SPRING 2018 NEWSLETTER VOLUME 10 NUMBER 1
What’s New in HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning)
Innovations in Smart Home technology is a rapidly growing segment of the HVAC industry. High-tech gadgets and the connected world have led to more efficient systems and have allowed for more control for the end user (homeowner, building occupants, etc.). Below are some of the latest HVAC technologies that we have been seeing major advancements with.
Ductless Heat Pumps/Air Conditioners
Ductless systems are not all that new, but over the past few years we have seen a rapidly growing demand for this technology. A lot of this has to do with the ease of installation and flexibility of these systems. Whether you’re looking to cool and/or heat a bonus room, or you are looking to add A/C to an entire house that does not have forced air ductwork, then this may be the perfect fit for you.
Ductless heat pumps have become super efficient, with SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) ratings reaching up to 42, whereas a typical house system is about 13-16 SEER, and the HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) reaching 15+.
Some other advantages with Ductless systems would be they are very quiet, you can zone each area of the house with a single outdoor heat pump, there is no ductwork needed, and they are easy to maintain.
WiFi Thermostats & Controls
Getting alerts and controlling your temperature, humidity and general usage of your thermostat has gotten much easier with the use of WiFi controlled thermostats. Now you can live in Wisconsin and monitor and control your HVAC systems from a beach in sunny Florida. They are generally pretty easy to install, and work with most HVAC systems.
Smart Homes and Home Automation
Everything continues to get smarter these days, from the cars we drive to the phones we carry, almost all electronic devices use and promote “smart” technologies. So why not our homes? Considering this is where we spend countless hours of our lives, maybe it’s worth looking into… There are all sorts of connected systems and phone apps for homes; including home lighting, HVAC systems, security systems, surveillance, garage door openers, door bells with video & sound, window coverings, water and freeze sensors, and more. Oftentimes, these products can be controlled by a single network which allows the user to operate everything from a single app on a phone or tablet. Furthermore, some of these systems are fully automated so they can control themselves.
There is a lot of possibilities with home automation and your HVAC system, but that we’ll save for another time. Otherwise feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
More Efficient Systems
There is a constant drive from both the HVAC industry and governing bodies to improve the efficiencies of your home comfort systems. We just experienced an increase the efficiency of Commercial roof top units, and in 2019 they are getting rid of PSC motors and going to ECM motors, which use less than half the electricity to power the blower fan on your furnace or air handler. Gas efficiencies are pretty much as high as we’re going to get at 98% AFUE, so most are directing their efforts to improving the electrical efficiency.
Also, more efficient and environmentally friendly refrigerants are in the scope. Current R410 (Puron) refrigerant is much better than the old R22 (Freon), but there are still opportunities to improve on it.
The inverter compressor is another great advancement in technology. It allows an A/C or heat pump system to control the compressor motor speed to modulate the cooling capacity. This is great for both improved efficiency and making zoning easier. With modulating systems, for both heating and cooling, we can make systems with more zones which will allow you to control the temperature for each area of your home; whereas with a fixed speed system, this can be more difficult due to restrictions with getting enough airflow through the duct system.
In closing, to think not that long-ago air conditioning was considered a luxury item and was mainly seen with the wealthy and in commercial use. Now almost all cars, homes and businesses have central AC, plus you can control it with a touch of your finger on smart phone, or even let it run itself. As our society continues to develop innovative technologies, you can expect to see your HVAC system get smarter and more automated. So, sit back and embrace the more efficient and comfortable future we all have in store.
Nancy’s Best Ham Sandwiches Ever
(1 ½) lbs Virginia ham
(1) tsp Poppy seed
(1 ½) tsp Onion, dried
(2) packs Hawaiian sweet rolls
(1 ½) tsp Dijon mustard
(3/4) cup Butter
(1 ½) tsp Worcestershire
(12) slices Swiss cheese
1) Preheat oven to 350⁰F.
2) Cut rolls in half horizontally and arrange bottom halves in a greased 13”x9” baking pan.
3) Layer each roll with ham & cheese, then replace top halves of rolls.
4) In a medium mixing bowl, melt butter and stir in dried onion, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and poppy seed.
5) Drizzle butter mixture evenly over all rolls.
6) Cover and bake for 15 minutes. Then uncover and bake an additional 5-10 minutes.
7) Serve warm or put sandwiches in a Nesco to keep them warm if not enjoyed right away.