Trends in Home HVAC Systems

Published: 08th April 2010
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Today's HVAC systems have become much more robust and complex than traditional ones. Replacing or upgrading HVAC systems isn't just about replacing boxes like it used to be. Here, Aris Parviz of Virginia's Able Air-1, Inc. reveals some of the latest trends in home HVAC system and shares his insider perspective on where the industry might be headed.

While heating and cooling are obviously the most important aspects of any home HVAC system, today's homeowners demand more. HVAC systems now include components that significantly improve comfort and indoor air quality as well as reduce heating and cooling costs.

Air Filtration Systems: Homeowners are becoming increasingly aware of the negative health effects of poor indoor air quality, and consequentially are asking for their home heating and cooling systems to include advanced air filtration systems. The new filtration systems help keep indoor air free from allergens and dust; and, in some cases, they can even rid the air of certain types of bacteria and airborne viruses.

Moisture Control Systems: Moisture control is important to indoor air quality. Overly dry air creates health problems and makes a home feel colder than it actually is. Excessively moist air makes a home feel overly warm and can contribute to the growth of unhealthy mold and mildew. Home moisture control systems help regulate the amount of moisture in the air. In some sophisticated systems, ultraviolet light is installed within the HVAC system to help prevent mold growth.

Variable Speed Motors: Variable speed motors are also becoming more popular, which allow for more precise control of airflow throughout the home. By moving the air more slowly through the system, a variable speed motor can help make a home's air filtration and moisture control systems more effective.

Because the environmental movement has taken hold and consumers are becoming more aware that energy efficiency equals big long-term savings, highly efficient, eco-friendly HVAC systems are becoming increasingly popular. Although these systems can be expensive to install, more homeowners are willing to make a larger investment upfront in order to enjoy the savings and environmental benefits of more efficient systems in the years to come.

Hybrid Systems: Hybrid heating is one of the most energy-efficient options available to homeowners today. Combining a highly-efficient heat pump with a gas- or oil-fueled furnace, a hybrid system ensures optimal energy efficiency regardless of the temperature outside. While the total cost savings will depend on the climate and overall efficiency of the system itself, hybrid heating systems can reduce some homeowners' energy costs by 30%.

Heat Pumps: Geothermal heat pumps - those that draw heat from the ground or a nearby water source - provide the biggest improvements yet in energy efficiency. Heat pumps do more than just provide heat to the home. By transferring heat out of the home in summer, they also offer cooling benefits. And because heat pumps involve no fuel-burning components, they are extremely safe and reliable to operate.

Programmable Thermostats: Smart thermostats deliver the right temperature at the right time thanks to pre-programmed settings. And more consistent temperatures can be achieved with new systems thanks to more frequent cycling and more efficient delivery methods. Therefore, programmable thermostats are also an important part of improving energy efficiency. By switching the system into high-efficiency mode when the home's inhabitants are either away or sleeping, the programmable thermostat helps reduce energy waste and costs.

In short, today's HVAC systems provide more effective heating and cooling, and the environmental benefits make these new systems as appealing to the ecoconscious homeowner as they are to the budget-minded one.

Aris Parviz is a writer for Yodle, a business directory and online advertising company. Find an HVAC contractor or more HVAC contractor articles at Yodle Consumer Guide.

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