When it comes to innovations in technology, electric cars, drones, and fracking aren’t the only game in town. HVAC technologies are also set to revolutionize our lives – by dramatically upgrading the way we cool and heat our homes.
Movement-Activated Air Conditioners
The engineering wizards at MIT have designed a new kind of air conditioning unit that uses sensors down the aluminum rods suspended from the ceiling. These sensors get activated by any kind of movement i.e., the air conditioning turns on only when people are around.
Ice-Powered Air Conditioners
Ice Energy, a US-based energy storage company, has designed an ice-powered air conditioning unit called the Ice Bear. This ice-powered AC system freezes water in a tank overnight so that the ice can help cool a building the following day.
As of now, the Ice Bear has the capability to cool a building for up to 6 hours and after that, a traditional commercial AC unit takes over.
Thermal-Powered Air Conditioners
Chromasun, an Australian solar solutions company, has come up with an inexpensive alternative to conventional air conditioning units. A thermally driven AC system is supplemented by natural gas and utilizes solar energy, which makes it incredibly efficient and effective.
However, the main selling point of this unit has to be the double-chiller design which offers more cooling power than any other AC system in the market.
Dual-Fuel Heat Pumps
Created by a US-based company, this heat pump is a combination of a gas furnace and an electric heat pump. This system is based on the idea that heat pumps are generally more efficient and offer an optimal amount of comfort while utilizing a combination of fuel.
The heat pump pulls gas heat at low temperatures to increase efficiency. And when the temperature goes over 35 degrees, the pump starts using the electricity.
3D Printed Air Conditioners
It may seem like something right out of a science-fiction movie (wow, what happened to those Stars Wars movies, they used to be good!), but a company called Emerging Objects has successfully designed a 3D printed brick that cools the area by soaking the moisture out of it.
This “brick” may not work in extreme temperatures, but with 3D printing technology galloping ahead it is definitely a sign of what the future may bring for HVAC.
Nowadays, people can control their home’s heating, cooling, lighting, entertainment, surveillance, and security systems with the push of a button through phone apps and connected systems.
These “smart home” technologies are estimated to evolve to the extent where people will be able to control every element of their home’s comfort according to their preferences. HVAC engineers are spearheading the movement to raise the bar of smart home technology.
Utilizing Heat from the Computers
Lawrence Orsini, the founder of Project Exergy, observed how computers generate an incredible amount of heat.
So he theorized that maybe this heat can be harnessed to power the heating systems. This revolutionary idea may very well mean a completely new future for heating technology.
The Bottom Line
Innovations in HVAC technology are going to transform the future of home cooling and heating and if the economy remains strong, tax rates remain where they are now, and the unemployment rate remains low then more people will be able to take advantage of these innovations.
But only time will tell which specific innovations will catch the fancy of homeowners on a mass scale and change the very way we live.