How The Internet of Things Can Help HVAC

An open fire in a Neolithic hut is the earliest form of heating. And air conditioning has been seen as far back as Ancient Persia using technology known as wind-catchers. Each generation has made advances to create more comfortable environments to live and work in. And in the case of the open fire; safer.

With the rise of the digital age, the pursuit of the optimum comfortable environment now turns its attention to “The Internet of Things.”

What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things in its basic form is the communication between anything, be it a person, an animal or an object through a network without requiring human assistance.

Each “thing” would be assigned an IP address, providing it with the ability to send and receive information from any other “thing” much like a computer. This ability to communicate means that anything could receive instructions, as well as provide information

The Internet of Things and HVAC

The possibilities are almost infinite when it comes to Air Conditioning, Heating and Ventilation systems. And the benefits could lead to smarter, more efficient and more comfortable environments for all.

The current Internet of Things, which is based mainly on machine-to-machine communication (commonly known as smart technology) allows you to control an air conditioning unit, heating system or a vent using your smartphone. For the user this allows them to control their system as long as they have an internet connected device such as a tablet or smartphone. For the air conditioning installer or heating servicing company, this allows them to monitor and diagnose the HVAC system without attending site.

Domestic customers are already seeing this change in their homes. British Gas’ successful campaign for their Hive Active Heating means you can be at work and turn on or change your heating settings before you get home.

Commercial HVAC

In the commercial sector, this technology is already available with systems like Mitsubishi Electric’s MEL Cloud or the technology found in Daikin’s Online Controller. These systems allow you to control, manage and diagnose your system, using your smartphone, without the use of a remote and without being at the location.

Mitsubishi Electric describe it as “a new generation of Cloud based control for Mitsubishi Electric Air Conditioning and Ecodan Heating products that provides users with effortless control of their devices whether they are out or are just lying on their sofa at home.

“Accessing and controlling your Mitsubishi Electric products has never been simpler and is now possible via a wide range of PCs, Tablets and Smartphones.”

The future

This is what is available now, but where could we go in the future? Check back for the second part of 361 Degrees’ look into HVAC and the Internet of Things.

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