New HVAC Technology & Innovations Changing the Industry

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New technology, such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality, is changing the heating and air conditioning industry in every way. To keep up, HVAC professionals need to understand how customers are using this new technology to monitor their energy usage and plan equipment maintenance. Here are five technology trends that are impacting HVAC companies.

Our top-5 HVAC technologies and innovations:

Illustration and text depicting the various areas of the home that are being impacted by technology changes to the HVAC industry.

1. New sustainable homes use alternative heating and cooling options

New, eco-friendly buildings are being designed to use minimal energy to heat and cool the property. According to Grainger, green building strategies go beyond sealing and insulation and even energy-star appliances. 

For instance, builders are rethinking ventilation systems to use more natural airflow, and specialized building materials provide a more constant building temperature which reduces the need for high-powered HVAC systems. New HVAC technologies such as solar solutions and geothermal heat pumps are becoming more cost-effective options. Here are some examples.

Ice Air

Ice Air is a company based out of Glendale, CA, that is introducing new HVAC technology to the market. Its product, Ice Bear, is an air conditioning unit that’s powered by ice; it freezes 450 gallons of water in a tank overnight during the “Ice Charging” mode. When switched to “Ice Cooling” mode during the day, it provides cool air conditioning for up to 6 hours, at which point the A/C reverts back to the building’s conventional unit. When it’s used in conjunction with standard units, the Ice Bear reduces total net energy consumption.

Dual Fuel Heat Pump

This HVAC technology combines an electric heat pump and full-sized gas furnace into one package. As ARS Rescue Rooter points out , this heating system can be a great choice for homeowners who live in regions of the country with low electricity rates and moderate climates that rarely drop below freezing. Most of the time, when temperatures are above 35-degrees, the electric heat pump will warm the home. However, at sub-freezing temperatures, the pump will switch to gas in order to more efficiently warm the home.

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2. Smart thermostats connect to home monitoring services

In a recent survey by Emerson Commercial and Residential Solutions, the ventilation system market is expected to reach nearly $23 billion by 2026. Wi-Fi-enabled programmable devices do more than just pre-set a temperature. Consumers search for products that can connect to other  smart home systems, such as Samsung SmartThings or  Amazon Echo.

Integrate smart thermostats with other home systems

Smart home systems allow homeowners to integrate their HVAC technology with the other functions throughout the home. For example, a customer with a Nest Thermostat would be able to use the Amazon Alexa to change the temperature with their voice by saying, “Alexa, set the living room to 72-degrees.” However, if they were to also install compatible Phillips Hue lights with the Nest, the HVAC technology could detect when they were away from the home and automatically turn off any lights that were accidentally left on in order to save energy.

Popular thermostat search results on Amazon

3. Smart systems increase preventive maintenance

Smart HVAC systems predict when maintenance is needed before there’s a real issue. This new technology trend can change your relationship with your customers from someone they call in an emergency to someone they reach out to for regularly scheduled check-ups.

New HVAC technologies which use an Internet of Things (IoT) system are embedded with sensors, software, and connectivity that enables the HVAC system to exchange data with other connected devices. New and affordable Internet of Things HVAC technology makes it significantly easier to gain insight across a range of equipment. Gain insight into equipment such as:

  • Rooftop air-handling units (RTU)
  • Air-handling units (AHU)
  • Make-up air units (MAU)
  • Variable air volume (VAV) with reheat systems
  • Boilers
  • Cooling towers
  • Air- and water-cooled heat pumps

Remote Monitoring

While preventive maintenance might cut down on emergency house calls, the new HVAC technology in smart systems opens up new avenues to provide service and expertise to your customers. It’s becoming more common for residential and commercial customers to have systems designed for remote monitoring.

Even slight deviations from a manufacturer’s specification can lead to a large increase in energy consumption. The HVAC innovations with remote monitoring and diagnostics minimize power waste by ensuring units operate at their peak efficiency. 

4. Customers expect tech-savvy services and technicians

Customers expect HVAC scheduling software for contractors and contractor invoice software so that services are easy to book and easy to pay, with more information about their work order readily available in one place.

Using mobile technology

This works out well for the 78 percent of service professionals already using mobile apps on the job, which are available within the Housecall Pro features. According to the same study, 92 percent of technicians reported that their productivity increased using mobile technology.

Samm’s Heating and Air Conditioning owner Paul Sammataro explains how his technicians often demo smart-home automation to their customers using their own cell-phones and tablets. Demonstrating your proficiency with the latest HVAC technology shows customers that you’re an expert in your field.

5. Virtual reality (VR) training for HVAC professionals

Virtual reality HVAC technology is becoming a cost-effective way to train new employees or current staff on new equipment or working on advanced certifications. For instance, Tauris McBride, founder of Tauris Tech, uses VR training to prepare his students for the New York City Refrigeration license exam. Check out his training simulator on Youtube.

Using Housecall Pro

Equipment and business software will continue to evolve as new HVAC technology gains momentum. Housecall Pro HVAC software helps business owners keep up with technology with unique automated payment and service agreement features. 

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