By Neil Cameron, Johnson Controls
Home for most people is a great deal more than a place to sleep and eat. It’s a place where families gather, relax or sit down to have a meal together. The increase in mobile workforces also means that home is also “work” for many people. It is important, therefore, that people are comfortable at home – and climate control forms an integral part of the perceived comfort of a person’s surroundings.
Connected devices that make life easier are readily available on the market today, and the concept of the connected “smart home” is an appealing reality. People can control every electronic device within their home from a single application on their smart device. They can change security settings, control their lights and automate absolutely everything based on preferred settings, all from a single touch point.
Some air-conditioners can be easily controlled from a smart device and by connecting the air-conditioner into the smart home management system, it can become a part of the connected digital home experience, enabling residents to control the temperature remotely or automatically with ease.
However, what works in one room, doesn’t necessarily make sense in another. One may want a warmer living area, but a cooler kitchen. With smart air-conditioning systems, individual rooms and units can be set to different temperatures to provide consistent ambient temperatures throughout the house ideal for sleeping, studying or working from home.
Another smart feature of many light residential air-conditioners available today is the ability to automatically adjust based on the occupancy of a room. “Follow me” functionality allows for air-conditioners to automatically adjust the temperature in the location where a person is. Air-conditioners can also be set to maintain a specific temperature, defaulting to standby mode when the temperature is attained, and switching on again when it needs adjusting.
Energy-efficiency and well-being
Air-conditioners that maintain temperatures or auto-adjust based on occupancy and environment are far more energy efficient than fans or heaters. Quite simply, they are faster at achieving desired temperatures and therefore use less energy. This is the case whether a constant temperature is maintained regardless of occupancy, or whether the air-conditioner is set to “follow me”.
Both heaters and fans also tend to dry out the air and, because they merely circulate the existing air, including dust and bacteria, within a room, they prove to be unsuitable for anyone suffering from allergies or illness. Air-conditioners however, really do condition the air. They use filtration systems which effectively remove dust and bacteria with outgoing air.
Built into the design
Smart homes are fast becoming the norm, with smart devices and features being built into homes from the planning stage already. Many new homes are being built with centralised variable refrigeration air-conditioner systems that intelligently adjust the temperature of different rooms in a single house from a central system. However, smart air-conditioners can easily be retrofit into older homes too.
High wall split units are relatively easy to install or move, and offer the same intelligence as centralised systems. Being connected into your smart home management system effectively connects the air-conditioners and combines them into a single, effective, efficient and intelligent system.
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