As we draw near to the end of 2020, the industry must look to 2021 for new innovation, new technology and new more sustainable living.
As we move closer to the new year, let’s take a look at the HVAC trends sure to shape 2021. The industry faces new challenges, whether that’s emerging green technologies, smart homes or the growth of new technology. We have all spent a lot of time in our homes this year, and this is not likely to change for next year. So what will 2021 look like in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning sectors?
New, green, environmentally conscious technology is sure to grow yet faster in 2021. This could mean heating being fuelled by electricity or hydrogen, or myriad smart inventions to provide cleaner solutions. Innovation in the HVAC sector has the chance to be at the vanguard of change. With growth in the green sector, the market for HVAC will have a big part to play in the rise of sustainable energy.
HVAC is not purely your underfloor heating or your fireplace, but also the way in which homes are built to retain heat. Energy efficiency is sure to take a huge leap in 2021, as the Coronavirus pandemic has seen a dramatic rise in heating bills with families at home.
For a damp, moisture-free, healthy-living interior, there are many options available, for example Baumit’s range of lime and silicate based plasters. This type of material, due to their vapour permeable properties and the fact that they are low in emissions, provides an environmentally-friendly, breathable plaster for interiors of all shapes and sizes. We spend 90% of our lives indoors, therefore providing a quality finish for interior walls would appear paramount to our wellbeing.
Unlike the interior option, floor space isn’t compromised with exterior insulation. A few millimetres’ less living room in a building containing multiple flats and potentially hundreds of walls, for instance, amounts to a sizable loss of space, which for private landlords could mean a reduction in income.
These more breathable paints and plasters available for developers and home renovators provides a more sustainable way to build and decorate your home.
One of the biggest technological changes in the home has been the move towards smart integration. Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home are changing the way people think about technology. Rather than separate devices spread across the house, systems like Alexa run within the house. Nest Thermostats bring another level of usability that is likely to have increasing appeal.
Having connected systems allows for one central hub to control all, whether it be your smart doorbell, interactive fridge, or thermostat, home owners can control the temperature of their homes from their phones, or central hub.
Ease and efficiency at home to create the ideal sanctuary has seen HVAC systems change from an item of luxury, to being embedded in the typical home.
The recent report published by research nester titled “Heat, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) Equipment Market: Global Demand Analysis & Opportunity Outlook 2021” identified how there has been a growth in demand for smart HVAC. The report read: “Integration of numerous features into HAVC equipment for instance internet of things (IoT) and others are gaining popularity among the consumers which is expected to bolster the growth of heat, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment market. Moreover, increasing installation of advanced technologies into residential houses on the back of swelled disposable income is also predicted to fuel the demand for heat, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment.
“On the contrary, high cost associated with the HAVC system and high electricity consumption are some of the factors hindering the growth of heat, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment market across the globe.”
New Tech – new training
With new technology, comes new training. Global demands for HVAC equipment increased by 6% through 2020. The growth of the HVAC market brings with it extra demand for skills across a company. The baby boom generation are entering retirement and the millennial generation may be much less likely to enter a skilled trade. Companies are therefore looking at the way they recruit and train staff, investing more in employee training and skills programs as they adapt to change.
HVAC contractors can use software, SEO and widgets to connect with different communities and widen their market share. Software as a service (SaaS) is customisable software that companies can subscribe to, rather than undergoing the cost of developing their own. Further expanding SaaS in 2021 unlocks new potential for HVAC manufacturers.
In the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) operation alone – which is known to account for up to 60% of total energy consumption in commercial buildings, an AI-automated account system such as Honeywell Forge Energy Optimisation can save between 10% and 20% in energy costs.
Saas has seen more use and efficiency amongst commercial and industrial buildings, however with more developments and apartment blocks being built around the UK, and with a greener more sustainable vision, SaaS software is likely to become more relevant.
The trends outlined above in this feature demonstrate that there is a huge opportunity for HVAC companies to develop new innovative technologies that make residential developments more sustainable, smarter and cost effective. Tackling the cost efficiency challenge will revolutionise the market and allow the variety of consumer to widen as connected living becomes the norm.
DRU launches new Virtuo series of contemporary electric fires
DRU has launched the Virtuo, a realistic electric fire that is the equal of its award-winning gas fires.
