11 HVAC Technology Trends to Know

Joanne BrattonOctober 29th, 2020
Listen to this article

Smart. Efficient. Sustainable. These words sum up all of the HVAC technology advances rapidly impacting the heating and cooling industry.

Heating and cooling accounts for half of a home’s energy consumption, according to the Energy Information Administration, so it’s no wonder consumers seek innovative heating and air solutions to save time and money.

Smart home and business devices—including smart HVAC systems—continue to rise in popularity. In North America alone, the installation of smart home systems is projected to reach more than 60 million in 2023, up from 34.1 million in 2018, according to a global market and consumer data firm. The smart home market itself is forecast to reach about $66.5 billion in revenue by 2023. 

New HVAC technology gives consumers better options for control and efficiency in air quality, heating, and cooling. Many clients are willing to pay a bit more up front for environmentally friendly options, knowing their high-tech HVAC choices make a positive impact in their homes or businesses, and on the environment.

Stay in the know about new HVAC products and HVAC technology trends, so your company can profit while meeting the demands of your tech-savvy residential and commercial clients. Becoming an expert in new HVAC technology allows you to capture more leads and better serve your customers.

Below, find everything you need to know about new HVAC technology.

1. Smart HVAC Systems

Since heating and cooling alone accounts for more than $900 a year for a typical household budget, systems that save energy and money remain in demand.

Smart HVAC systems offer convenience through smart thermostats, allowing users to remotely control the temperature in their homes or businesses. Users also can set a schedule to automatically adjust temperatures when occupants are away or asleep.

If occupants don’t follow a set schedule or frequently come and go, geofencing offers another option. Through this digital boundary, users connect a smart thermostat with a smartphone to know whether occupants are inside.

Through sensors, smart HVAC systems can alert residential and commercial clients when air filters need replacing, when it’s time for routine maintenance, or when an HVAC part needs repaired.

2. HVAC Cleaning Technologies

In 2020, indoor air quality increased in importance as more people work or school from their homes. On the commercial side, clients want to provide a healthy environment for their employees and customers.

HVAC innovations in air purification mean consumers don’t need to wait for an allergen, or other issue, to trigger health symptoms before becoming aware of a problem. Indoor air quality monitors or sensors can alert your customers of dust, allergens, mold, radon, VOCs, carbon monoxide, humidity, or other issues affecting the air quality of their homes or businesses.

If the air quality monitor is tied into a smart system, it performs double duty by automatically turning on an air purifier to rectify the issue.

Smart air purifiers, which typically include an air quality monitor, can be controlled through voice-activated features, or remotely through a smartphone app. This allows users to easily turn the device on or off, change fan speeds, or set timers. Smart air purifiers also provide measurable statistics on indoor air quality.

3. Zoned HVAC Systems

Zoned HVAC systems provide innovative heating and cooling options for clients seeking an efficient way to heat and cool their homes or businesses.

Multi-zone HVAC systems “zone” different areas of a home or building with separate thermostats, allowing occupants to separately control the temperature of each area. The system features dampers inside the ducts that open and close, depending on the set temperature.

A zoned system can save energy because clients direct the amount of heating and cooling to specified areas, meaning lesser-used rooms don’t need to be set at the same temperature as frequently occupied rooms.

4. Geothermal Heat Pumps

While geothermal isn’t necessarily new technology, it’s rising in popularity as an eco-friendly solution for warming and cooling homes. Geothermal heat pumps can cut energy use by up to 50 percent by using the ground—instead of outside air—to provide heating, air conditioning, or hot water. 

Now that Congress reinstated a federal tax credit, homeowners can claim a percentage of their cost to purchase and install a geothermal heat pump system on their federal income taxes. This HVAC technology doesn’t burn fuel or use refrigerants harmful to the environment.

While installation of a geothermal system initially costs more than a traditional HVAC system, experts say homeowners gain in just a few years from resulting energy savings. Maintenance costs are lower, too, as the inside components last an estimated 24 years, and outdoor parts more than 50 years, according to the Department of Energy.

5. Solar-Powered Air Conditioning

The growing array of sustainable HVAC options includes solar-powered air conditioning. Experts report advances in new air conditioning technology in the past few years, making solar-powered air conditioning a viable option. 

Solar power works when the sun shines on solar panels, called photovoltaic (PV) modules, which are connected to the electrical grid. 

