Improving HVAC with automation
With the cooler months now upon us, reliance on heating is starting to climb. For home owners and facility managers, this means energy bills may also begin to skyrocket. For contractors, there’s no better time to educate clients about the effect heating has on energy use and the many ways to reduce this impact.
Heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) makes up 40% of the average Australian home’s energy consumption. When looking at commercial environments, this figure is even greater and can be as high as 50%. If your client is serious about minimising energy costs, ensuring these solutions are operating at optimum energy efficiency is extremely important and should be a contractor’s first port of call.
One way for home owners and facility managers to cut costs is simply by upgrading their HVAC services. Older model heaters and air conditioners are renowned for their high consumption. The rise of energy efficient reverse cycle air conditioners is one example of an all-in-one heating and cooling offering that is now commonplace in the market. Recent technological advances in this field have seen manufacturers invest in the development of apps that enable users to control devices like air conditioners from their smartphone or tablet. However, this does not automatically mean a smart appliance is compatible with one’s home or office. A device may come equipped with a tech-savvy app but, more often than not, these apps are incompatible with pre-existing control systems. This is because manufacturers do not share their application programming interface (API) and, therefore, it’s impossible to integrate them with other systems.
Thankfully, there are a range of technologies available that are able to work in tandem with HVAC systems and allow users to have unprecedented control over their building’s functions, whether they’re in the office, at home or on the go. These automation offerings are cost-effective, scalable, customisable and, most importantly, allow different HVAC systems (e.g spilt and multi split) to be controlled by one centralised solution, no matter the brand, manufacturer or API. This is particularly useful in the context of large-scale facilities like universities and hospitals, where there could be hundreds of different HVAC configurations in place. By synchronising control, technical disconnect between systems can be overcome despite their significant differences.
Whether in domestic or commercial settings, today’s contractors are in a strong position to offer their clients with HVAC solutions that not only significantly cut energy costs but will also shrink their environmental footprint. However, contractors wanting to offer their clients the best possible solutions must familiarise themselves with how automation is interacting with the sector and the role it can play as part of a complete service offering.