It is glass-fronted with authentic log fire beds, realistic flames and a selection of front-facing, 2-sided and 3-sided models. The fires can be installed into false chimneybreasts or other architectural features around the home to create complete, contemporary fireplaces.
The 3D flame picture is generated by a unique projection system that replicates the image of a real log fire, from the tall, dancing flames to the glowing LED fire bed and flying embers.
For home builders and self-builders, Virtuo requires no chimneys, flue pipes or complex construction. Simply plug it into the domestic power supply and enjoy the experience of an atmospheric log fire.
Virtuo is available now from specialist fireplace retailers throughout the UK. For further information, visit www.drufire.com or call 0161 793 8700
Imagine the appeal of a well-insulated and airtight home that has fresh filtered-air all year round. A home which does not rely on fossil fuel, that recovers all waste heat and that has responsive, energy efficient space heating and cooling, all without a formal heating system. This is no longer simply the domain of the bespoke eco home, but a reality that has been made possible by advances in Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) and the development of Heat Pump Ventilation (HPV).
One of the best things to reduce carbon emissions in homes, is to conserve heat by investing in a better insulated and airtight fabric. In doing this though, air-quality is compromised and today especially, we are more aware of the dangerous things that can be trapped in the air that we breathe. The solution is normally MVHR, but you can go a step further with HPV which combines mechanical heat recovery ventilation with an integral heat pump. It doesn’t require an irritating gas connection, smelly oil, pellet storage space, ground-drilling, inconvenient radiators, underfloor heating pipes or planning permission.
The HPV unit is normally located in a plant, utility, cupboard or loft area and connected to rooms via rigid metal ducting and ceiling terminals. HPV silently extracts stale warm air out of kitchens and bathrooms and then recycles the heat into fresh filtered-air supplied to bedrooms and living rooms. The integral heat pump can then add energy efficient space heating or cooling to those supply rooms too. Typical COP’s (Co-efficient of Performance) of between 3 and 12 can be achieved in comparison to gas at only 0.9!
For the purchaser, Heat Pump Ventilation offers not only energy savings, but with no need to open windows, there’ll be no cold draughts, less polluted air with flying pests or allergens, but greater security. The internal air is completely replaced on average, every two hours and combined with the air-quality management sensors, condensation, mould growth, viruses and VOC’s (found in all sorts of things around the home) are eliminated. The World Health Organisation warns of all the illnesses thought to be acquired from these items, so having a system that extracts particles down to 0.01microns from your home is a valuable commodity.
There are three key principles to consider when building an energy-efficient, sustainable home: thermal insulation, external-wall materials, and indoor air humidity. A well-insulated property helps regulate temperature by keeping walls warm in winter and pleasantly cool during summer. This is vital to occupant health and wellbeing, as is the purity of indoor air, particularly when it’s considered we inhale up to 13.5kg of interior air, compared to 1.5kg of fresh air, per day.
The most effective method for creating a healthy living space is to optimally insulate the façade – the better the insulation, the more comfortable the space will be. The specification of quality External Wall Insulation (EWI) can help achieve this desirable level of interior comfort. It’s a solution that is particularly effective in multi-occupancy properties.
Through everyday living, residents create water vapour. Baths, washing, cooking… it all creates steam – even breathing. Now, consider how much vapour is generated in a multi-occupancy building containing, say, 150 tenants. All that vapour will pass through the building’s elements, but in cases where the EWI system contains a non-vapour permeable topcoat and non-breathable insulation, the vapour will be trapped. This can lead to increased air humidity, condensation and the dreaded “d” word – damp, which once inside a property, can take a lot of time and expense to remove. Therefore, an EWI solution that might have appeared cost-effective in the immediate-to-short-term, could potentially result in unnecessary and unforeseen expenditure.
Applying non-breathable materials to a building causes what might be referred to as the “plastic bag effect” – walls can become cloaked in condensation from non-escaping vapour. To create a breathable outer layer for buildings private or public, a silicon-based finish render, such as Baumit’s SilikonTop, is preferable. Water-repellent, stain and weather resistant, the system provides a robust white or coloured façade. It’s easily applied to mineral renders old and new, providing a decorative, vapour-permeable topcoat that makes for an attractive exterior, whilst optimising occupants’ living environment.
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Rebecca Morpeth Spayne,
Editor, Showhome Magazine
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 922