As temperatures rise, homeowners can beat the heat by combining “smart” home climate control technologies with the latest air-conditioning systems to heighten energy efficiency and take customized comfort to new levels.
Many might be surprised that home cooling accounts for nearly half of home energy use and is responsible for nearly100 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year. It’s no wonder optimal energy efficiency is a home buyer’s top “Green Preference” with nearly half of home buyers willing to invest between $1,000 and $9,999 for a $1,000 annual savings on their utility bills, and 37% are willing to spend upward of $10,000, according to the National Association of Home Buyers 2019 “What Home Buyers Really Want” Report.
With air conditioner energy expenses costing homeowners more than $11 billion a year, a little knowledge can go a long way.
What Is “Smart” Home Climate Control?
When it comes to smart home temperature control, there are Smart HVAC Systems and Smart Thermostats. Smart HVAC systems have built-in Internet capability and can be controlled directly without additional equipment. Smart Home Thermostats create “smart” systems by enabling remote temperature control via a mobile or Internet-connected device or voice-operated home automation system. Several leading manufacturers, including Fujitsu General America, offer Smart Systems as well as a Thermostat Converter, which can control their single and multi-zone Halcyon and Airstage heating and cooling systems using a third-party thermostat.
Boost Energy Efficiency, Lower Bills Up to 25 Percent
Upgrading your system and installing a smart home thermostat can significantly reduce your utility expense. The most energy-efficient heating and cooling products on the market, ductless mini-split systems, can save as much as 25 percent on your energy bill. Further, an efficiently controlled thermostat could save an additional 10 percent a year.
Here’s how ductless mini-split systems work. Thin copper tubing is used to pump refrigerant from an outdoor compressor directly into an indoor air-handling unit, where the air is quietly distributed to the interior space. This eliminates the need for basement or attic evaporators and bulky, expensive ductwork. Mini-splits are easy to install and usually require only a 3- to 4-inch hole through a wall or ceiling to connect the indoor and outdoor units.
Customized Home Comfort Control
Take control of your comfort. Most HVAC manufacturers offer apps that enable systems to be controlled from anywhere using a mobile device. Now, voice-control capability uses digital assistants to verbally dictate home temperatures—“Alexa, set the living room temperature to 70 degrees.” For instance, Fujitsu offers a free FGLair app that enables Web-activated control via mobile devices and now voice-activated control via Amazon Alexaand Google Home.
Built for optimal customization, ductless mini-split systems let you control the individual temperature in each room, so you don’t waste money cooling unused spaces such as guest bedrooms, bonus rooms, sunrooms and basements. Ductless systems operate at much higher efficiency levels than central forced-air systems and window units, as duct losses in a central AC system can account for more than 30 percent of your energy consumption.
Whether you’re staying close to home or hosting a crowd at your vacation house, the right climate control system choice will help you and your loved ones stay comfortable, lower utility bills and respect the environment. Many Fujitsu systems with the Energy Star rating are more than twice as efficient as the minimum standard set by the government.
Andy Armstrong is the VP of Sales & Marketing of all HVAC Products for Fujitsu General, America and 30-year industry veteran. In this role, he leads a team of 40+ sales and marketing professionals, selling well over $200M of Fujitsu products. Before Fujitsu, he was VP of Sales & Marketing for JCI’s VRF/DFS team for North America. Andy also served as JCI’s RVP for the West and Director of Marketing for UPG. In his first role at JCI, he worked with the Chicago UPG branch as Sales Manager. Prior to his time with JCI, Andy worked with an independent HVAC distributor. Andy received his engineering degree from Washington University in St. Louis and his MBA from Bradley University. In addition to his work, Andy serves on the Wisconsin Make-A-Wish Board.