Adoption Versus Appreciation: The Case For Smart HVAC

Adoption Versus Appreciation: The Case For Smart HVAC

As HVAC systems have evolved, so have issues surrounding performance and maintenance. Gone are the days of simple duct work, blowers, and chillers—now, many systems feature some type of computer control, include dual-zoning for increased comfort and can even be controlled via mobile devices. According to Fortune, the next generation of HVAC may be just around the corner in the form of “smart sensors” which can detect problems and relay critical information to HVAC technicians, saving home and business owners both time and money.

So far, however, appreciation for this new technology hasn’t translated to broad adoption—are sensors the future of HVAC or just a bump in the road?

The Extra 43 Percent

What’s the most expensive part of any HVAC system? While initial purchase prices vary by system type and size, where most owners spend big money over time is HVAC maintenance. As noted by Contracting Business, technicians find problems with 7 out of every 10 systems and on average those systems only operate at 57 percent of their total capacity. According to this article, part of this is on HVAC techs themselves, who often skip detailed chats with system owners and instead head straight to the panel. While familiar checklists and diagnostics help identify HVAC issues, technicians may overlook underlying problems by focusing on more obvious symptoms, meaning they’ll inevitably be called back again and again for the same concern.

A New Model

The Fortune piece notes that some companies prefer to operate under this model, since call-outs for service generate more income than new installs or preventative check-ups. In this scenario, HVAC businesses deliberately resist the implementation of sensor technology since it gives homeowners a heads-up and lets them avoid costly maintenance.

But for the vast majority of HVAC contractors trying to do right by their customers and earn their business over the long-term, sensors offer a way to tap new market verticals and generate rather than lose revenue. It goes like this: By equipping new units with wireless sensors capable of monitoring even tiny fluctuations in air flow, temperature, and overall performance, companies have an opportunity to design and sell total-home comfort plans which include lighting-fast preventative maintenance informed by sensor-reported data.

Systems with sensors installed can also be sold at a premium. Coupled with stellar service, there’s a host of possibilities for long-term contracts and eventual upgrades. What’s more, there’s still a key place here for regular HVAC maintenance—precise on-site measurement and regular maintenance are key to system longevity.

Bottom line? New HVAC sensor technologies can help enhance response times and enable a faster, more precise diagnosis of HVAC system issues. The result? Better performance, satisfied customers, and a reputation for stellar repairs.

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