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HVAC Vendors Providing More Than Just Heating and Cooling

Tom Machinchick
Jan 05, 2017

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) controls represent a critical part of building energy management, as they are often the single biggest users of building energy. A recent article posted on Energy Manager Today states that “[Companies] within [the HVAC Industry] are unanimously eager to learn and grow in continual pursuit of advanced levels of efficient operation.” While the ultimate measure of success for global energy managers is the amount of energy saved, supporting industry sectors such as lighting and HVAC provide the actual tools to help them realize their targets.

In the HVAC industry in particular, leading vendors such as Trane and Carrier are redefining what it means to provide a supporting role to global energy managers. Similar to other industries where digitization has enabled a more detailed understanding of energy consumption, these leading vendors are finally realizing the value locked within their extensive building relationships and the knowledge they have gained working in buildings for many decades. Both Trane and Carrier have quietly developed highly capable building energy management systems that rival other leading offerings in the market.

Digitization Driving Progress

Data and software capabilities are the key drivers here. The expanded software capabilities built into newer controllers give these HVAC vendors the ability to transform their knowledge of cooling and heating into new, holistic optimization strategies for the operation of their equipment in conjunction with other critical building systems. The good news is that even though some of these offerings were years in the making, the advancements are still in the earliest stages of development. As additional data and experience are gained with these systems and new working relationships, the results are expected to be even more dramatic.

As described in Navigant Research’s recent Leaderboard Report: Commercial HVAC Systems, Trane and Carrier have evolved digital offerings that help to understand, integrate, and coordinate disparate building systems, allowing for improved efficiency and lower lifecycle costs. Similar to leading website and Internet commerce companies that tout page views as a measure of their value, Trane and Carrier have realized and begun to exploit the value locked in their existing customer bases and vast knowledge of building operations to help move the HVAC industry into the digital age.