In 2013, Obama set a goal for the nation’s energy consumption. Over the next decade, he hopes to see the nation’s reliance on renewable energy sources double. This means nearly 20% of our energy will come from renewable sources. As citizens, businesses, and manufacturers shift their focus to sustainability, research and development agencies are jumping to meet the demands of a changing industry. New ideas and innovations are coming to the forefront of this demand every day. Here are just a few of the latest advances in HVAC in MN.

The Smart HVAC

Taking a page out of the smartphone revolution, the industry realizes that in order to innovate, heating and air conditioning systems must become smarter. New technologies have emerged integrating electronic devices, security systems, and comfort controls into one system using your cell phone or tablet as a master remote. With a touch of a button, heating and air conditioning can be turned off, on, or set to certain temperatures. Ideally, a smart HVAC system would be able to predict energy needs based not only on internal temperatures, but outdoor temperatures and seasonal changes as well.

Ice Cold Air Conditioning

In the days before air conditioning, people would stand in front of the ice box with the door open to get relief from the heat. A company in California called Ice Energy specializes in putting the cold power of ice to use as a renewable energy source for air conditioning. Their units claim to save you 40% on your cooling bills by freezing ice during the night and using it to circulate cold air during the day. When the ice is melted the system switches to standard forced-air.

Product Innovations

As real estate sales are once again on the rise, the market demand for HVAC units, parts, and service technicians is also increasing. Aside from making the actual units smarter, ductwork is also evolving from standard steel to super strong, insulated cardboard. It’s 100% recyclable, water resistant, fire retardant, and costs less to ship than traditional ductwork because it is lightweight and can be folded. Other companies have successfully recycled denim material to produce ductwork that reduces heat loss and gain as it travels through your system.

Sustainability Hurdles

There are several barriers to making the change to sustainable energy and green HVAC. The biggest barrier is cost effectiveness. New technologies usually come with higher price tags and customers must weigh the costs. However, in the long-run, sustainable HVAC units can save you money on energy bills and maintenance costs because they run more efficiently and require less maintenance.

Marketplace acceptance is another barrier because new technologies usually require additional training for HVAC technicians. An investment on behalf of service companies and manufacturers is required to ensure a seamless integration into the open market. Customer demands and market focus on sustainability is slowly but surely breaking down this barrier.

A third barrier is motivation. While green energy is a noble pursuit, it is not the primary motive for customers seeking new HVAC units in Minnesota. Usually, customers wait until their current unit breaks down before shopping for replacements. Your unit might last you 15 or 20 years but decreased performance will manifest itself over time in the form of higher energy bills.

The future of HVAC in MN is a lot closer than you think with new ideas being developed every day. For more on innovating your home and cutting energy costs, contact the experts at Total Comfort.

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