When it comes to designing and maintaining an eco-friendly house, few things matter more than your home’s HVAC system. Thankfully, an industry that was once largely inefficient has now become safer, greener, and more sustainable. Understanding how these trends are impacting larger real estate and home construction trends can help people get a better grasp on what’s happening.
4 Hot Green Trends
According to Morehart Heating & Air, air conditioning can account for nearly 50 percent of the average home’s energy use in the summer months. However, by making some small changes and taking a serious look at some the advanced green technology on the market, you can reduce your usage by 20 to 50 percent.
While each homeowner and builder has to make decisions regarding what’s best for their individual home(s), here are some of the green trends currently changing the industry for the better.
1. Greater Automation
Overall, there’s a greater sense of automation in the HVAC industry today than ever before. This eliminates inefficiencies, drives cost savings, and promotes greater temperature control – something that will always be a factor in an industry that’s built on the premise of keeping people comfortable.
Programmable thermostats that automatically detect activity and identify trends are a start, but now we’re seeing an investment in automation at multiple levels – including within the actual HVAC systems that are installed in residential and commercial settings.
2. Green Building Standards
“The SmartMarket 2016 World Green Building Trends report shows that green buildings cost 14 percent less to operate than traditional buildings. The demand for green building is expected to double every three years,” Mrinal Gokhale writes for MSI Data.
Want to know what one of the biggest trends in green building is? The installation and use of variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems. These systems feature more efficiency in power consumption, greater flexibility in design, lower initial cost, and lower maintenance costs (when compared to conventional chilled water systems).
3. On Command Hot Water Recirculators
When it comes to energy consumption and costs in the average home, one of the biggest sources is hot water. Not only does it take a while to get hot water to the tap, but it also requires a lot of excess energy. One solution that’s about to take the industry by storm is “on command” hot water recirculators.
“It involves installation of the ‘On Command’ pump that attaches to the hot and cold water lines under a kitchen or bath fixture in a home,” industry expert Barry Franklin explains. “When activated, it allows the cool water being drained to circulate back to the water heater through the cold water line, allowing hot water to be delivered at any time 24 hours a day.”
It’s not a perfect solution, but the hope is that these innovative hot water recirculators will provide greater efficiency and convenience.
4. Ductless Mini-Split Systems
In some parts of the country, especially where air conditioning might not be standard in apartments and small homes, property owners often take an all or nothing approach. They either install heating and cooling solutions – and pay dearly – or they don’t – and suffer through the extremes of the seasons. With ductless mini-split systems, it’s possible to enjoy the best of both worlds.
“Mini-Split Systems are ultra high efficiency and space saving if you want to add cooling and heating without a lot of construction. Saving you time, money and, raw materials,” Morehart Heating & Air explains. “These quiet and reliable systems are the ultra ‘green machine!’ Since they don’t require ducting they can be installed virtually anywhere.”
These mini-split systems are just one example of how comfort doesn’t have to come at the expense of efficiency. As technology advances, we’re learning that there are opportunities to enjoy both (at an affordable price point).
Adding it All Up
Who says the HVAC industry can’t get a green makeover? While heating and cooling may account for a large percentage of the energy usage in this country, we don’t have to sit around and hope things improve. There are new technologies on the market that make it possible for any individual or organization to play a role in the progression towards lower energy consumption and higher sustainability.