Heating and cooling bills can be very frustrating when the weather becomes extreme. They just seem to keep getting larger and larger with no relief in sight. Thankfully, innovations in the HVAC industry may have us not only stopping this trend endless spending for utilities, but they may have us radically reducing our energy consumption as well. This makes for a better environment and a better world.
So what has been happening in the heating and cooling industry that should get homeowners excited? For all of us that could use a break from summer’s heat, a new technology being employed with cooling systems is the DEVap or desiccant-enhanced evaporative air conditioner. This ultra-efficient air conditioner can reduce energy consumption by anywhere from forty to ninety percent! It works by separating incoming hot air into two streams; one stream is dried and the other stream is humidified. The system then combines the two streams and in so doing it creates dry, cool air with no coolant needed. DEVap started out as a cooling system for commercial buildings, but with the cost-effectiveness of the unit, it has slowly started being installed in residential buildings as well.
Although it has been on the horizon for quite some time, another HVAC innovation that is finally showing signs of fruition is geo-thermal technology. After many years of trying to make this environmentally-friendly heating and cooling system economical it appears that engineers have at long last created an energy saving, sustainable product. Geo-thermal technology takes the Earth’s own energy to heat and cool the home, making it the most renewable system on the planet. In the past, the problem with this type of system was adequately spreading the warm and cool air throughout the home without having to use other types of energy to supplement the geo-thermal technology. Geo-thermal systems now work by using a carrier fluid, usually water or a combination of water and antifreeze, which absorbs heat from the earth and transfers it throughout the building. The Environmental Protection Agency says that geo-thermal heat is forty percent more efficient than forced air technology and up to 70 percent more efficient than electric resistance heating. Because of this, it can reduce home energy costs by anywhere from 25 to 50 percent.
Another great HVAC innovation is the nest thermostat. Also called a “learning thermostat,” this product can be programmed to automatically respond to homeowners’ preferred temperature settings. If users like the home warmer in the morning and cooler in the evening, the nest automatically adjusts to accommodate these options. In terms of energy conservation, the nest takes outside factors such as humidity, wind chill and regional climate and adjusts the home’s temperature accordingly. Another great feature of the learning thermostat is that it can be managed remotely with the use of a computer, tablet or smartphone. This makes it easy for users to manage their homes’ climates at any time, regardless of where the homeowner may currently be physically. Another important feature of this thermostat is ease of installation and use. If you can install a light fixture, then you can install a learning thermostat. If you can use a dimmer switch, then you can operate a learning thermostat.