In the HVAC Industry during the late 1990s, Smart Technology may have made its initial inroads through thermostat and comfort control advancements being installed into higher-end homes. Today with integration, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, Smart Thermostats, and a drop in the cost to buy and install these things, Smart Technology is more the norm than ever.
Plus, most HVAC equipment manufacturers have been baking smart tech, in the form of sensors, into their products for years. The stage is undoubtedly set for next-level opportunities for High-Performance HVAC contractors.
If you think about current industry changes like new refrigerant development, higher minimum SEER requirements, more demanding energy mandates, they all lead to smart technology. In my opinion this plays right into the high-performance side of things. With that in mind, I think the days of the HVAC contractor sitting on the sidelines are ending.
To understand what this means, it makes sense to know the differences between terms like Smart Technology and The Internet of Things (IoT).
IoT Versus Smart Technology
There is a loose connection between IoT versus smart tech. Interestingly, IoT is a spectrum, an umbrella term that can mean many things. IoT is about a lot of home products that are enabled through Alexa, Siri, and other similar artificial interfaces. For example, I have deck lights controlled and scheduled through Alexa. But the lights aren’t connected to a security system. These products aren’t often integrated, so they don’t “talk” to each other. In other words, IoT is more about individual products that we can control using different mobile phone apps.
With smart technology, on the other hand, everything is integrated. The products speak to each other and can make decisions where homeowners and contractors can know what is happening throughout a home.
We’ll see High-Performance HVAC becoming critical for things like load shedding as the U.S. infrastructure ages. smart home tech will allow us to seamlessly experience our homes in today’s environment.
High-Performance HVAC is all about testing, diagnosing, and fixing invisible issues that plague homeowner comfort and energy efficiency. Smart Tech makes it possible for contractors to monitor and control home systems. Technology similar to Emerson’s Sensi Predict or other OEMs’ interfaces can put the high-performance contractor in a position that was only a dream 20 years ago.
This tech can tell contractors in real time what potential issues will happen. It can help contractors and homeowners to make choices in a world rife with finite labor, escalating costs, and a need for skill allocation — getting the right person to the right job.
In other words, it allows us to manage our businesses in ways we never could. For me, the goal is to understand Smart Tech possibilities and how to leverage them to benefit the customer and the HVAC company.
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