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What’s Hot in HVAC

Energy-efficient heating, air conditioning and ventilation (HVAC) still faces an uphill battle for adoption, but many lower-cost options are making this technology more attractive to companies, according to intelligence and strategy firm Lux Research.

In a report, “Uncovering Attractive Innovations in HVAC Amidst Evolutionary Growth,” Lux Research says that building HVAC systems consume 13 percent of all primary energy generated around the globe. These systems, Lux says, are “crying out for new, more energy-efficient HVAC equipment, including advanced heat pumps, absorption chillers, evaporative chillers, and condensing boilers.”

Take-up of such technologies is slow, despite the rising cost of energy and looming carbon regulations in some parts of the world. But Lux says that it has seen demand for components that improve the operational cost and performance of existing HVAC equipment, and that these offer the fastest return on investment.

These technologies include variable speed compressors, electronic expansion valves, advanced humidity removal, heat recycling, variable frequency drives, and thermal energy storage.

“While some builders and owners will choose to install whole new, cutting-edge HVAC systems, occupants and building managers will favor lower-cost incremental component solutions that improve efficiency of their existing systems,” said Jaideep Raje, a Lux Research senior analyst and a contributing author of the report. “Component technologies demonstrate the quickest return on investment, smoothing their path to adoption.”

The report evaluates HVAC systems and components separately and scores technologies on their technical value and maturity. It then plots each technology’s relative potential on a matrix comprising four quadrants: Current Winners, Future Winners, Long-Shot, and Faded Incumbents. Among its key findings:

  • Advanced HVAC systems are seeing incremental adoption. Companies are slowly adopting more efficient gas-fired furnaces and new technologies like radiant heating and advanced heat pumps, to replace old steam-heated boilers and standard furnaces.
  • Heat pumps show particular efficiency potential when coupled with water heaters. This approach is offered by companies like Cool Sound Industries, WhisperGen, and Disenco.
  • There is plenty of opportunity for advanced HVAC components to show their value. Low-cost variable frequency drives are rated a “current winner” in the report, and expansion valves rank among “future winners”.
  • The value of HVAC technologies can exceed the sum of their parts. Many of the report’s highest-ranked HVAC technologies can deliver even better returns when combined.
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6 thoughts on “What’s Hot in HVAC

  1. Radiant Construction heaters

    These heaters are a perfect solution to adding heat to a home during a construction or addition project. They are cost effective, efficient, eco-friendly, and a primary heat source of comfortable absorbing heat. This heater is applicable whether building an addition on a home, remodeling a home, or refurbishing an older home.

    Does this apply to the construction and refurbishing industry of older homes, home with additions being built, or green home construction? Radiant construction heaters have the benefit f being thermostatically controlled, heavy duty frame which weighs under 50 lbs. By using one of these heaters during construction you don’t have to worry about getting dust from construction into your furnace. It also works great if you don’t have your furnace installed yet. If you live in a cold part of the country your crew will be able to continue production on your job to meet that dead line of completion

    Radiant heaters work great in the construction and refurbishing industry of older homes, home with additions being built, adding heat to patio enclosures or green home construction, in the garage or man cave. They are easily transported and stackable. Our company has improved maintenance accessibility and recessed the controls to eliminate damage. You have the choice of natural gas or propane.

    Radiant heating heats people and objects first by utilizing the technology of long wave electromagnetic energy. After the people and objects are warmed they release the warmth into the air which then heats the ambient air. Even if a door is opened that lets a rush of cold air into the room, radiant heating has a faster recovery time due to all the objects in the room being warmed and releasing that warmth back into the room. Even though the unit operates continuously until the thermostat turns it off, it operates at an inexpensive rate.

    The radiant construction heaters are manufactured by Flagro USA Canada and Flagro USA INC. These units are made in the USA and Canada.

    During new and/or green construction, the building of an addition, any type of patio enclosure or just a drafty, chilly room, the Flagro radiant construction heater brand of radiant heating units offer perfect, efficient primary heat. They are a stand alone heater, filter less design and are thermostatically controlled.

  2. While this is old news, I still have to say that the technological innovation applied to HVAC systems made to energy saving and environmental protection get another friend. To have all of us participating in the venture to protect the planet, I think it is necessary to simply recognize these innovations and replace old appliances with new ones. Greetings from Detroit.

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