The Biggest Changes In HVAC Technology Over The Last 10 Years

energy efficiency graph depicting efficient hvac systemsIngenuity has allowed us to solve the problems that we have encountered through the years. We have survived in any environment because of it as well. Life has surely become better because of the new technologies that are serving us today. The HVAC industry has also seen its fair share of innovations. While our ancestors had to chop wood for heating, we only need to turn up the thermostat to ensure comfort throughout our home. We also have air conditioners to keep us cool during hot days. The past ten years have seen significant improvements in HVAC technology. Read on to find the biggest changes that have happened since then.

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The Biggest Changes In HVAC Technology Over The Last 10 Years

Several of the biggest changes in heating and cooling technology include the following:

1. Higher HVAC Equipment Efficiency

Only a few homes could afford to have HVAC systems installed back in the day. The systems also used to be large and bulky, taking up a huge amount of space in homes. Furthermore, they uses to be quite expensive to operate.

Fortunately, many great improvements have happened with modern HVAC units. They are now more efficient, so they use less energy when keeping homes comfortable. This also means that you will have reduced utility bills, saving you more money in the long run. Furnaces also consume less fuel during the winter. Another benefit is modern HVAC equipment is environmentally friendlier, a feature that many eco-conscious consumers are looking for.

2. R-22 Refrigerant Phase-Out

air conditioner refrigerant

Refrigerants are the lifeblood of air conditioning units. However, older kinds cause harm to our ozone layer. This part of the atmosphere is what absorbs most of the UV radiation from the sun. Its depletion means that exposure to the sun leads to a higher risk of cataracts, skin cancer, and other problems. It also negatively affects marine life, plants, and more.

As a result, manufacturers shifted to using new refrigerant formulations that do not have such a high environmental impact. R22 refrigerant was banned in 2010 for newly manufactured machines.  It was still in use on existing machines. The ban was further elevated in 2020, where it is no longer legal to produce or import. As a result, older systems should be replaced or retrofitted so they can work using eco-friendlier refrigerants like R-410a.

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3. Smart HVAC Technologies

All tech companies encourage everyone to have smart homes with the introduction of their smart technologies. Many appliances are now equipped with WiFi capabilities, so you can access and control them using your smartphone. This way, you can view historical statistics or check their status. For example, you might have forgotten to turn off your cooling system, but you’re already in the office. You don’t have to go back home as you can use your phone to control your HVAC unit at home. This helps prevent energy waste. You can also turn your AC on 15 minutes before you arrive home, so a cool and comfy home welcomes you despite the hot summer weather outside.

4. Ductless Heating & Cooling Systems

ductless mini-split remote controller

Many homes utilize central cooling systems. This type of system needs ductwork to distribute conditioned air throughout the house. However, this might not be practical in some cases. For instance, your house may not be fitted with ducts as it was built before central air conditioners became widely used. It could be expensive and a hassle to have your home renovated to install ducts. Therefore, you can install a ductless HVAC system instead. Also known as ductless heat pumps or mini-split systems, this system consists of an indoor air handler and an outdoor condenser that can heat or cool a single room or zone. This type of system reduces noise, provides better temperature control, and has increased system efficiency.

5. HVAC Zoning Systems

HVAC zoning systems are another common strategy used in larger homes. It is an excellent solution if your standard HVAC system cannot adequately heat or cool your entire home or office. Each zone will have its own thermostat so the homeowners can better control and monitor the temperatures. The ducts will also be fitted with dampers. This way, everyone in the household feels more comfortable while also saving on costs and energy.

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6. Sensor-Driven HVAC Ventilation

Ventilation isn’t always prioritized, but it is an important aspect in achieving overall comfort. The year 2016 saw the introduction of smart ventilation systems on the market. This configuration allows you to check the airflow in all vents around your house. This is a useful feature when finding and removing blockages. It can also let you switch off the vents in rooms that are not used to save energy. Some of the tasks can be automated as well.

7. Air Conditioners Have Variable-Speed Compressors

image of a modulating air conditioning unit

Newer air conditioners have variable-speed compressors. This means that the system is highly energy-efficient, produces less noise, and offers enhanced humidity and temperature control. It also allows your system to adapt to the shifting ambient conditions easily. For instance, a light load will cause the variable-speed compressor to slow down while a heavy load speeds it up. You also don’t have to worry about starting surges as it has improved power supply quality. Air conditioners with variable-speed compressors also have extended lifespans and provide homeowners with increased comfort. Its highly efficient feature also means lower running costs.

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Technological innovations are made every year. They are surely something to look forward to because they were created to solve common issues and improve our lives. If you have a decade-old HVAC system, consider replacing it soon and taking advantage of the many improvements made over the years. This is especially a pressing matter if you have a system that breaks down often. Replacing your system can help you save more money through reduced monthly bills and preventing expensive repairs.

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