HVAC technicians today have more technology available to them than ever before. With new technologies coming to the industry every week, today’s HVAC companies need to be aware of what is coming, so they can adjust their work accordingly. Here are some technologies that will impact the HVAC industry very soon.
The Rise of Self-Diagnostics
One of the challenges for homeowners is that they rarely have insight into what is going on with their HVAC systems. When something doesn’t work properly, they find themselves at the technician’s mercy. An unscrupulous technician can easily inflate the problem, indicating it is worse than it really is, and homeowners have no choice but to pay the bill.
This is changing with an increase in self-diagnostics in air conditioning and heating systems. New components with built-in self-diagnostics are the wave of the future. Some of these systems can even be set up to repair minor issues without help. This can actually benefit the HVAC business owner, because customers will be more trusting of the repair recommendations, and systems can be set to alert business owners when a problem is developing.
HVAC companies rely on a fleet of vehicles to get service technicians to their locations. Whether that fleet includes just one service vehicle or a fleet of 10, the need to lower fuel costs and increase the speed at which technicians arrive at their locations remains the same.
Fleet tracking is not a new technology, but modern systems are evolving so that they now meet the need of the small business owner as much as the large, 100-truck fleet. These scalable systems provide the same benefits of the systems designed for larger fleets, but in a smaller package with a manageable price tag that small business owners can benefit from. With more efficient fleet operations and better routing through fleet tracking, today’s HVAC business owner will be able to lower operating expenses and exceed customer expectations. Both of these combine to improve income for the company.
Increase in Utility Sales
Managing energy use during peak times is always a challenge for utility companies. Utility sales programs use technology to reward those customers who turn off their HVAC systems during peak times, when energy use is at a premium. By offering lower rates to those customers, utility companies can manage their energy supply a little easier, and technology is coming that will make this easier to do, even offering the option for automatic shutdowns when requested.
Variable Refrigerant Flow
Most homes do not have even temperatures from one room to the other. The kitchen, where the hot work of cooking takes place, may be several degrees warmer than the den, which only has one window. Unfortunately, heating and cooling the entire home with the same system is inefficient. Zoned systems, which divide the home into various zones that are heated or cooled separately, are a solution to this problem. Variable refrigerant flow is the next wave in zone air conditioning.
Variable refrigerant flow allows the home to be heated and cooled in different ways in different parts of the home, without sacrificing the efficiency of the home’s cooling system. The systems are designed so that they can simultaneously heat and cool, using the latest technology to control the system with precision. They run quietly and have a lower lifecycle cost with minimal energy usage and maximum comfort. HVAC companies that can install and service these will be well positioned for the future.
Energy Analysis Software
What is the most energy-efficient HVAC system for a customer’s home or business? Energy analysis software can show this. With these programs (which are up and coming in the HVAC industry), technicians can recommend the exact products that will genuinely meet the needs of their customers. Software can also project the long-term benefits of the system, helping customers embrace the higher upfront cost for a more efficient system.
The HVAC industry is changing. To ensure that your company is prepared, you need to be aware of the changes and embrace them as they come. Whether it’s adding new energy analysis software or purchasing fleet tracking systems for your company, you will be ahead of the competition as you embrace the wave of new technology that is coming.
Robert J. Hall is President of Track Your Truck, a leader in GPS tracking devices and software for small and midsized companies.