The new year is here! The last year went by fast, and now we will spend the next few months accidentally writing 2018 and crossing out that 8 at the end and put in a little 9 (don't act like you haven't done it).
Along with the new year comes new trends in the HVAC industry. A lot of these trends are simply old ideas with new ways to achieve them. When it comes to HVAC technology, certain goals stay the same:
Achieve maximum comfort - The first and most important goal of any HVAC system or product is to create comfort. Keeping homes and commercial spaces comfortable is the REASON that HVAC products and systems are even a thing.
Increase energy efficiency - Using the least amount of energy to do the best job possible. Increasing efficiency is a CONSTANT goal of HVAC innovation. Reducing energy consumption not only reduces our carbon footprint but it also lowers energy bills. Increasing energy efficiency is always a win-win when it comes to HVAC.
Reduce invasiveness - Just like all technology, everything is becoming more integrated, and less invasive. This means reducing the size of the technology, as well as making sure the functioning isn't burdensome. For instance, window air conditioners do the job for one room, but they take up a window, drip water, and are noisy. With newer technology, the window doesn't have to be taken up, there's no dripping water, and the system is far quieter. Just like TVs, cell phones, computers, and so on, there is a constant push to make everything smaller, less invasive, and easier to use.
So what are some of the main trends that we are going to be seeing in the new year?
We've spoken about these in the past, but there is a reason they are continuing to trend upwards. Smart thermostats help to achieve all 3 bullet points above. First off let's talk about comfort. Smart thermostats are designed to make sure your home stays comfortable and doesn't have huge swings in temperature. One of the problems with old thermostats is that they measure one thing: temperature. They also would usually only measure it in ONE place, right by the thermostat. Smart thermostats measure everything! Temperature, humidity, energy consumption, what time of day it is, what day of the week it is, etc. They also measure all around the house instead of in one place. This allows your thermostat to keep everything even around your home, and not allow huge swings in temperature. It also accounts for humidity, which is one of the main factors when it comes to comfort in your home. If the humidity is too high, you will feel muggy and sticky. If it's too low, it can cause dry skin, and can even nose bleeds and easily caught illnesses.
We also mentioned that smart thermostats measure everything. This is an enormous benefit when it comes to increasing energy efficiency. The thermostat will constantly measure how much energy your system uses to keep your home or business comfortable. Then using these measurements, your system will find ways to make sure your home can stay the temperature and comfort levels you like it at, using as little energy as possible. Some of these will also generate reports and give suggestions to you on how to keep your energy consumption to a minimum. Just how some cars are designed with suggestions on the speed that will maximize fuel efficiency, smart thermostats do the same thing. This is going to help your wallet and the environment.
Smart thermostats also pride themselves on ease of use and accessibility. With a smart thermostat, you can download an app on your phone, tablet or computer that will allow you to check in on the system and adjust it right there! Instead of having to get up and adjust the thermostat on the wall whenever you need a change, you can easily stay on the couch or in bed and make the change at your leisure. This is also great if you're on your way home and want to make sure the house is ready for you when you arrive. Don't wait for your home temperature to adjust when you get home, instead have it ready for your arrival!
Smart thermostats were also listed on a report about how we can reduce our greenhouse gases. Smart thermostats are one of the 4 recommendations that were shared on what we can do to make sure we are reducing our footprint and helping the environment.
Indoor Air Quality
Improving indoor air quality has been growing as a priority for years. You spend the majority of your time indoors, no matter if it's the winter or the summer, but don't always consider how healthy or clean the air inside your home or business is. If you have a home with small children, older people, or maybe someone with breathing or health problems, keeping an eye on indoor air quality is important. Even in office buildings, when indoor air quality is improved, sicknesses are reduced, energy is increased, and it is a more pleasant place to be!
The most basic and common product to improve indoor air quality is a filter. Filters are put into your HVAC system and will catch dirt, debris, and airborne pathogens that may be moving through your system. There are different sizes of filters and grades to show how much they actually catch irritants that move throughout the system. Some are better, some are worse. They should be changed every few months, as the debris builds up on them, and makes them ineffective. Many people forget to change them or wait too long. Keeping on top of this is important, especially if this filter is your only means of improving the air quality.
Air purifiers are becoming more popular when it comes to indoor air quality. There are some that can help purify a room, and others that are installed right into your HVAC system. Obviously, these are a little more expensive than a simple filter, because they do a lot more. Air purification systems today use technology that allows scrubbing particles to be dispersed throughout the air and attack the dirt, allergens, and etc. that are floating in the air. Some of these systems even use the same technology NASA does to make this happen!
Improving indoor air quality is easy, and becoming more and more important with all the research and knowledge we have today. If you haven't changed your filter in a while, change it! If you are looking for a little more when it comes to clean air inside your home, we can help you out!
This is another one that has been around for a while, but is only seeing an increase in traction. Ductless heating and air conditioning systems are fantastic for several reasons:
They don't require ductwork, making them perfect for smaller homes, old homes, additions and more.
They are whisper quiet.
They can be added to a current system to supplement it. This is perfect for a room or floor that doesn't stay comfortable.
They are more energy efficient than most HVAC systems.
They can heat and cool
There are a lot of reasons people are moving towards ductless units, but when you combine them all, it seems like a no brainer to at least inquire about it if you are having comfort issues in your home or business. You see these popping up more and more in bars, restaurants, schools and office buildings. The reason is that of these ease of installation, not requiring the additional ductwork, how quiet they are, and how cheap they are to run!
Lots of people think installing a new HVAC system means the old one is gone, but if you have a system that is currently doing most of the job, you may only need a little help to make your place comfortable. Or if you have a whole home system, but only use 1 or 2 rooms, you may want to install a ductless system to save on energy bills. Because ductless units can work independently of each other, you don't have to keep the WHOLE home the exact same temperature like most traditional systems. You can have different units running at different temperatures, or maybe even have one of them turned off altogether. This will allow you to shut the traditional system that cools and heats the whole home off, saving you loads in energy bills. This is also a great application if you want different temps in different rooms. No more arguing about the thermostat at work or at home. Everyone can have the temps they want with a multi-zone ductless system.
This last trend kind of relates to our Smart Thermostats we talked about earlier. Today everything is about "smart technology" and being able to connect over wifi. LG has said that from here out all their home appliances are going to be using this smart technology. Lots of other companies are pushing their products in that direction as well. Imagine your dishwasher can order more detergent once it runs low. This is what is happening today! But what does it mean for your HVAC system?
The most important thing is to be aware of what can connect to what. For instance, smart home assistants like Amazon Echo (Alexa) and Google Home can connect to most of the smart appliances in your home, and this includes your smart thermostat. If you want to make sure your home is staying up to date with these kinds of technology, inquire about it when you are purchasing. Most of these appliances you'll be buying (refrigerators, HVAC systems, dishwashers, laundry machines etc.) last for years and years. If you buy one now that doesn't have this technology installed, chances are you won't be replacing it anytime soon. Make sure to start buying the products that can connect to each other. Not only will this help your home run better, but the future technology will be designed to integrate with your home appliances.
If you have any questions or would like to talk to us about your home comfort needs give us a call at (585) 641-3080, or email us at email@example.com.