Green technology is helping homeowners and businesses save money on their monthly heating and cooling bills. Going beyond the way the system is powered (electricity, gas, solar, wind, etc.), these seven technologies are actually changing the HVAC world and the way systems operate.
1. Geothermal Heat Pumps
Geothermal technology isn’t new, but it’s one of the most environmentally-friendly, energy-efficient heating and cooling solutions available.
The technology works by pulling energy from the earth. If your home needs to be heated, the pump extracts heat from the ground. If your home needs cooling, the pump does the opposite: it pushes warmth out of the home.
2. Thermally Driven A/C
Touted as an alternative to traditional air conditioning units, thermally driven A/C systems use solar energy that can supplemented by natural gas.
Thermally-driven A/C is created by Chromasun, which creates its own solar panels that are able to generate a high enough temperature to power a double-effect chiller (the company’s self-proclaimed most effective system). The double-chiller system is said to have more cooling power than comparable PV systems, and it completely eliminates electricity costs.
If this type of system catches on, it could change the A/C repair industry.
3. Ice-Powered A/C
A California-based company called Ice Energy has developed an air conditioner that runs on ice. The unit converts water to ice, which powers the system and cools the area.
In the evening, the unit freezes about 450 gallons of water by circulating a refrigerant through copper coils. Water surrounding the coils turns to ice, which is stored for later use. When temperatures rise the next day, the ice cools the refrigerant to keep the building at a comfortable temperature. The unit cuts energy consumption by an impressive 30%.
4. HVAC Zoning
HVAC zoning helps eliminate hot and cold spots in homes, which can cause heating and cooling systems to work overtime.
With a zoned system, the home is divided into two or more zones. Each zone can be controlled separately. This means that every used room in the home is a comfortable temperature, and unused rooms can be closed off to save on energy costs.
5. Radiant Floor Heating
With a radiant floor heating system, a series of electrical wires or hot-water tubes are installed through the flooring of the home. The tubes or wires heat the floor evenly, which provides a comfortable warmth to walk on.
6. “On Demand” Hot Water Recirculator
Created by Taco Inc., the “on demand” hot water recirculator delivers hot water on command and in a timely manner. The system’s “on command” pump is attached to the home’s hot and cold water lines under a bath or kitchen fixture.
When activated, the pump allows the cool water to drain and circulate back to the water heater to prevent waste. The average home, according to Taco, wastes 12,000 gallons of water per year waiting for hot water.
7. Smart Thermostats
Smart thermostats save energy and money by controlling the temperature of a home using a mobile app. This allows for remote control of the HVAC system, so a home’s temperature can be raised or lowered from anywhere in the world using a tablet, smartphone or computer.
There are even some smart thermostats that can detect people in the room and turn off the unit in unoccupied rooms.