HVAC technology has been changing at a rapid pace and has the potential to greatly affect how companies and homeowners heat and cool their buildings and homes. Following are some of the most significant recent advances and developments that an aspiring HVAC technician or student enrolled in HVAC training will want to have on their radar.
Advanced Controls for Commercial Units
While many homeowners certainly use a great deal of energy, commercial enterprises that have found themselves paying the highest price for the heating and cooling of their buildings. This price is not just monetary; as public opinion shifts and people become interested in limiting the environmental consequences of energy wastefulness, companies may be eager to get on the bandwagon and show themselves to be energy conscious.
Given these facts, it is not surprising that the revenue generated from the sale of advanced HVAC controls for commercial units is expected to exceed $12.7 billion by the year 2023. Businesses have shown themselves most interested in advanced components including sensors, field devices, and floor level and building level controllers.
Advanced HVAC sensors are getting the most attention at present. Such devices could theoretically be used in conjunction with or even as a replacement for a thermostat and would enable an HVAC unit to switch off power to an unoccupied room or adjust the temperature based on how much sunlight or shade a room is getting at a particular point in time.
Naturally, sensors cost significantly more than thermostats. However, the possibility of them being able to pay for themselves due to significantly lowered energy costs has piqued the interest of many.
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Emphasis on Environmentally Friendly HVAC Units
The Department of Energy has recently released new efficiency standards for commercial HVAC units, with the stated goal of reducing carbon pollution by up to 60 million metric tons by 2030. HVAC units will now be required to meet strict energy consumption standards, which means that manufacturers will likely be scrambling to create new, specialized units that can provide needed heating and energy in an efficient, environmentally-friendly manner.
It is not just HVAC manufacturers that are investing time and money in creating new HVAC units that will meet the DOE’s new standards. The Energy Department itself has set aside almost $8 million dollars towards the development of new, energy efficient heating, ventilating and air conditioning technologies. Particular emphasis is being placed on replacing the use of refrigerants in these devices as a way to minimize the environmental impact of running large rooftop HVAC units.
HVAC Units and Hybrid Operating Rooms
The creation of hybrid operating rooms is not simply a good thing; it is vitally important to the continued health and well being of people in all 50 states. HVAC units in such operating rooms are required to meet the very high standards set down by the Facility Guidelines Institute (FGI); what is more, they must also be flexible enough to meet not only today’s needs, but also the needs of future patients. Not every HVAC technician will be able to install HVAC units for a hybrid operating room; however, those who do have the needed skills to do so could potentially find themselves with plenty of available work.
While there is much that an aspiring HVAC technician could learn on the job, it is clear that tomorrow’s technicians will need skills and capabilities that today’s technicians may not possess. Getting a well-rounded education from a qualified trade school is a must for any HVAC technician who wants to be able to install, repair and/or even create the new HVAC units that are set to be unveiled in the coming years.
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