new systems help reduce the amount of emergency repairs you have to call in to your HVAC technician because it notifies you at the first signs of an issue so you can have it repaired before it spirals out of control.
These sensors and notifications also allow you to communicate to your HVAC technician specific problems, so they can show up completely informed and prepared to solve your issue in a single visit.
Innovations in Technician Training
The new technology does not just help the consumer; it greatly improves processes for HVAC companies as well. Virtual reality simulations are a cost effective way to train a wider range of technicians, whether they are brand new to the industry or are veterans learning a new product.
These new programs allow for trouble shooting drills on a wider range of potential pieces of equipment. This helps your technician to be better prepared for when they walk into your home, and that makes a better overall experience for you as well.
Because technology has come such a long way since the beginning of the HVAC system over a hundred years ago, we are excited to see what these next few years bring as we start to deliver more cost effective, convenient, environmentally friendly systems with the highest level of customer service possible!