The future of HVAC technology is showing up green for experts. It is an exciting industry-wide trend to watch. As a homeowner or builder, you will be able to enjoy the benefits of cost savings and comfort that come along with energy-efficient HVAC systems.
Today we are going to cover a few trends in the world of green HVAC technology.
R22 and what it means for you
Yes, we know – R22 sounds like a character straight out of a Star Wars movie.
R22 refrigerant is a chemical introduced in the 1950s to keep the air coming from your air conditioning system cool. It is part of a wider system of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which are all refrigerants used in the heating and cooling industry.
R22 is also known as one of the worst offenders in depleting earth’s ozone layer. Through an international agreement known as the Montreal Protocol, R22 is being phased out of production and imports. By 2020, this gradual phase out will become a full elimination. Recycled R22 refrigerant will become the only source for servicing air conditioners using the substance after 2020.
For homeowners, air conditioning systems built before 2010 likely have R22 in them. An experienced service technician from Applewood Air can tell you if your unit uses R22 refrigerant and give you the best advice for moving forward. Due to the changes in availability of R22, it will become more expensive to service these units after 2020.
Green up your current HVAC system
New technologies can help to make your current HVAC system more efficient.
Smart thermostats can adjust your home’s HVAC settings from anywhere using an app on your phone, tablet, or laptop.
You can also consider zoned HVAC systems. Zoning works with traditional ducted split HVAC systems, Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems, and ductless mini splits. VRF systems, for example, detect the zone requirements of each space. The variable-speed compressor of these units then delivers the exact amount of refrigerant needed for conditions in each zone. This less frequent and lower capacity operation improves the energy efficiency of the unit.
You can use zoning as a tool to control the temperatures in each part of your building separately.
Hot and cold ideas for future HVAC technologies
There are also new green HVAC technologies which will be interesting to watch in the years to come.
For example, hydronic heating systems run a liquid (e.g. antifreeze) through plastic tubing. The tubing is embedded in flooring, baseboards, or heat exchangers in the home. This transfers heat via conduction, convection, or radiation and reduces energy consumption.
Ice-powered air conditioners apply the same kind of concept in the case of cooling. An ice-powered AC unit will freeze water during the night and then during the heat of the day use the melting ice to cool the unit’s refrigerant. This avoids the use of a compressor and reduces (though does not eliminate) the amount of electricity used.
If you are considering upgrading your HVAC system to a more energy-efficient model, it pays to know the options available to you for rebates and incentives in your province. Ontario homeowners can, depending on their energy provider, access rebates and incentives from groups such as Enbridge Gas Distribution, Hydro One, or Toronto Hydro.
Here at Applewood Air, we are experts at guiding homeowners through understanding and accessing the latest and greatest HVAC technologies. Give us a call to learn more!