AC + Technology
If you’re planning for an AC replacement in Indianapolis, this is a great time to educate yourself about the new HVAC technology that can save you money and provide better comfort conditions.
1. Better refrigerants
You may already know this, but don’t buy an AC replacement unit that uses the old R22 refrigerant (also known as Freon). It’s being phased out by the EPA because it has caused damage to the Earth’s ozone layer. The latest HVAC technology uses friendlier refrigerants such as R410a.
2. Better energy efficiency
SEER is a rating that measures the maximum cooling efficiency of an air conditioner, measured under ideal conditions. SEER ratings for today’s new air conditioners range from 13 (lowest efficiency) to 25+ (highest efficiency).
Just 10 to 15 years ago (when your old air conditioner was built), SEER ratings were around 9 or 10. Plus, they lose efficiency over time, so by now, it’s probably 7 or 8. So if you get a new AC replacement unit with a SEER of 16, you’ll greatly increase energy efficiency and noticeably reduce energy costs.
3. Better fans
In the past, AC air handlers had fans that only ran at one speed: full blast. Today’s new HVAC technology offers VARIABLE-SPEED FANS that can run at lower speeds on cooler days, and high speed only when needed on the hottest days. That means less energy usage and less noise!
4. Better compressors
The compressor is the heart of your air conditioning system. Your old system probably has a single-stage compressor (like the old fans). On or off. Those old compressors make a lot of noise, don’t control humidity well on cooler days, and use a lot of electricity.
New HVAC technology includes DUAL-STAGE COMPRESSORS that can run at a lower capacity when needed. There’s also VARIABLE REFRIGERANT FLOW (VRF) TECHNOLOGY that runs at the precise capacity needed for the current conditions. VRF is super efficient, great at controlling humidity, and extremely quiet.
5. Better ducts
Chances are, your old HVAC system has ducts made from sheet metal, which is durable but noisy. It’s also not great for efficiency, since they are not insulated to prevent heat and cooling loss.
Modern ductwork options include FIBERGLASS-LINED OR FIBERBOARD DUCTS which are quieter and more energy-efficient. Also, FLEXIBLE DUCTING makes it easier to create bends in tight spaces. There’s even a new greener option: duct wrap made from old denim, which not only insulates but prevents moisture build-up that can trap contaminants in your HVAC ducts.
6. Better sound reduction/noise control
Tired of your AC waking you up at night, drowning out your conversations, or interrupting business? Your old AC might be producing 80 decibels or more.
Due to some of the improvements we’ve mentioned here, including quieter compressors, variable speed fans, and insulated ducts, the quietest new HVAC technology produces about 40 decibels about a small desk fan level.
7. Better controls
Today’s residential and commercial HVAC systems have greatly improved options for controlling temperature and humidity settings.
SMART THERMOSTATS make it possible for homeowners and smaller businesses to control their HVAC systems from their mobile devices. Forget to turn down the heat when you left for vacation? Need more AC in the conference room during a big meeting? Adjust in seconds using an app on your smartphone.
SENSORS are also automating temperature and humidity control for large commercial spaces. Sensors can detect everything from temperature to humidity levels and even carbon dioxide levels, sending that data to building management systems that can automatically adjust HVAC equipment and ventilation.
Learn more: Smart HVAC & Sensor Technology for Smart Buildings
8. Better ductless heating and cooling
Especially in older buildings, it can be impossible (or cost-prohibitive) to install ductwork. If you have existing ductwork, it can sometimes be inefficient for heating and cooling some parts of your space, leading to areas that are too hot or too cold. DUCTLESS MINI SPLITS can be a great option for cooling spaces without ducts or adding supplemental cooling in problem areas.
This new HVAC technology is a step up from using window air conditioners and a smart AC replacement option. A ductless mini-split has an outdoor condenser/compressor just like a traditional ducted split system, but instead of one big air handler with ducts, it uses multiple small air handlers installed in each room.
9. Better comfort with zoning
Larger homes and businesses often have issues with inconsistent heating and cooling. This happens not only because of poor HVAC design but also because different rooms or spaces have different requirements.
For example, a home may need more heat in bedrooms where children are sleeping and more cooling in living areas for a party.
In an office setting, computer server rooms and conference rooms may need to be kept at lower temperatures than open work areas for employees.
New HVAC technology, such as VRF systems and ductless mini splits, solve this problem by creating comfort zones that can be independently controlled. VRF systems can even provide both heat and cooling simultaneously to different areas within your space.
10. Better diagnostics
Today’s new HVAC technology is controlled by computers, which provides some advantages when things go wrong. Your repair technician can connect to the equipment and see diagnostic information.
In some cases, it’s even possible for your service provider to diagnose issues, and sometimes even make adjustments, remotely. This capability reduces downtime by speeding up the process of fixing problems.
While not the most exciting topic to discuss or learn about, we hope this information has shown you just how far the HVAC industry has come and how we improve our approach all the time. If you have questions about HVAC repair in Indianapolis or HVAC replacement, we would be happy to help.