Innovations in HVAC Technology

Innovations in HVAC Technology

When it comes to energy consumption, heating and cooling represent a whopping 65%! Due to this, implementing certain strategies or innovations in your energy efficiency plan can help to significantly reduce your building’s energy costs. Lately, many new technologies have emerged that can help to provide solutions to reduce your energy consumption, which then, in turn, reduces your building’s overarching carbon footprint

Many new constructions are now being designed so that they use the minimum amount of energy for heating and cooling the space. This is being done with building materials that allow for more constant temperatures inside, or with air sealing and insulation practices that tighten the building’s thermal envelope, for instance. These are all features that help the HVAC system run less frequently, which leads to less energy consumption overall. Read on to learn about some of the top energy-saving innovations that you can implement in your building, too!

Energy Data Analysis Software

Energy data analysis software is a type of advanced analysis software. It collects the relevant energy usage data in space and analyzes it to find the patterns before transforming the information into different actionable insights. This type of software is typically used to anticipate the energy usage in a building, based on its unique specifications. This can, of course, help you recognize and identify your energy usage patterns, which can then inform different strategies or implementations for you to get usage and costs down. 

Ice Cooling

Ice cooling is also sometimes referred to as ice-powered air conditioning. This is when ice storage is utilized in conjunction with other, conventional chilling methods. Doing so then reduces the total energy consumption for your building. Ice cooling uses a thermal battery to make air conditioning your space more cost-effective– the ice-powered air conditioner lowers the need to use the air conditioner’s compressor, thus using less energy overall. 

Sensor Enhanced Vents

Sensor enhanced vents are different kinds of vents that replace traditional HVAC vents. They open and shut based on the data that is gathered by the system’s sensors; these sensors track data such as pressure and humidity and can then be set to provide your preferred levels. These levels can even be customized based on different rooms or zones in your building. For example, if you have a storage space where humidity levels need to be very low, you could set the sensors accordingly without having to set the levels of the entire building to such low humidity. This will help to lower energy costs. 

Smart Thermostats 

Smart thermostats are rapidly growing in popularity over programmable thermostats and can help reduce energy usage as well. These can hook up to your phone or another device and can help to reduce energy costs by including sensors and wifi capabilities. They allow for more precise control of the HVAC system, even when you are not physically in the building.

Smart HVAC Systems

Similar to the smart thermostat is the innovation of the smart HVAC system. This is a step above a smart thermostat, where the entire system is automated or wifi compatible in some way. By implementing automation in an HVAC system, you can predict when maintenance will be needed, for example, as well as detecting fluctuations in temperature between rooms and determining space usage in conjunction with occupancy sensors. 

Dual Fuel Heat Pump

A dual fuel heat pump allows for cooler areas to utilize heat pump efficiency during periods where temperatures are above freezing. Then, when temperatures are lower, the system can switch over to gas to maximize efficiency. This is a hybrid system, which consists of an electric heat pump and a gas furnace.  

Remote Monitoring

Remote monitoring refers to electronic monitoring systems which provide system status, usage, and failure alerts in real-time. They also provide efficient data and repair solutions and suggestions to reduce the number of emergency calls. By constantly monitoring the HVAC system in this way, you are also ensuring that the system operates at its peak efficiency. 

Variable Speed Fans

A variable-speed fan is a fan system that can run at different speeds based on different variables in your building. For instance, on cooler days, the fan can then run at a slower speed, as there is less need for cooling. Alternatively, on hotter days, the fan can run at higher speeds to provide better cooling. This flexibility– rather than being limited to one speed only– can help to save on energy usage. 

R410a Refrigerant

An R410a Refrigerant refers to one of the newer refrigerants in HVAC systems. Currently, the old refrigerant, R22, is being phased out and will no longer be found in newer HVAC systems. R410a, however, is a hydro-fluorocarbon (HFC). It does not adversely affect the ozone layer, and it also absorbs and releases heat better than its predecessor. Additionally, it uses synthetic oil and can work at a higher pressure. All of these factors help to make the entire unit more efficient. 

Dual Stage Compressors

A dual-stage compressor is able to run at two different speeds. It can either run at high or low speed, high for warmer weather and low for more mild weather. This, in turn, keeps temperatures closer to the thermostat and saves the building in energy usage and energy cost. A dual-stage compressor is set up so that the HVAC system never works harder than is necessary. 

Compressors with Scroll Technology

Another innovation in compressors is that of the compressor with scroll technology. This is a compressor that works in a circular motion, rather than the up and down motion of a piston. Scroll compressors are being found to be the more reliable option and have a slightly higher efficiency than reciprocating compressor options. Compressors with scroll technology are also quieter and operate more smoothly.

Variable Refrigerant Flow

Variable refrigerant flow, or VRF, is a technology that allows for differing degrees of cooling in different areas. This, therefore, reduces a space’s energy consumption. This technology utilizes variable motor speed and variable refrigerant flow to run at the determined capacity required for the existing conditions. VRF is highly efficient, quiet, and fantastic for controlling and regulating temperatures.

Ductwork Advances

Advances in HVAC ductwork are also helping both businesses and homeowners to reduce their energy usage. Modern ductwork now includes fibreglass-lined fiberboard ducts– these are quieter and also allow for less leakage. It is more flexible than materials of HVAC systems in the past, which makes it easier to create bends in tight spaces. There are some alternative options for ductwork as well, such as duct wrap made from recycled denim. This option is more eco-friendly, and it also insulates and prevents moisture buildup. 

Ductless Mini Splits

Ductless mini-splits are not only an energy-saving innovation but cost-saving on the installation end of things, too! With these, there is no need for a duct system. Ductless mini-splits must be reserved for either heating or cooling– they cannot carry out both functions– and they also allow for easy and flexible installation. These are a great option if you want a zoned air conditioning system but do not have any pre-existing ducts in your space. 

Implementing HVAC Innovations

If any of these innovations sound like they could work for you, you should meet with a professional to discuss your needs and your business. We offer to consult on the design and implementation of HVAC and energy systems, taking into account the most important factors of your building– such as occupancy experience, layout, and the pre-existing system. Reach out today and we will be happy to guide you through the process!

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s new in HVAC technology?

Some of the new trends in HVAC technology include eco-friendly HVAC systems, smart systems that are designed for automation, ductless HVAC systems, and HVAC software automation that is designed specifically to improve business functions.

What is the latest technology in air conditioning?

The new technology that makes AC more efficient is one of the emerging technological trends for HVAC. This makes the system more energy-efficient and eco-friendly. For example, some are creating air conditioners using metal-organic frameworks (MOF) that have up to five times less of an impact on the climate than traditional AC units. 

How is technology used in HVAC?

Technology is implemented in HVAC systems in various ways, such as with sensors, software, and connectivity that helps the system itself run. This is called the Internet of Things. Technology can also be used in HVAC by coordinating with an app on your phone to turn the unit into a smart system that can be monitored and controlled from anywhere. 

What are smart HVAC systems?

Smart HVAC systems are becoming more popular recently. They utilize networked HVAC components, as well as other technologies like the Internet of Things, making it possible for homeowners to control the HVAC system with their phones or tablets, rather than only with certain designated devices like remotes.