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Seasonal HVAC Preventative Maintenance Tips
Seasonal HVAC Preventative Maintenance Tips

Seasonal transitions are the perfect time to take inventory and inspect a building’s various systems. We’ve been reminded for years that when we set our clocks back, we should also replace the batteries in our smoke detectors. The same thought process can be applied in support of seasonal preventative maintenance for a building’s HVAC system. Now that the cooling season has passed for a large part of the country, it is time to ensure that HVAC systems have been shut down properly for the winter months. A few simple checks and changes help ensure that the HVAC system is able to transition without failure, from the cooling season to the heating season. Enhancing energy efficiency of HVAC systems Home and building owner inspections can go a long way in increasing the energy efficiency of a system or in mitigating a more complex system failure. Taking a few minutes to inspect an HVAC system for irregularities can help keep repair costs and energy waste to a minimum. Here is a short and easy to complete HVAC inspection check list to execute to help maintain the system and ensure it runs in an energy efficient manner as the outdoor temperature begins to fall. Air filters The change of seasons is the perfect time to change out an HVAC system’s air filter The change of seasons is the perfect time to change out an HVAC system’s air filter. Filters are a key point in a building’s HVAC system, helping keep dust, pollen and larger particulate matter out, and potentially saving it from damage. HVAC equipment accounts for 40 percent of energy usage in a building, so any actions that positively affect energy efficiency are impactful. Not only is changing filters easy to do, but it also provides several benefits, such as improved energy efficiency, cost savings and it helps limit unnecessary stress on the HVAC system, by keeping the air entering it as clean as possible. Dirty, unchanged filters are a leading cause of issues with an HVAC system. The bottom line is that an air filter that has not been changed since the summer needs to be replaced. Inspect the HVAC system Now is a good time to walk around and view the entirety of a building’s HVAC system. How does it look? Make sure the system is clean and in good repair. Examine the ducts to ensure they are clean, undamaged and venting properly. If they are dirty or if there is suspicion that they are clogged, a duct cleaning by a professional may be needed. Remove any leaves or sticks that have gathered around the compressors. Clean the coils of any debris with a garden hose. Trim back any trees or bushes, which are in close contact with the unit. Make sure the condenser unit is still level. If it is not, it can impede the flow of refrigerant and oil, thereby leading to costly repairs. Take a look at the HVAC system to make sure there are no leaks, cracks or structural damage. A quick scan around and cleanup of an HVAC system can help it run longer and more efficiently. Inspect the boiler system Inspect the boiler system by looking for signs of old leaks, which can include stains around the boiler Corrosion is often associated with boiler systems. Inspect the boiler system by looking for signs of old leaks, which can include stains around the boiler or warped floorboards under radiators. Also, be on the lookout for water spots on the ceiling that is below the floor with radiant heat pipes. Make note of any corrosion you find throughout the system, including on the radiators, valves and other components. It’s a smart idea to have a professional inspect a boiler system each year, in order to maintain its functionality and ensure it is running safely, and optimally for a long time. Air Leaks An inspection may also reveal air leaks around doors and windows. These small leaks can add up to significant heat loss and energy costs. If sunlight is peeking through the areas around the perimeter of a window, door or skylight, there’s an air gap to be filled. A quick fix with caulking or weather stripping can ensure optimal energy efficiency. Also, inspect window panes for any cracks, as they will need to be replaced. Furthermore, double check that the windows and doors all close and lock properly. If they don’t, there’s an air leak that needs repair, as well. An inspection of doors and windows can keep a house warmer longer, and help keep the furnace from running over time to maintain a building’s ideal temperature. Shut down AC system for the season At the end of the cooling season, it is recommended that the air conditioning side of the HVAC system be shut off. When doing this, take a few minutes to clean the compressor with a brush and vacuum. Cover the unit with an insulated, waterproof cover that completely covers the whole unit. Secure the cover tightly, so it stays in place over the winter. This simple maintenance can help set up the system for success next year, while also maintaining its energy efficiency. Need for proactive system inspections and maintenance It’s important to evaluate a building’s HVAC system every season, as well as maintain its filters It’s important to evaluate a building’s HVAC system every season, as well as maintain its filters and the environment around the system. Being proactive about systems inspections and maintenance is the best way to keep a system running at peak efficiency, saving money and the environment, as well as providing peace of mind. With a few simple actions, home and building owners can keep their HVAC systems in good shape for longer, and be ready to go for the next season ahead. Motili’s predictive analytics improves budgeting accuracy Motili brings contractors, operations teams and the industry’s most advanced property management technology platform together, to assess and complete HVAC work requests, from start to finish. Motili automatically schedules, dispatches, manages and invoices job requests, and its predictive analytics improves budgeting accuracy, by predicting product life cycle. Motili leverages its nationwide network of over 2,000 contractors and 1,000 distribution centers, in order to provide HVAC and hot water services, across the United States of America, to customers both large and small in size.

