Save Money, Increase Comfort: Hot HVAC Technology Trends

January 5, 2021
Advice

Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t start thinking about HVAC technology until there is an issue. We get it – you can’t see heat or air, so out of sight, out of mind. But, from increased comfort and lower energy bills to cleaner air and less wear and tear on your home, there are many benefits to taking a look at the latest technology …. now! You will certainly feel the difference.

 

We asked our operations manager, Jacob Sandlin, to give you the 411 on the four hottest trends for 2021.

 

HVAC Unit Replacement: High Efficiency Communicating Equipment

 

As homeowners have been spending more time at home listening to and seeing the old HVAC equipment struggle to do its job, I’ve seen a notable increase in homeowners purchasing high efficiency communicating equipment.

 

What is high efficiency communicating equipment? Communicating equipment operates vastly different than single-stage and two-stage equipment and every brand on the market has major differences between them. The main takeaway is that this type of unit tries to match the current conditions that your house is dealing with. These units can adjust from 30-100% of their capabilities depending on what your house needs to provide the highest levels of comfort, efficiency and noise levels. Get a refresher on the three main types of heating and air units in our past blog here.

 

As a Rheem Pro Partner, we recommend their units as they are the best around and the most affordable. For a visual look, you can see Rheem’s various HVAC equipment options, including a high efficiency communication option, here.

 

UV/PCO Air Cleaners

 

Like the above, the pandemic has really brought indoor air quality (IAQ) to peoples’ minds recently.

 

There actually have been national shortages of these air cleaner styles because they kill viruses, bacteria, mold, mildew, odors, VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and more. If you’re not familiar with these cleaners, here are the quick-read descriptions:

 

UV cleaners use ultraviolet light to destroy biological pollutants such as mold, bacteria, viruses and allergens that are in the air and on HVAC system interior surfaces (particularly the cooling coil). When used in conjunction with your air filter, the UV lamp kills the germs that the filter can’t capture.

 

PCO cleaners do everything that the UV cleaner does, plus they remove VOCs (volatile organic compounds) by changing them on the molecular level to carbon dioxide and water molecules. Pretty cool, right? Certain models can also generate small, safe amounts of ozone, which can assist with odor reduction in the house.

 

Our go-tos? We have been installing Blue Tube UV and Air Scrubber by Aerus.  

 

 

Smart Thermostats

 

Sure; smart thermostats aren’t a new technology. But we’re seeing more and more homeowners install them. Did you know that even your old system can be monitored from a distance with a new smart thermostat? An investment in a smart thermostat can fully pay for itself by saving you from a costly energy bill. We just had a customer service call illustrating this benefit!

 

The customer called saying their air handler had been running for 24 hours straight. The reason they were aware of this problem was that the smart thermostat emailed them a notification.

 

During our service call we found a failed high voltage breaker on the heat pump. We repaired it that day and the homeowner avoided a shockingly high energy bill that would have resulted if the heat strips had heated the home all month long.

 

We like Honeywell thermostats, but we will install any thermostat you buy yourself as well (e.g., Nest,  Ecobee, Sensi, etc.) for a flat rate fee of $120, as long as you have enough wires available for install. The older the house, the higher probability you may be short on wires.  

 

Humidifying and Dehumidifying

 

Lastly, we continue to receive a number of calls regarding humidity levels. When it comes to comfort in the home, the humidity level has a major effect.

 

Removing moisture from the air can make your home feel cooler and crisper in the summer.

 

If you have excess humidity and are looking to lower it, we recommend checking out the Sante Fe product line. You can purchase it directly from Sylvane and have the unit delivered to you. In most cases we can install them for under $500. These humidifiers are on a whole different level from what you can buy at the big box home improvement store; these are built to last for years!     

 

Adding moisture to the air in winter makes you feel warmer at a lower temperature (not to mention stops pesky static electricity from zapping you). Lack of moisture in the air can even damage the woodworking/wood floors in your house. Ever notice cracks opening up in the wood floor during the winter months? Yep, lack of moisture.

 

So, to humidify your space, we recommend the Aprilaire 800 series. The maintenance is very simple and cost effective. The downside is the installation cost because it does require its own electrical circuit (a 240v 20-amp) to provide maximum humidity in your home. There is a huge price range for installation due to many variables. If you’re interested in learning more, give us a call to set up a consultation.

 

Want to talk trends with us one-on-one? Contact us anytime. Follow along on our social media for more HVAC tips and tricks.

 

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