Innovations in HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning) systems.
Innovative technologies are taking the world by storm. As high-tech gadgets and the latest smartphone innovations continue to improve our lives, homeowners in McKinney, Texas, have something else to look forward to: revolutionary HVAC technologies that could change how we heat and cool our homes as we know it. Many of these HVAC technologies are still on the drawing board, but there are some you can take advantage of now to boost your home’s comfort levels.
Movement-Activated Air Conditioning.
Engineers at MIT have come up with a new air conditioning design that utilizes sensors along aluminum rods hung from the ceiling. Movement then activates these sensors. In other words, the air conditioner only kicks on when people are present.
A motion-activated system seems like such a simple, ingenious idea that it’s almost baffling it hasn’t been tried before now. However, this kind of prototype is just one example of how future HVAC systems are going to be more compact and portable, helping to reduce both energy and utility costs.
Thermally Driven Air Conditioning.
Another design that’s recently been implemented is thermally driven air conditioning. An Australian company named Chromasun has produced a low-cost alternative to traditional A/C units. It isn’t a widespread technology yet, and it will likely be several years before this kind of design becomes widely available in the United States. However, thermally driven air conditioning is a system that uses solar energy and is supplemented by natural gas, making it a highly efficient and effective system.
In fact, the double-chiller design provides more cooling capabilities than any other system so far, and it eliminates electricity costs altogether.
On-Demand Hot Water Recirculator.
A U.S.-based company out of Rhode Island has designed an “on command” pump for a home’s water lines, which allows cool water to be circulated back into the water heater upon activation.
This product was engineered to be a solution to a major problem to which all of us contribute: Each year, the average home wastes 12,000 gallons of water just waiting for that water to warm up. Recirculating this otherwise-wasted water back into the system is an eco-friendly solution that’s bound to play a huge part in future homes.
Ice-Powered Air Conditioning.
Air conditioners seem to be prime systems for tweaking and making better. That’s why a California-based company has created an ice-powered A/C system called the Ice Bear. The Ice Bear essentially works by freezing water in a tank overnight, so the ice can help cool a building the next day. So far, the design has been able to provide enough cooling for a building for up to six hours, after which, a conventional commercial air conditioner takes over.
Although this type of technology has quite a way to go before it can be the sole cooling system for a home, six straight hours of cooling a commercial building is a solid step in the right direction.
Each year, several products debut at technology expos all across the country, and 2015 was the year of the Ecovent. This ingenious product consists of sensor-driven vents that replace a home’s existing ceiling, wall, or floor vents. The best part? A smartphone app can control the Ecovent, providing precise, room-by-room temperature control.
Additionally, the system utilizes sensors to monitor a home’s temperature, air pressure, and other indoor air quality factors. Even though this system design is brand new, it’s been well tested and has already hit the market. Therefore, this is one piece of technology you can take advantage of today.
Dual-Fuel Heat Pumps.
Another U.S.-based company has come up with the dual-fuel heat pump concept. The argument is that heat pumps tend to be more efficient and provide the maximum amount of comfort when using a combination of fuel. In this case, the system is a combination of an electric heat pump and a gas furnace.
At low temperatures, the pump draws on gas heat to maximize efficiency. When the temperature rises above 35 degrees, electricity takes over. The initial costs associated with a dual-fuel heat pump are more than a conventional system, but the amount of money you can potentially save over the next several years more than makes up for the costs.
Geothermal Heat Pumps.
Along those same lines, geothermal technology is a major investment that promises to save you much money over its lifetime. Geothermal heat pumps have been around since the 1940s, so they’re not exactly a new technology. Nevertheless, these products haven’t really caught on until recently.
With more homeowners waking up to the importance of going green, geothermal heat pumps have grown in popularity. A geothermal heat pump gets its energy directly from the earth through an underground looped pipe that absorbs the heat and carries it into the home. When cooling is needed, the process occurs in reverse, with the pump removing warmth in the home. A major bonus of having a geothermal heat pump is the availability of free hot water.
New types of boilers.
When it comes to choosing the best type of boiler for your home, there are plenty of different factors to consider. There are three most common types of boiler with their unique properties, advantages, disadvantages, and ecological impact on environment.
Condensing boilers have a larger heat exchanger and use the latent heat as fuel, which would usually escape into the atmosphere, helping to increase energy efficiency and lower your utility bills and your carbon footprint. When it comes to energy efficient boilers, there’s no better alternative – condensing boilers are actually more than 90% energy efficient and a very green home heating solution.
There are three main types of condensing gas boilers: combi-boilers, system boilers and conventional (also called traditional) boilers.
Combi boilers are probably the most cost-effective residential boiler for most homes. They control both hot water and central heating, and their energy efficiency makes them the unit of choice for environmentally-conscious homeowners. Heating water directly from the mains and whenever a tap is turned on, you can get unlimited hot water whenever you need it. There’s no need for a cylinder or water tank, saving you space in your home and cutting down the installation time.
In addition, boiler efficiency ratings generally rank them as one of the highest types of A-rated boilers on the market. Helping to substantially reduce heating bills and save space – there’s a reason why they’re one of the most popular choices when it comes to home heating.
If your home has more than one bathroom, a system boiler could be the perfect option. They require a hot water storage cylinder, but not a water tank, and because many of the main components are actually built into the system, your boiler installation will be relatively quick and painless. Both the pump and the expansion vessel are inbuilt, eliminating the need for header tanks. As there’s no need for a tank, a system boiler frees homeowners from worrying about frost damage or leaks, while it also makes them much easier to maintain. For larger homes with multiple bathrooms, particularly if there’s no space for a tank, system boilers are a great choice.
Conventional boilers, also known as traditional are comprised of both a cylinder and a water storage tank. Although they’re not the best option if space is at a premium, a conventional boiler is able to supply large volumes of hot water to multiple bathrooms, making them a great choice for larger households. It’s probably best to remember that this sort of unit is best suited to homes which already have traditional heating systems in place. Your pipework may not need changing at all, but if it does, any changes are likely to be minimal. Like system boilers, they can be used in conjunction with solar heating systems, helping you to reduce your energy bills and ecological footprint.