Why Hybrid Heat Pumps Deserve Their Moment In The Spotlight
Why Hybrid Heat Pumps Deserve Their Moment In The Spotlight

With the UK committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, drastic action is needed by the government. For new-build homes, there’s a gas boiler ban coming in less than five years’ time. And for older properties, it’s likely that gas prices will continue to rise, to encourage homeowners to switch to a more sustainable alternative. Renewable heating market With this in mind, the renewable heating market is growing rapidly, albeit from a very small base – but with targets in place to keep the momentum up. The government has committed to install 600,000 heat pumps into new homes by 2028. The government has committed to install 600,000 heat pumps into new homes by 2028 People who are already living in (old and new) properties heated by renewable technology should be applauded for pioneering it – but understandably, not everyone has the confidence to give up a solution they’re familiar with, and to step into the relative unknown. And that’s why the value of transitional technologies cannot be over-estimated– both to homeowners who want to live more sustainably and to installers looking to adapt and future-proof their businesses. But the role that hybrid heat pumps can play in accelerating progress on the road to zero has been somewhat overlooked to date. Hybrid heat pumps Hybrid heat pumps combine the power of a heat pump with the familiarity of a high-efficiency boiler. The two appliances work together to provide heating and hot water, providing the ideal replacement for a combi boiler as a first step towards introducing renewable heating technology into the home. Compared to a traditional gas boiler, hybrid heat pump systems can reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 55% and have been proven to deliver up to a 50% reduction in energy bills in homes in the UK. Our Daikin Altherma hybrid heat pump’s smart programming helps to save up to 35% more energy than a traditional condensing boiler by automatically determining the most economically and energy-efficient operating combination based on energy prices, outdoor temperatures, and indoor heat capacity. Heat pump share The hybrid system’s operating mode can be shifted to more electric heat pump share As well as being quick to install, hybrid systems are designed to look and operate like a conventional boiler system and deliver like-for-like performance and comfort levels. And to give homeowners peace of mind, the heat pump can act as a back-up for the boiler, and vice-versa – meaning they’ll never be caught short. Hybrid systems are best-suited to smaller homes in urban areas, that are likely to have a combi-boiler, and where the shell of the building is not energy-efficient enough to rely on electricity alone. But as the efficiency of the building is improved and upgraded over time, the hybrid system’s operating mode can be shifted to more electric heat pump share. And while there’s a lot of talk about new homes in the renewable heating debate, hybrid technology is ideal for renovations and boiler replacements. Heating system replacements We estimate that there are 1.1 million homes across the country that would be well-served by a hybrid system. That, combined with the benefits of hybrids for both installers and consumers, is why we firmly believe in hybrid heat pumps’ potential to support a faster, easier, and more affordable transition to low carbon heating in this country. Every homeowner who buys a Daikin Altherma hybrid system gets a high-efficiency boiler for free When consumers are looking at heating system replacements, we know that complexity and disruption are barriers to purchase. Fortunately, neither is an issue with hybrids. While hybrid heat pump systems can be installed with a household’s existing boiler, to help increase uptake, we’re running a special offer at the moment whereby every homeowner who buys a Daikin Altherma hybrid system gets a brand-new, high-efficiency boiler for free. Low carbon technology And there’s no need to lose valuable floor space to a hot water cylinder or to make changes to the radiators. Hybrids aren’t just good news for homeowners; they represent a real opportunity for installers, too. At the moment, there are 1,000 heat pump installers in the UK and around 125,000 gas boiler installers. We need to transition these boiler installers towards low carbon technology – not just to drive progress on the road to net zero, but to help their businesses stay relevant and competitive. This year, in partnership with 11 of our Daikin Sustainable Home Centres across the UK, we’re running a free nationwide training program to help installers enter the renewable heating market with hybrid heat pumps. eco-Friendly hybrid solution Reducing electricity prices isn’t enough to encourage people to change the way they heat their homes Installers who complete the day-long course can expand their portfolio and gain the skills to upgrade customers to an eco-friendly hybrid solution. Reducing electricity prices isn’t enough to encourage people to change the way they heat their homes; more needs to be done to make new, clean technologies accessible and appealing. We’re doing what we can to incentivize homeowners – and installers – to embrace the possibilities of a hybrid heat pump system, but a clear funding mechanism from Government is needed as well, specifically to help with the upfront cost of upgrading (free boiler or no free boiler). While the now-closed Green Homes Grant explicitly included hybrid heat pump technology, there’s a big question as to whether the same hybrid solutions will be included in the Clean Heat Grant – the details of which are expected later this year. The answer to that question needs to be ‘yes’.

