If you’re getting ready to invest in upgrades to your commercial HVAC system or any related equipment, then read on. There are several trends influencing commercial heating, cooling and ventilation that might surprise you.
Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing (commonly known as PACE)
Building owners and managers now have another option to fund not only HVAC but all energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements through a voluntary assessment attached to the property tax bill. Though HVAC and other improvements proceed without upfront capital expenses. This allows building managers to avoid operating costs associated with delaying needed replacements (such as excessive utility, repair and maintenance costs.) These improvements also increase property values as equipment is renewed and modernized.
Cutting Emissions and Going Greener
If you thought cutting emissions and going greener was only going to affect the car you drive, think again!
Changes to AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) and SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) regulations and building codes are in the works for most states in the US, and those changes will have an impact on the HVAC equipment that can be bought, sold and installed.
There has been a definite trend towards adopting newer, more integrated smart building management systems for as long as the technology has been available – and that trend shows no sign of slowing down.
In fact, newer technologies seek to link even more systems together – including employee card swipe access – so that buildings will be able to tell without even needing sensors when your building is occupied and it’s time to switch your HVAC on or off, and lights to ensure comfort and productivity - good bye time clocks.
Smarter Than Ever Controls…
With better controls, better sensors, smarter interfaces, more ways to analyze data, and the ability to control more than ever at a granular level, HVAC and building automation systems are smarter than ever – and that’s good news allowing building owners to make smarter decisions to enhance productivity and their businesses.
Mobile applications and management tools make it possible to make changes to settings on the fly, as well as receive warnings and notifications. Smart controls make it possible to customize settings in individual rooms at will, and data recording helps to track building operation over time, making identifying and fixing problems easier than ever.
… and Maintenance
Not only are smarter building and HVAC controls making it easier for owners and building managers to control and track building operations, but it’s making remote diagnostics and fault finding easier.
Expect to see more systems that allow for remote login and diagnostics, as well as more features like built in reminders for routine preventative building maintenance and servicing. It’s the internet of things in practice, and this time, it’s your building that is communicating with you.
HVAC Companies Will Get Busier
Thanks to the ongoing surge in construction in the US, there’s a greater demand than there has been in a long time for new HVAC and controls systems in both new and existing buildings that want to keep up with their peers.
While there isn’t likely to be a waiting list for your retrofit or equipment yet, companies are more in demand, which may make things like service and maintenance contracts a larger expense in the near future if existing building updates are deferred.
Better Technology, Better Buildings
There are many changes happening in commercial HVAC and building automation – some good, some bad in terms of customer costs and expenditures. With new funding mechanisms like PACE and an accurate assets survey to plan for modernization of HVAC equipment, many projects demonstrate positive Net Present Value (NPV) making your owner and finance chief smile.
One consistent positive for commercial building owners and managers is that the technology that runs modern buildings is getting better and more efficient all the time, and that means better, more efficient buildings, increasing operating income and asset values in the long run.
If you are thinking about improving your building, there’s never been a better time.