Technology can work wonders. It has given us smartphones, self-parking cars, and 3D printers.
If you think the HVAC system has been left behind in the progression of convenience and efficiency, you’d be sorely mistaken. Today’s central heating and cooling systems are far superior to those of the past. Modern advancements have led to improved comfort levels and greater sustainability. In addition to being more efficient, newer systems are smarter, quieter, and easier to operate.
Perhaps you are considering the purchase of a new HVAC unit. If so, here are four HVAC technological advancements that you should know about.
1. Variable-Speed Technology
In the past, most HVAC systems had only two speeds: on or off. While that worked reasonably well, their performance was limited.
Just imagine a single-speed car: one that is either racing top speed or parked. It is easy to see that the car would be hard to control, plus its fuel efficiency would be extremely low.
The same principle applies to the conventional single-speed HVAC system.
Enter the variable-speed HVAC system. These units operate at whatever speed is needed to meet the current demand. For instance, a system that only needs to raise or lower the temperature by one degree might be able to do so at a very low speed, which could produce significant savings in energy costs and significantly reduce noise levels.
On the other hand, a variable-speed system can ramp up to a higher speed to overcome the friction produced by a dirty filter, to meet the demands of an extremely hot or cold home or to remove excess humidity.
2. Smart Thermostats
Smart thermostats are not the same as programmable thermostats. Although programmable thermostats have several advantages over nonprogrammable models, they are not smart. They do whatever they are programmed to do. The person programming the thermostat is the smart one.
Unlike programmable thermostats, though, smart thermostats use artificial intelligence (AI) to make decisions without your assistance. For instance, a smart thermostat might decide when to turn on an HVAC system and at what speed based on a combination of temperature and humidity.
Smart thermostats are also able to decide the best source of power to use. Suppose a home has a solar system with battery backup. A smart thermostat could decide whether to power the HVAC system with commercial power, solar power, or battery power. Such a decision might be based on time-of-use utility rates or the amount of sunlight available.
3. Noise Reduction
Today’s HVAC systems are much quieter than they were in the past. One reason for this is the variable speed technology. When an HVAC system is running at a lower speed, it is whisper-quiet when compared to the jet-turbine sound of a single-speed system.
Also, newer systems better insulate the compressor motor for energy savings and to reduce noise levels. In some cases, the compressor motor is housed in a completely separate compartment. Modern fan blades are also more efficient and provide the same amount of air with less noise.
4. Higher SEER Ratings
Advanced HVAC systems have much higherseasonal energy efficiency ratios (SEER) than older systems. This is a measure of how efficiently the system converts energy into cool air. The higher the SEER rating, the less energy consumed to produce the same cooling output. HVAC units with higher SEER ratings provide the following benefits:
Less fuel consumed
Smaller carbon footprint
Lower utility costs
Fewer operating hours
Bottom line: Modern HVAC systems are much more technologically advanced than older systems. Features include variable speeds, smart thermostats, lower noise levels, and higher SEER ratings. These features allow you to keep your home more comfortable while saving money on your utility bills. If you have questions about installing a new system, contact Black Hills, Inc. Home Services at (360) 558-3242 today!