There’s always interesting news in the HVAC industry or related to heating and air conditioning your home. This month, we look at new technology, the developing La Niña and what it will mean for your weather, common causes of AC failure and the growing Internet of Things (IoT). Let’s start with that one.
Internet of Things Market Growing Rapidly
The Internet of Things, or IoT, refers to the reality that hundreds of millions of devices are now connected to the Internet. While the Internet was once primarily the highway for data to and from computers, it is now the conduit for data moving from computers to devices. In the HVAC world, gadgets that are part of the Internet of Things include Wi-Fi enabled thermostats and home automation systems connected to those thermostats. Smart homes might also have lighting, laundry appliances, sound systems and other home systems connected as part of the IoT. Navigant research estimates that globally, the IoT market for residential devices will grow to more than $600 billion in the next decade. By then, there’s a good chance that many or most of us will be controlling most home systems via our smart phone, tablet or similar technology.
2015 Was a Big Year for Smart Thermostats
In related news, new research from Berg Insight shows just how many homeowners in Europe and North America installed a Wi-Fi connected thermostat last year. Have you installed one yet? Is it on the “to-do” list for 2016? There are now about 4.4 million smart thermostats in use in North America; 1.4 million in Europe. Read the interesting details here.
New Hope for Old AC Units
If you have an air conditioner that uses R-22 refrigerant and are concerned about the global ban on new production of R-22, there’s now a solution. Bluon has created an ecofriendly replacement refrigerant, designated R-458A, that requires only “tweaking” the AC and not replacing it. So, while your R-22 unit might not be very efficient, at least you won’t be forced to replace it should it have a refrigerant leak. On the other hand, if you want a greener unit (R-22 is hard on ozone) and one that is much more efficient, check out the outstanding range of energy-miser ACs from all the top brands. We cover most in our HVAC reviews.
Out with El Niño and in with La Niña
No doubt you’re aware of the havoc El Niño played on weather throughout the world. Well, that event is over, and a La Niña event is forming in the Pacific.
Here’s a look from The Weather Network on what kind of weather La Niña might have on weather where you live.
AC Issues? Start the Diagnosis with These Common Air Conditioner Problems
“I’m from the government, and I’m here to help” is a punchline in many instances, but in this case, Energy.gov does offer solid advice in determining why your central air conditioner isn’t working. Take a look at these common AC problems. If you determine the issue and have good DIY skills, you might be able to make the repair. However, you’ll need a pro if it’s a refrigerant leak since it takes certification to handle refrigerant. If it’s an electrical problem, contacting an electrician or HVAC technician might be your best bet unless you have good skill, experience and knowledge of how to stay safe when working on systems that use electricity.
If you decide to call a pro for repair or AC replacement, we suggest getting multiple estimates to find the right combination of low price and an experienced, qualified contractor to do the work.