Over the last five years, there have been some big changes in the air conditioning industry, with new trends appearing that add real value to efficiency, connectivity and climate control. The ‘smart home’ phenomenon, in particular, is taking off, and has effectively gone from ‘gimmick ‘to ‘essential’ and is expected to further develop as new technologies emerge. But how do new trends affect air conditioning technology?
#1 – Variable Refrigerant Volume (VRV) Systems
Previously used for commercial air conditioning only and spurred on by the popularity of ducted air conditioning, VRV systems are slowly making their way into the residential market. These systems allow users the ability to maintain individual zone control in their homes and they require just one outdoor unit.
Unlike ducted systems, however, they can be installed in most homes without the need for ductwork under the floor or in the ceiling, making it ideal for flat and low roof installations. In terms of air conditioning technology, VRV systems also provide the flexibility of using a combination of ceiling, wall, floor and bulkhead units to create a seamless design, so they’re not only efficient but aesthetically pleasing as well.
#2 – Zoned Temperature Control
Traditionally large ducted units have been installed with two or more zones that direct airflow to different parts of the house. So for example, you might have a living area zone, one for the bedrooms and one for the dining/kitchen areas. You would run one or all of the zones together, however, the temperature in each zone would be the same.
In terms of new air conditioning innovations, zoned temperature control allows users to set individual room temperatures simultaneously. This means each individual can set the temperature for their bedroom for example, depending on their comfort levels. One of the most positive benefits? No more fighting over the thermostat!
#3 – Clean Air Technology
Dust, dander from pets and other contaminants can significantly reduce indoor air quality, so it’s not surprising more and more homeowners are looking for air conditioning systems that include advanced air filtration capabilities
In terms of clean air technology in air conditioners, new innovations include systems with filters that provide state-of-the-art deodorisation and purification filters that remove both unwanted odours and impurities. These filters will also remove chemicals like ammonia, hydrogen sulphide, trimethylamine and methyl mercaptan, and substances like pollen, dust, bacteria and viruses. Negative ions are also generated which can relax and soothe at the same time as the system cools or heats.
Many manufacturers also include substances in their filters like catechin, a bioflavonoid found in green tea that offers excellent deodorising characteristics and is known for its antioxidant qualities.
#4 – Smart Home Technology
One of the biggest air conditioning trends for 2018 relates to the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT), with more and more Australians embracing internet-connected appliances than ever before. In the 90’s only about 1% of Australian households regularly used a computer, whereas now on average, our households have around 21 internet-connected devices in our homes! By 2020, that number is predicted to reach over 29!
This growth is mainly due to internet connectivity and will play a huge role in the future of the ‘smart home’, where just about every electronic device will have the capability to not only connect with the internet, but with other devices.
Many systems today allow you to control your system remotely or via a Smartphone or Android device, and wireless connectivity is available for both ducted and split systems. In some cases, smart home air conditioning can also be retrofitted to existing units as well. Some systems even sync with other appliances, turning your phone into a universal remote control connected to virtually any appliance in your home.
This integration offers convenience, control and customisation and will ultimately make our lives easier and more comfortable. Instead of coming home to a hot house on a 40° summer day for example, you can use your Smartphone on your way home from work, set the temperature, and you’ll arrive home to a beautifully pre-cooled environment!
#5 – Home Security
No matter what type of home you have, security and safety continue to be an important focus for every homeowner. As surveillance becomes more necessary to combat crime, smart home air conditioning units that integrate with your security system have become increasingly popular. Products range from electronic locks and motion sensors, to smoke alarms with carbon monoxide detectors that can be controlled via a range of apps downloaded to your Smartphone or Android device.
This connectivity allows homeowners to not only control but customise the operation of either individual or connected devices. The technology also allows you to receive information and real-time alerts from sensors, such as movement that could signal an intrusion or sudden temperature changes that may indicate a fire. The exciting part about it is that technologies are continuing to advance and are increasingly being built into ‘smart’ home products to detect normalities and ultimately make our homes safer.
#6 – Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Many of the ‘big guns’ in terms of air conditioning brands are embracing AI and plan on adding it to their products in the future (if they haven’t already!) A combination of AI and a wireless internet connection will allow air conditioning systems and other connected devices to identify when users are returning home in order to turn lights on, put fridges into low-power mode when you’re on holidays, and power-up your air conditioning by gauging the optimal temperature for your comfort levels.
In terms of air conditioning innovations, ultimately AI will ensure better control, better connectivity and better air quality, and in the future will probably be able to monitor your habits and behaviour to pre-empt your needs – without even having to ask!
Keen to know more about the current innovations in air conditioning? Contact Crown Power today on 0427 175 654 (Brisbane & Sunshine Coast) or on 0409 678 803 (Gold Coast).