When the first air conditioning systems debuted, they were little more than “machines” with few electrical components that simply had to operate. There were no options for external control or HVAC integration. However, a 2020 study of energy usage in the EU revealed that around 40% of total energy consumption came from commercial buildings. And of this, the most significant portion was attributable to air conditioning and climate control. That’s where things change.

Now, the integration of modern third-party applications and hardware is widespread. These systems are installed across the globe at an ever-increasing rate, and they come with some notable benefits for environmental control. In this article, we’ll discuss some of those critical benefits and talk about which third-party control systems we generally recommend to our customers for HVAC integration.

What Are Hvac Integration and Control Systems?

Residential HVAC integration control systems are, as the name suggests, systems that allow you to monitor and manage all of your HVAC equipment from a central location. In many cases, this can be done via a computer or even a smartphone. The goal? Optimise performance while saving energy, protecting the planet, and helping your bottom line.

These systems provide comprehensive insights into how your HVAC system performs and are responsible for automating HVAC processes. Using real-time data, these control systems carry out physical operations that alter the temperature, humidity, and flow of air, and achieve user-defined atmospheric settings. All of these settings can be used to make adjustments that improve comfort while reducing energy usage.

In short, residential HVAC control systems offer several advantages that can be highly beneficial for both commercial and residential building owners and operators.

Five Benefits of Residential HVAC Integration and Control Systems

1. They’re good for the environment

One of the most significant benefits of HVAC integration and control is that it’s good for the environment. By integrating a control system, you can make adjustments that result in reduced energy consumption, which leads to lower carbon emissions and a smaller ecological footprint.

2. They’ll save you money

HVAC integration and control systems can also save you money. You can reduce energy costs by monitoring your HVAC system’s performance and adjusting accordingly. The energy savings will more than offset the cost of the HVAC control system itself.

3. They’re convenient

A centralised HVAC control system is more convenient than managing HVAC equipment manually. A control system stores all the critical HVAC data in one location. This makes it easy to access and interpret so that you can make the necessary adjustments quickly and easily.

4. They’re easy to use

Most HVAC control systems, like those discussed here, are relatively easy to use. In many cases, you only need a computer or smartphone and an internet connection. The user interface is usually straightforward, and the controls are intuitive.

5. They greatly improve comfort

The final advantage of HVAC integration and control is that it can improve comfort. By monitoring temperature and humidity data, you can easily adjust and automate your HVAC system to create a more comfortable indoor environment.

The Best HVAC Integration and Control Systems on the Market

Now that we’ve discussed some of the benefits, it’s time to talk about which residential HVAC integration systems are the best on the market.

1. Control4 HVAC Integration

As Control4 Installers in London we know that they are a leading HVAC integration and control system for commercial and residential buildings. And, with an already extensive intelligent home control system, Control4’s applications are polished, well-established, and integrated into many home appliance and fixture products. However, some third-party integrations are not always as simple as plug-and-play.

Control4 can control popular heating systems like Heatmiser out-of-the-box and is relatively cost-effective. And, by adding a driver from a reputable company like Janus technology, you can extend your controls to program advanced schedules. Adding air conditioning into the mix is where things require a little more thinking. An air conditioning interface – like Coolmasters Coolmaster Net – is required to take full advantage of controls. And a second driver is needed to bridge between the AC and heating systems, allowing Control4 to manage both systems with ease, and without both being active at the same time.

2. Crestron HVAC Integration

Crestron offers another excellent residential HVAC integration and control system. Like Control4, Crestron is highly customisable and has extensive smart home controls, like precise temperature maintaining and advanced scheduling.

Much like Control4, Crestron will need to pair with compatible drivers – like Heatmiser and Coolmaster – to control both heating and cooling simultaneously. And, depending on your system and home, you may also require some additional Crestron hardware and drivers. However, the outcome is very much the same — an industry-leading HVAC control system that’ll save you money.

What About Lutron?

Typically, our Lutron Installers would suggest clients to consider a Crestron or Control4 system as the front-end interface and point of control for any third-party HVAC control system. We then install another third-party device such as Coolmaster drivers that allow the Crestron or Control4 system to manage the AC. 

However, if a Lutron system is already in place at the property, then a Lutron’s Palladiom thermostat is an option to consider. As with Control4 and Crestron, these Lutron thermostats can directly control your climate, but also require compatible Heatmiser and CoolmasterNet products. And, if you’re looking to combine air conditioning and heating controls, integration of a BMS controller – like the North Commander – is essential.

Finding and Installing the Best HVAC Integration System for Your Needs

To recap, residential HVAC integration and control systems offer many advantages. They’re easy to use, they can save you money on energy costs, and they can improve comfort. Paired with a Coolmaster device, both Crestron and Control4 can manage and switch heating and air conditioning simultaneously, ensuring one is not working against the other. 

Finding the best HVAC integration system for your needs depends on what you’re looking for, and what you may have already installed. Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t panic. If you’re unsure of which system is right for you, or you’re looking for more advice on how an HVAC control system will function inside your home or business, speak to a member of our team. Working with an integrator like Element 29 can make things simple, understandable, and easy to operate. 

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