Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Optimizing HVAC Performance


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One of the largest energy-consuming loads both in commercial and residential buildings is the HVAC system. For this reason, the HVAC system can easily achieve massive savings because of energy efficiency measures. Yet, HVAC upgrades that aim to save energy must not affect the indoor environmental quality or otherwise, it causes health issues and discomfort. In business settings, this setup can affect productivity negatively.

This is where Artificial Intelligence (AI) is best applied. It has proven to have beneficial applications in the HVAC industry since it can further enhance indoor environmental quality and energy efficiency. With AI applications, optimizing variables like airflow is best achieved. Conserving air quality for both humidity and temperature with much lower energy consumption is also achievable.

In this article, we will discuss the influence and impact of AI in the HVAC performance and overall HVAC industry.

A Technical Challenge in HVAC Control

HVAC technicians have a hard time controlling HVAC systems because building conditions are frequently changing. That is why it is always crucial for them to monitor every process. Also, HVAC experts have to be reminded that every HVAC system with manual controls couldn’t reach its standard peak performance due to many variable working conditions. The convenience of using construction scheduling software has been widely showcased. The software tool has built-in project management features that make the work easier and manageable.

The following aspects are what HVAC technicians should be considered firsthand:

· People who enter and leave buildings most of the time has a direct effect on temperature control and ventilation needs

· The outdoor temperature is expected to change consistently. Thus, it affects the required cooling and heating.

· HVAC needs are affected by the activities usually performed indoors. For instance, commercial kitchens need more cooling and ventilation than any offices of the same size.

Moreover, the ventilation, heating, and cooling needs of any buildings are consistently changing. Thus, only a smart control system is capable of processing the collected data in real-time and adjusting HVAC systems accordingly. The collected data can be easier to store in real-time using crew schedule software. Saving, editing, and updating data can be easily executed using advanced software.

Using Artificial Intelligence to Further Optimize HVAC

The ultimate goal of creating HVAC simulation with AI is to minimize the amount of energy used, the peak demand, and cost energy. This period is where energy is expected to be totally consumed at a considerably higher than standard average rate. Overall, it can further optimize HVAC systems. 

Let’s take a closer look at how Artificial Intelligence (AI) can further optimize HVAC efficiency with the following cases:

1. Air Conditioning and Space Heating Optimization

Presently, there are boilers, mini-splits, furnaces, chillers, and other HVAC equipment with built-in AI. As a significant result, energy savings are to be expected. Old equipment can be upgraded by choice. Besides, improved performances are possible when smart controls are preferably utilized for the entire HVAC system. Additionally, ventilation controls have to balance air quality and energy consumption. 

· Cooling and heating controls have likewise to balance human comfort and energy consumption. A study shows that human productivity can reach its peak at a given sufficient temperature.

· As the temperature decreases or increases, it triggers discomfort.

· When there’s extreme temperature, it more becomes a danger to health and can be life-threatening.

In building interiors, extreme temperatures are most apparent even with a deficient HVAC installation. Nevertheless, the indoor environmental quality (IEQ) can progressively worsen as the temperature will deviate from the standard range. In installing HVAC systems more efficiently, it’s crucial to monitor every phase starting from the first stage to last. Using builder trends software, installations are more efficient and easily managed. Work performance and productivity can also be improved further with the tool.

2. Smart Controls for Ventilation Systems

Air handlers believed to be consuming only less energy compare to space heaters and air conditioners. Yet, outdoor airflow that will be provided to buildings can affect the cooling and heating needs. Also, it’s better to stay cautious, updated about what is going to occur. Using a subcontractor scheduling software, the entire project cycle is best monitored, and the crew who participated in the project.

Below are some instances that could happen that everyone should stay cautious and observant:

· If ventilation systems increase airflow, particularly during winter, additional heat is necessary for a huge outdoor cold air volume.

· The same way applies to air conditioning, especially when the ventilation system increases airflow during the summer season.