BEIS Hydrogen Strategy, Reaction From Baxi Heating
BEIS Hydrogen Strategy, Reaction From Baxi Heating

The energy transition is upon us and we are shifting today’s energy use to low and zero carbon sources. The way in which we heat and provide hot water to our homes and businesses will change, and we are developing technologies that will support this transition. A bold and pragmatic policy framework will encourage investment and drive change. BEIS Hydrogen Strategy We, therefore, welcome the publication of the Hydrogen Strategy from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). This important document details the role and vision for clean hydrogen deployment at scale, in the United Kingdom, building upon the ambitions in last year’s 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. As an energy carrier, hydrogen has many uses that will help to decarbonize heating, transport and industry. We, therefore, welcome the government’s assurance to the public that hydrogen can be made as safe as natural gas. UK Government’s Contract for Difference The availability of low-cost hydrogen at scale is a key enabler of the deployment of hydrogen for heat Alongside the BEIS Strategy, the UK Government is publishing its proposed business model for supporting hydrogen production, in the form of a Contract for Difference. This approach has been utilized successfully for offshore wind and will enable the sector to invest in early-stage projects, and reduce the cost of hydrogen. The availability of low-cost hydrogen at scale is a key enabler of the deployment of hydrogen for heat. We believe, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution, and a whole range of heating technologies will need to be deployed for a range of properties. Baxi Heating, as part of BDR Thermea Group, is at the forefront of developing clean heating solutions, including our ground-breaking development of hydrogen boilers. Hydrogen-ready boilers from 2025 Our work with the Hy4Heat project and associated demonstration sites in the UK show technical feasibility of this solution. We believe the government should act upon advice from the Climate Change Committee and other sources advocating a mandate that all boiler sales from 2025 should be hydrogen-ready, in order to help pre-populate a swathe of the housing stock, ready for a future conversion. Technology, energy efficiency and business models are all bit parts in the wider picture. Skilled installers and contractors will be utterly essential to success, so we are glad to see the announcement of a hydrogen sector development action plan in early 2022, setting out how the government will support companies to secure supply chain opportunities, skills and jobs in hydrogen. UK Heat and Buildings Strategy Following the Hydrogen Strategy, we look forward to several important publications in the lead up to the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), including consultations on the role for hydrogen-ready appliances, off gas grid heating measures and the UK Heat and Buildings Strategy.

Latest Bosch Thermotechnology news

Carrier Transicold Continues To Expand Electric Transport Refrigeration Across Europe
Carrier Transicold Continues To Expand Electric Transport Refrigeration Across Europe

Carrier Transicold announced that hundreds of Vector® eCool™ units are now operating on roads in 10 European countries (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom), with many more nations on the horizon. The Vector eCool was launched in October 2020 becoming the world’s first fully autonomous, engine-free electric trailer refrigeration unit, an exciting milestone in the company’s continued commitment to delivering efficient and sustainable refrigerated transport solutions. Carrier Transicold is a part of Carrier Global Corporation, the foremost global provider of healthy, safe, sustainable, and intelligent building and cold chain solutions. Positive feedback “We have very positive feedback from customers on the Vector eCool’s performance, lower emissions profile and quietness,” said Victor Calvo, President, International Truck Trailer, Carrier Transicold. “We see the bright future for electrification and are excited to have over-the-road electric transport refrigeration options for customers across the cold chain.” Awards and recognition Vector eCool won a Noise Abatement Society award in the UK for its significant low level of silent operation The Vector eCool system has won three innovation awards this year alone. In April, the Spanish capital of Madrid recognized its efficiency and innovative nature. In September, Carrier Transicold and Gray & Adams were awarded a TCS&D Innovation Award in the UK and last month, the Vector eCool won a Noise Abatement Society award in the UK for its significant low level of silent operation. “Innovation such as this from Carrier Transicold is demonstrating what needs to be done to future-proof its products,” said Andy Eastlake, Managing Director, LowCVP. “The Vector eCool is a practical, workable solution that ticks all of the boxes of electrification and decarbonization.” Electric cold chain solutions Carrier Transicold’s electric cold chain solutions support Carrier’s aim to reduce its customers’ carbon footprint by one gigaton, part of its 2030 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Goals. The company pioneered electric transport refrigeration systems more than 20 years ago, beginning with the industry-changing E-Drive™ all-electric technology, which continues to deliver high standards of efficiency, reliability, and performance to the transport refrigeration sector. This technology revolutionized the industry at the time by eliminating the mechanical transmissions present in belt-driven refrigeration systems and converting motor energy into electricity. engineless refrigeration units Carrier Transicold has developed a wide range of battery packs, suitable for trailer, truck, and direct drive segments For trucks, Carrier Transicold offers the Iceland and Syberia engineless refrigeration units that can be powered by ECO-DRIVE™ hydroelectric power module GenSet, driven by a hydro pump connected to the truck’s power take-off motor. The hydraulic system drives a generator that delivers electrical power to the host unit and provides a continual, 100% refrigeration capacity even at the truck’s standard idle speed. Additionally, Carrier Transicold has developed a wide range of battery packs, suitable for a trailer, truck, and direct drive segments, from Vector HE units to Pulsor® and including the new Neos® HE range models. Exploring the future of transport refrigeration systems Looking ahead, Bosch, Carrier Transicold, Lamberet, and STEF recently teamed to explore the future of transport refrigeration systems with the FresH2 hydrogen fuel cell refrigeration system for trailers. FresH2 is a clean and quiet solution designed to deliver electricity required by refrigeration units installed on temperature-controlled road transport semi-trailers. Carrier Transicold’s electrical cold chain products and solutions are offered through Carrier’s Healthy, Safe, Sustainable Cold Chain Program to preserve and protect the supply of food, medicine, and vaccines.

