HVAC Green Technology | Heating and CoolingHVAC Green Technology | Heating and Cooling - First of all, we need to define Green Technology before we compare it to HVAC and discuss how the HVAC industry is working to make the equipment and designs used in Green Technology, friendly to the environment. Green Technology uses evolving technology in utilizing methods and materials to develop techniques that are more friendly to the environment than previous methods and materials.

HVAC is constantly evolving as new ideas on environmentally friendly concepts are being put in place. These ideas and concepts are used to make things more efficient and friendly to the environment. A lot of people and industries have been forced to stop ignoring environmental concerns because implementing the older methods of control is a lot more expensive than the new ones. The definition of Green Technology goes a little further as it involves implementing a solid strategy of environmentally friendly ideas, methods, materials, and machines. These strategies include:

HVAC Green Technology Defined | Heating and Cooling

HVAC Green Technology Defined | Sustainability

Sustainability – This refers to the conservation of our natural resources. HVAC is a constantly evolving industry where many of its manufacturers work to make their equipment a lot more efficient. The research and development budget of many of the large HVAC manufacturers lead the way. This research is supplemented by the Department of Energy and other large industrial manufacturers related to HVAC.

For example, ALCOA is a large producer of aluminum from raw materials made through recycling, and they have sponsored research into developing better heat exchangers through the use of aluminum materials. All these factors improve HVAC and contribute to sustainability in Green Technology.

HVAC Green Technology Defined | Cradle to Cradle

“Cradle to Cradle” Design – This means designing products that can be fully reclaimed or recycled into new products at the end of the product’s lifecycle. Almost everything in HVAC equipment can be recycled or reclaimed at the end of its life — including the refrigerant used. In fact, some of the components used in air conditioning and heating equipment have a high recycling value at the end of their life — especially the coils used in condensers and evaporators.

HVAC Green Technology Defined | Source Reduction

Source Reduction – It refers to the reduction of waste and pollution by altering the methods of production and energy consumption in order to help the environment and conserve energy. In HVAC, the development of smart HVAC systems is helping Source Reduction by controlling the equipment to a more precise degree than ever before. The HVAC industry has designed controls for this equipment so that it only uses the amount of energy needed to meet the current demand. Using methods like staging and equipment that can modulate its output in accordance with what is precisely needed, will conserve energy.

HVAC Green Technology Defined | Innovation

HVAC Innovation Green Sustainable

Innovation – This refers to developing innovations in alternate technologies that are not harmful to the environment, or innovations that decrease the use of fossil fuels and chemicals that have been known to harm the environment and the people in it. The HVAC industry is constantly working on new innovations that reduce the use of fossil fuels and harmful chemicals — the recent change in the use of CFC refrigerants is an example.

Furthermore, the planned phase-out of HCFC refrigerants with HFC as its replacement is also a good example of this process. Another great modern example is the use and implementation of building automation systems. These systems are used to precisely control HVAC and lighting systems in buildings. Building automation systems have reduced energy use as compared to using older control systems. Additionally, the design of new gas and oil boilers and furnaces with maximum efficiency rating contributes to this part of Green Technology.

HVAC Green Technology Defined | Viability

Viability – It refers to making Green Technology economically feasible — creating jobs and careers around Green Technology that truly help to protect the environment and our planet. There are many people involved in the HVAC industry who contribute to Green Technology — from the people who work in the research and development labs to the people who work on inspecting and commissioning new buildings, all the way down to the HVAC technician in the field. Consequently, the HVAC industry has many people that are employed and contributing to Green Technology.

The HVAC industry has evolved out of necessity into Green Technology. This is simply because the cost of energy has risen in the last few decades, forcing the HVAC industry into the production of a more efficient equipment. HVAC’s equipment uses less energy to maintain comfortable temperatures. Consequently, this benefits us immensely because it helps protect our environment. Lastly, it’s all about intelligently using finite resources.

HVAC Green Technology - Conclusion

Recapping, HVAC Green Technology concepts can be defined as:

  1. Sustainable
  2. Cradle to Cradle
  3. Source Reductive
  4. Innovative
  5. Viable

Finally, it is important not to rush into a transition to Green Technology as many conceptual ideas need to be studied and tested before being accepted for wide-scale use — this takes time and resources, and history is our lesson for that. Going forward, be responsible and never waste resources or intentionally pollute OUR environment.

Additionally, this article is used in the College Text manual, “Engineering Drawing & Design” by Cengage with the permission of High Performance HVAC.

HVAC Green Technology - High Performance HVAC

HVAC Green Technology