What is New in HVAC Technology for 2022?
Every decade or two, innovations come that set a conservative industry on its head, even if it still measures energy absorption capacity in tons of ice—a century-old reference. So is the case with HVAC technology trends in 2022. Efficiency requirements and a changing view in the culture regarding the importance of “being green” have placed a firm emphasis on reducing the energy costs of heating and cooling commercial spaces. For maintainers and service providers, keeping up requires maintaining a parts inventory ready for these changes.
Automation: The Largest Trend in HVAC Technology for 2022
One of the continuing trends that could cause headaches for facility maintenance teams and HVAC repair companies is the increased focus on automation. It is one thing to try and replace a control board or a sensor that is part of a complex, thousand-part system. It is quite another to interface with the company’s IT department to ensure that the system repair has maintained connectivity.
It makes it all the more important for repairs and upgrades to be made using components specific to what the customer ordered for their system. Even when the underlying mechanicals are the same, using non-OEM parts could cause issues if the accepted protocols for the replacement do not match up with the Zigbee(™) or BACnet used to monitor sensor data and so forth.
Replacement Refrigerant for Long-Lasting Commercial HVAC Systems
While Freon, better known as R-22, has not been sold as a virgin chemical in the United States for some years, many commercial HVAC systems still use the refrigerant due to lifetimes of up to 25 to 50 years or more. However, supplies are becoming scarce, and more companies are moving to new and upgraded systems.
This becomes not just an issue for sourcing the proper refrigerant but also component supply. Since newer refrigerants like Puron have much higher compression, manufacturers of HVAC systems like heat pumps and chillers have to improve the designs to tighter tolerances and stronger, more durable parts. In addition, teams involved in facilities maintenance and HVAC servicing must ensure that they have these replacement parts on hand, as using older ones could lead to catastrophic system failure.
Popularity of More Complex Components, Systems
In a similar vein, choices for commercial HVAC systems now include more complex components than ever before, and several new technologies have become increasingly popular.
Different fans with variable-speed motors help drastically improve efficiency by reducing energy usage during part-load conditions and are found in everything from cooling towers to heat pumps to ventilation systems. Improvements in fan blades themselves are also common as manufacturers look to find even small areas for larger improvements.
And in some cases, completely different technologies are under consideration by commercial property owners for both new and retrofit construction. When space is at a premium, ducted systems are not an option, nor are they a good fit in skyscrapers anymore. Variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems are already popular in expensive cities because the piping is much smaller. However, the parts needed for these systems are different than most others in a company’s inventory.
Some of these changes may not seem like they are more than innovations on existing systems, and it’s true that the basic physical principles behind heating and cooling do not change year over year. However, even excepting the VRF systems that are becoming more and more common, the changes in design are still enough to ensure that people servicing commercial HVAC systems have good relationships with suppliers who can source these newer parts.
Work with Suppliers Abreast of 2022 HVAC Technology Trends
Affiliated Parts represents leading manufacturers of commercial heating and cooling systems. We understand how important it is to take multiple considerations into account when sourcing components, including being able to serve customers with an eye on 2022 HVAC technology trends. Shop our complete list of replacement parts for modern systems or contact us for more information.