Carrier's FresH2 Hydrogen Fuel Cell Refrigerated Transport Project Enters Road Testing Phase
Carrier's FresH2 Hydrogen Fuel Cell Refrigerated Transport Project Enters Road Testing Phase

FresH2, the innovative fuel cell project initiated by Bosch and Carrier Transicold, in collaboration with bodybuilder Lamberet and the European specialist in temperature-controlled food transport STEF, has entered the road testing phase on September 6. Carrier Transicold is part of Carrier Global Corporation, the foremost global provider of healthy, safe, sustainable, and intelligent building and cold chain solutions. FresH2 is a clean and quiet solution designed to deliver electricity required by refrigeration units installed on temperature-controlled road transport semi-trailers. The semi-trailers are primarily used to transport fresh and frozen food products, pharmaceuticals, and all other heat-sensitive goods. The hydrogen fuel cell technology offers a relevant alternative to replace the diesel engine usually used in refrigerated transport, which is a source of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxide (NOx), and particulate emissions. As for the hydrogen cell, it does not release any emissions or noise. How does it work? FresH2 consists of a fuel cell-powered by hydrogen tanks, to which an electronic unit is added, enabling it to convert the direct current provided by the cell into the alternating current needed to operate the refrigeration unit. The innovation lies in the direct interfacing of the fuel cell with the refrigeration unit, without the use of a bulky and expensive on-board buffer battery system. Bosch Rodez team developed hydrogen solution with a Carrier Transicold multi-temperature refrigeration unit To successfully carry out the first tests of this project, Carrier Transicold and Bosch have surrounded themselves with foremost partners in the sector: the companies Lamberet (bodybuilder) and STEF (Transport and logistics specialist). The Bosch Rodez team developed this innovative hydrogen solution by combining it with a Carrier Transicold Vector® HE 19 multi-temperature refrigeration unit. Sustainable Cold Chain “The FresH2 project perfectly illustrates our passion for innovation and reflects our commitment to a sustainable cold chain, particularly through the electrification of our product lines,” said Jean-Pascal Vielfaure, Managing Director France and Southern Europe, Carrier Transicold. “With the FresH2 project, we are pleased to contribute to the energy transition and participate in developing a hydrogen-powered solution of the future for semi-trailers. Thank you to all of our partners for their commitment and trust.” Energy-efficient solutions such as the FresH2 project, support Carrier’s aim to reduce its customers’ carbon footprint by one gigaton, part of its 2030 Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Goals. Road Testing & Licensing The system will be tested this month under actual usage conditions by STEF Chambéry site teams in France, as part of a round of food product distribution. “STEF's participation in the FresH2 fuel cell project is a new strong marker of the Group's commitment to green energy,” said Damien Chapotot, Managing Director, STEF Transport. “The testing of this operational prototype in real operating conditions is a first for STEF, which strongly believes in hydrogen as the fuel of the future.” Once it has passed all certifications required for road licensing, the system will be tested to evaluate the efficiency and to identify any areas of improvement for the future industrialized version. Bosch’s ultimate goal with this innovation is to produce a competitive, turnkey solution at the Rodez factory that can be integrated into any type of refrigerated semi-trailer, whether new or used, thereby contributing on a large scale to the climate neutrality target set for the transport sector in the Paris Agreement. zero-emission-powered refrigeration vehicles The SR2 heavy-duty semi-trailer supports the FresH2 project to integrate the system components in a transparent manner Lamberet offers the largest range of zero-emission-powered refrigeration vehicles designed for urban deliveries. Lamberet's knowledge allows the SR2 heavy-duty semi-trailer supporting the FresH2 project to integrate the system components in a transparent manner for the user: the FresH2 system, which is the size of a pallet rack, is located in the wheelbase. Its integration in no way alters the appearance, usable volume, or overall height of the refrigerated semi-trailer. The 100% autonomous FresH2 adapts equally well to new semi-trailers and those that are already in service. Adapting new technologies "In this period of expansion resulting from the implementation of all these new environmental technologies, the involvement of Lamberet and its expertise as a bodybuilder in this FresH2 project is a challenge that demonstrates our ability to carry out developments in partnership with the world's largest groups and to adapt our products to these new technologies while respecting the specifications of our transport customers,” said Eric Méjean, Managing Director, Lamberet. The FresH2 project is part of Carrier’s healthy, safe and sustainable cold chain program to preserve and protect the supply of food, drugs and vaccines. 