One challenge of solar-powered A/C is battery storage—since solar panels generate energy during daylight hours, it may be difficult to run an A/C unit all night, unless the system contains enough storage. 

Another option in innovative air conditioning involves a hybrid unit that operates on a variable rate of electricity, depending on available solar energy.

Federal tax credits are available for those who purchase a solar energy system, and as advances continue to be made in new air conditioning technologies, the popularity of solar-powered air conditioning likely will increase.

6. Radiant Heating Systems

HVAC new technology in radiant floor heating makes it easier for consumers to keep a home consistently warm, while saving energy.

Radiant heating begins in the home’s flooring, in contrast with traditional forced-air heating, which loses energy through ductwork.

A radiant floor heating system uses either electrical wires or active solar heating. Radiant floor heating through a solar-powered system works when liquid flows through pipes embedded in a thin concrete-slab floor. The floor is typically finished with tile for better thermal conduction and even heat distribution.

Consumers now have the option of using regular or WiFi-controlled thermostats to achieve the most efficient settings. Another advantage of new home heating technology is improved air quality, as heated air—which could be polluted with allergens—isn’t blowing through the home’s ductwork.

7. Ductless and VRF Systems

For consumers looking for flexibility and convenience, ductless mini-split and variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems may be the way to go.

These systems offer many homeowners a clear energy efficiency advantage, because they don’t need large ductwork required by a traditional HVAC system. In space conditioning, duct losses account for more than 30 percent of energy consumption, according to the Department of Energy.

Ductless mini-split systems are small, wall-mounted units connected to an outdoor compressor. Mini-splits allow users to efficiently control the temperature settings in each room. The setup of many models allows up to four air handling units connected to one outdoor unit.

Mini-splits cost more, but the convenience and efficiency for many homeowners outweighs the initial cost.

VRF systems provide an efficient way to control heating and cooling of multiple zones, and their popularity is growing in the building industry, experts say. VRF technology uses pipes that circulate refrigerants from an outdoor unit to multiple indoor zones.

8. Smart Humidifiers and Dehumidifiers

Humidifiers and dehumidifiers can vastly improve indoor air quality, by adding moisture to dry air or removing excess humidity. Thanks to high-tech HVAC technologies, these units function smarter and more efficiently.

Smart technology enables WiFi-connected humidifiers to sense humidity and uses ultraviolet light to rid bacteria in the air. With some models, you can activate voice-command features or set customized schedules.

Smart dehumidifiers track humidity levels and can send alerts when the water tank nears capacity. They also feature remote capabilities, allowing users to change speed settings or turn the device on or off.

9. Apps to Boost your HVAC Business

Embrace HVAC technology by employing ServiceTitan software to boost the productivity of your business.

Get your entire team on the same page with ServiceTitan’s Mobile App, giving them access to the comprehensive mobile HVAC platform through their tablets.

Chat features save time, decrease miscommunication, and leave a time-stamped record when questions arise. Plus, customers appreciate being in the loop to confirm their jobs or receive notifications when techs are on the way.

10. Virtual Reality Training

Imagine your HVAC techs practicing a skill until they’re 100 percent proficient. With Virtual Reality (VR) training, that’s a real possibility.

VR training can be performed with a VR headset, but some simulations can work on a computer, too. This type of training provides techs a different type of hands-on experience that helps train them virtually on new equipment or concepts, allowing them to become familiar with new HVAC technology.

Recently, the HVAC certification organization North American Technician Excellence (NATE) teamed up with Interplay Learning’s virtual technical training to provide a new certification pathway for HVAC technicians. 

11. Mobile-Friendly ServiceTitan Technology

Streamline your HVAC company’s efficiency with ServiceTitan HVAC software that brings the office to the field. 

Techs can quickly estimate HVAC jobs and invoice customers from a mobile tablet, all while staying connected to the office. You can even track jobs and team performance in real-time.

Identify the right HVAC marketing strategies for your company and accurately measure effectiveness of marketing campaigns. Digital marketing tools, such as ServiceTitan Marketing Pro, also let you customize your professional marketing templates to create targeted email campaigns with just a few clicks. 

By using ServiceTitan reporting software, you can see what’s working and what isn’t, and have the data you need to improve your HVAC sales and grow your business.

ServiceTitan is a comprehensive HVAC business software solution built specifically to help service companies streamline their operations, boost revenue, and achieve growth. Our award-winning, cloud-based platform is trusted by more than 100,000+ contractors across the country.

Learn More

Related post