Several buildings today have ventilation systems that usually operate with the fullest airflow every single time. Unfortunately, it represents a massive waste of energy, with the previously stated reasons. But when ventilation controls have Artificial Intelligence (AI), determining the optimal airflow that is required by the buildings is easier. Above all, the system can track the number of building occupants and the concentration of key air pollutants such as particulate matter and VOCs.

3. AI Synergy with Energy Efficiency Measures

Based upon the previous points, it is already evident today that energy efficiency measures are considered as the most effective implementation if coupled with AI. Energy Recovery Ventilation and Airside Economizers are two main examples of HVAC upgrades that work best with Artificial Intelligence.

· Energy recovery ventilation – it achieves synergy using smart ventilations. For instance, when the outdoor airflow is being optimized, expect that the energy waste of cooling and heating extra air can be avoided. Also, the ERV system has the capacity to exchange heat between exhaust air and supply air, lessening the HVAC workloads much more. Space heating and air conditioning are the two areas where ERV works best.

· Airside economizers – it can save enormous energy in a few climates. The economizer tends to increase the ventilation rates while lessening the air conditioning output when outdoor air has more suitable humidity and temperature. There is also so much electricity to be saved because using fans is less costly than air conditioners. Hence, with smart controls, maximizing the savings is easier because it can optimize the airside economizer.

The Real Value of AI in the Industry 

Robots and AI work best when there are many humans involved in the process. The strength of humans and computers must complement one another to obtain the best possible outcome. Using one of the best project management tools like builder software, outcomes are expectedly great. The present state of AI is becoming better, particularly in executing a bundle of tasks and implementing strategies. HVAC technicians, on the other side, have to take responsibility for the implementation of AI and other related technologies.

What about the Designs of Air Conditioners in the future?

As the results of future developments on supplies, materials, and the overall HVAC industry, the air conditioners will certainly still be evolving sooner or later. Perhaps, there are more beneficial ways to heat or cool specific areas, thereby lowering energy costs. One possible thing that could happen is that several appliances, including air conditioners, can connect to other appliances and a central database. It will allow for better insights as well as smart systems for good energy management.

The future designs of ACs right now might too tricky to predict, yet there are still many rooms for improvement. Besides, the heating and cooling mechanisms might change over the years to come. As a result, better energy efficiency is very much needed. HVAC technicians have become more than prepared to embrace every change.

What HVAC technicians should do to prepare?

Many experts have already realized that AI can drastically change the entire fabric of the industry. It seems like the world will be far different than what it is presently. Artificial intelligence is now heavily implemented in the construction industry and transportation, retail, communication, and other various sectors. It already contributed to several drastic changes that led to higher productivity and optimization.

The HVAC industry is never an exception. AI changes and affects the entire phases of HVAC manufacturing and installations. So far, Artificial Intelligence has played a vital role in HVAC development and research initiatives, including designing a whole air conditioner to the manufacturing of all parts. Additionally, even energy use monitoring is soon to become a domain of AI in the nearest future.

What is the significant impact of AI on the HVAC industry?

For HVAC professionals, it is highly suggested to keep up with all of the recent developments in terms of air conditioning. For project management, the latest technologies, like construction crew management, is generally used today. There is certainly greater demand for units with excellent performance and lower energy consumption. Either it will be for commercial or residential buildings, AI or all latest product developments will most likely change the industry’s operations.

Keeping an eye out for all promising developments is highly recommended. HVAC professionals need to watch out for all the latest air conditioner models, specifically the units with higher energy efficiency. Looking out for ACs that have a few numbers of mechanical parts is also suggested. Apart from being vigilant in this area, it is suggested to cover the basics first and foremost to ensure smoother transactions and operations in this trade.

Key Takeaways

Artificial Intelligence was first conceptualized back then in the 1950s. However, only through these recent technological advancements is that AI has become more visible in the industry. That is why AI implementation in the HVAC industry will initially be tied to a broader system-level optimization, more enterprise-level outcomes, and limited focus on specific pieces of sensors and equipment.

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