2020 Rewind: Highlighting Sustainability In The Age Of Climate Change
2020 Rewind: Highlighting Sustainability In The Age Of Climate Change

Sustainability and environmental impact are core issues of the HVAC market in 2020 or any year. During the last year, HVACinformed.com has addressed multiple facets of sustainability in some of our most popular articles. This retrospective will highlight some of the sustainability articles published during 2020 at HVACInformed.com. An HVACInformed.com Expert Panel Roundtable commented on various aspects of sustainability, including the responsibility of HVAC manufacturers to develop more sustainable, energy-efficient products that can reduce a building’s reliance on fossil fuels. Energy consumption pattern Honeywell has launched a platform that incorporates newer technology. Combining self-learning algorithms with building automation, Honeywell Forge Energy Optimization is a cloud-based system that analyzes a building’s energy consumption pattern and adjusts its settings. Heat networks, or district heating, are becoming an ever-greater part of the industry’s involvement Pete Mills of Bosch Commercial & Industrial outlines how cities are using ‘heat networks’ to achieve carbon emission targets in the United Kingdom. Heat networks, or district heating, are becoming an ever-greater part of the industry’s involvement in larger-scale schemes. The ability to help the decarbonization of heat both now and in the future has made them an attractive solution to the new-build sector, as well as those undergoing deep renovation works. Centralized heat generator Generally, heat networks are defined as a system of supply pipes with a centralized heat generator (Energy Center) that serves multiple domestic or non-domestic dwellings. These are usually in different buildings, but sometimes within a single large building like an apartment block or a university campus. Some U.S. cities are taking the lead to make building performance standards mandatory, thus providing additional incentive for customers to invest in new, more efficient and climate-friendly HVAC technologies. New York City has deployed its Carbon Mobilization Act, which will cut six million tons of CO2 annually by 2020. Washington D.C. adopted the first Building Energy Performance Standard, which will reduce energy use in buildings by more than 20%, thereby lowering carbon dioxide emissions by a million tons annually. Improving environmental performance Newer buildings tend to be designed to be ‘green’, but what about older existing buildings, which still represent the largest share of environmental impact? There is more work to be done in the retrofit sector; and improving environmental performance of older buildings often involves ‘deep retrofits’ that are costly and impact multiple factors inside a building. In the COVID-19 era, there is also growing concern about needs such as circulating outside air, increasing humidity, and improving filtration systems even as older buildings seek to become greener. The consistent theme is a need to work toward better-designed, more energy efficient and healthier buildings The consistent theme is a need to work toward better-designed, more energy efficient and healthier buildings. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is moving forward with rulemaking that sets limits and deadlines to decrease the use of refrigerants with global warming potential (GWP) in the commercial refrigeration market and in the residential and commercial stationary air conditioning equipment markets. Air conditioning systems California regulations are widely expected to influence the direction of other states seeking to regulate GWP of refrigerants. The addition of biodiesel lowers the carbon content (and thus the environmental impact) of heating oil. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions, including nitrogen oxide. The process of making biodiesel from renewable and organic sources also boosts the environmental profile. The Wyss Institute at Harvard University has developed an evaporative cooling system that uses a specially coated ceramic to cool air without adding humidity. Researchers say the approach can yield more affordable and environmentally friendly air conditioning systems for the future.

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