The Biggest Changes In HVAC Technology Over The Last 10 Years

concept of energy efficiency depicting hvac system

Human ingenuity has been proven to be so useful throughout the years. It enables us to solve any problem we encounter, including surviving any environment, whether it be deserts, woodlands, and more.

Even up to today, we make life better for all, thanks to the continuously improving technology. One of the few industries that surely has contributed is the HVAC industry.

Years ago, our ancestors had to chop wood and make their own fire for heating. Now, we can conveniently control how warm we want our home to be by simply pushing some buttons and adjusting the thermostat level. We also no longer have to suffer during the summer season as we now have air conditioners to keep us comfortable.

The best part about this is that even if we just look at the past ten years, the HVAC industry has made many technological changes and improvements to bring our comfort to a new level.

And in this article, we share seven changes in HVAC technology that we enjoy today.

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Changes In HVAC Technology

1. Higher HVAC Equipment Efficiency

Before, HVAC systems were very expensive.

They were not only expensive in price, but using them also meant high energy bills and maintenance fees. Because of this, only a few households could really afford them.

Furthermore, HVAC systems were once very bulk, occupying a large amount of space.

Fortunately, with some improvement, HVAC systems are now more efficient than units from even ten years ago. They use less energy, which means you get to save money on energy bills with a modern HVAC system.

For example, if you use a furnace, now of days, they also use less fuel to heat a home. Because of this, the environmental impact is lower, which makes it perfect for eco-conscious consumers. Modern heating and cooling equipment designs also are much smaller and take up minimal space.

2. R-22 Refrigerant Phase-Out

r22 banned
Refrigerants are considered the heart of an air conditioning system. They’re undeniably vital in making sure that your cooling system works. The problem is that older air conditioners use a refrigerant called R-22, which contributes to the thinning of the ozone layer. When the ozone depletes, being exposed to the sun may also mean an increased risk of UV radiation exposure, which may lead to skin cancer, cataracts, and more. On top of that, plants, marine life, and other living materials on the planet are affected.

And in 2010, the R-22 refrigerant was banned from being used in newly manufactured air conditioners with 2020, being the final date for the production of this refrigerant. However, the ban only affected newer models and not the older existing equipment. So, during that time, as people change to new models, the people using old models with R-22 refrigerant are reduced.

Now, HVAC contractors are called in to replace or retrofit older AC systems to function even with the more eco-friendly refrigerants like the R-410a.

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3. Smart HVAC Technologies

Smart homes are a current trend, and almost all industries or tech companies contribute to this movement.

Now, every appliance we have seems to have a “smart” version that we can connect to the Internet and access through smartphones. You can also check current status, view historical statistics, and control them remotely.

Smart HVAC systems give their owners a new level of convenience and can even save you some money.

For example, if you’re at work when you remembered that you forgot to turn up the temperature on your air conditioner, you can now do that remotely with the help of your phone. At the same time, you can set your cooling system, so decrease the temperature to a comfortable level within 15 minutes before you arrive. This way, you come home to a cool and relaxing environment when it’s too hot outside.

4. Ductless Heating & Cooling Systems

ductless mini-split system

Another improvement HVAC manufacturers came up with is the ductless heating and cooling systems.

Most homes have centralized systems, which require HVAC ductwork to make the conditioned air flow to different parts of the house. However, it has been found that this kind of setup can be impractical for some.

For example, an older home may have been built at a time when central HVAC systems are not that common, meaning that it’s highly likely that the house has ducts. And if you want to have a central air conditioning system installed, you’d have to undergo a massive renovation.

However, if you use ductless systems, you won’t have to undergo a major construction project as they don’t need ducts. Mini-split systems or ductless heat pumps have an indoor and outdoor unit that can cool or heat a single room. The best part is, they can provide cooling in the summer and heating in the winter.

What most homeowners also love about ductless heat pumps is that it gives every person in the house freedom as to what temperature they want for their room. This system is less nosy and more efficient.

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5. HVAC Zoning

If you have a larger home, you can now also implement HVAC zoning. This is a perfect solution if your HVAC system can no longer provide enough heating or cooling throughout your home.

For this to work, each zone has a separate thermostat so individuals can effectively monitor and control the temperature in their own room. Dampers are installed across the air ducts.

This setup allows each family member to feel more comfortable the whole day while saving on money and energy.


6. Sensor-Driven Ventilation

Ventilation is not often highlighted when talking about the heating and cooling of the home. However, it’s as important as your whole system because it ensures good airflow.

Because of this, manufacturers have also introduced smart ventilation systems to the market in 2016. The purpose of this is to help homeowners closely monitor the airflow in every vent, which is very helpful when it comes to finding blockages and obstructions.

These systems can also allow users to turn off some vents that bring air-conditioned air to unoccupied areas, reducing your energy bills too. The best part is, you can also automate some tasks with the help of some sensor data.

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7. Air Conditioners Have Variable-Speed Compressors

A new feature added to the latest air conditioning models is the variable-speed compressor – a technology that lets your HVAC system run with:

  • Less noise
  • Higher energy-efficiency
  • Improved temperature managed
  • Better humidity control

This technology is meant to adapt to changing environmental conditions. For example, when the load is light, the variable-speed compressor slows down, but it speeds up when the load is heavy.

You also don’t have to worry about it starting a surge as manufacturers made sure to enhance the quality of the power supply.

This feature was mainly added due to the fact that it lasts longer, provides greater comfort to users, and has higher efficiency, which means a decrease in energy bills, too.



It’s truly amazing to see that we can achieve so much in just ten years, and this undeniably gives us a feeling that we have more to look forward to in the many years to come.

Each improvement mentioned above has been designed to solve the common issues that users experienced, thus making our lives better.

So, if you’re still using an HVAC system installed over ten years ago, then it might be time to consider getting a replacement soon. This way, you get to enjoy the amazing advantages offered, such as higher efficiency and better performance.

This is most especially important to do if your unit keeps on breaking down frequently. By getting a replacement, you can avoid costly repairs while reducing your monthly energy bills, too.

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Call Wilcox Energy For All Of Your Heating & Cooling Needs


Wilcox Energy offers superior heating and cooling services throughout the southern Connecticut shoreline.

We make sure to hire certified technicians who can provide you with excellent services, including tune-ups, repairs, installations, and replacements. Each technician has outstanding knowledge and experience to serve your HVAC system needs correctly.

Wilcox Energy guarantees to provide the most competitive heating and cooling service costs in the area. Our maintenance services ensure to improve your comfort, increase your system’s energy efficiency, and reduce your home’s heating and cooling costs.

Need your system repaired or replaced? We’ll recommend the best solution for your home while working within your budget. The best part is, all our work is backed with a guarantee to ensure your satisfaction.

If you wish to schedule a service appointment, give us a call today! We also offer in-home estimates at no cost at all.

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For more information about heating and cooling systems, be sure to contact Wilcox Energy. You can contact us at (860) 399-6218. We offer a full line of heater and air conditioner repairs, maintenance services, and installations.