With years of innovation behind modern HVAC systems, it was about time that they became smarter to exchange information between units to ensure that your system runs more efficiently. Although a bit more expensive than their normal counterparts, communicating HVAC systems offer more efficient operation, better indoor climate, with better control, and in most cases, a better warranty scheme. Let’s take a detailed look at what makes these systems different from a non-communicating HVAC system.
How a non-communicating HVAC system works
First off, non-communicating HVAC systems are used with either single-stage or two-stage heating and cooling units like gas furnaces, central air conditioning units, heat pumps, and air handlers. Here, all the circuitry is simple and operates with the switching principle. For example, if there is a need for heating, the thermostat acts as the switch. From there, the appropriate circuitry is completed, just like your traditional switches, and the heat pump or gas furnace is turned on.
Once a certain temperature is reached, the thermostat acts again, to turn off the appropriate circuitry. Once that happens, the heat pump or gas furnace in your AC system is turned off. The same principle is followed during your cooling needs, your thermostat acts as a switch, turning on the various required units of your HVAC system when required, and turning them off once the desired temperature is reached.
What are the pros of a communicating HVAC system?
With a simple system like this, it’s often easier for technicians to service your HVAC system, and you will not require any special help. However, a common disadvantage is the fact that wiring this simple circuit, often becomes more complicated as more components are added to the HVAC system.
What are the main differences in a communicating HVAC system versus a non-communicating one?
A communicating HVAC system is often used with two-stage and mostly with all variable-capacity HVAC systems.
Here, the wiring of the system is less complicated. Two connections are required for the heating and cooling aspects of the system, while two more are required to facilitate communication between components.
Once your system is set up and started, the thermostats search for the HVAC units in your system, just as your phone would search for a WiFi connection. Once paired, the individual units chalk up their individual capabilities and send them over the thermostat. From here, the thermostat controls and handles optimal performance for each of the components.
Because the system works a lot like a computer network, there is an ongoing communicating process where the unit sends performance information to the thermostat. This data is then used to refine the performance of that particular HVAC unit and thereby improve efficiency by a large margin.
Better indoor heating and cooling for more comfort
In order to optimize the heating and cooling in your home, the thermostat employs various sensors scattered through to monitor and make minor adjustments in the temperature. In this manner, the indoor climate of your home is much more stable and comfortable.
One of the more notable examples of a communicating system is used by Trane in their HVAC products, the ComfortLink™ II Communicating System. Here, their gas furnaces, air handlers, heat pumps, and condensers carry with them ComfortLink™ II Communicating Control Boards which enable these units to be a part of a communicating HVAC system. This communicating facility allows Trane HVAC systems to reach high-efficiency levels, with maximum comfort as the systems have communicating enabled between different components to quickly optimize performance depending on the current weather and conditions. This performance is further improved if you used a matched HVAC system, wherein all individual units are communicating with each other.
Communicating HVAC systems are a great way to optimize your HVAC uses throughout the year in order to conserve energy, and reduce your bills. With a proper AC maintenance & repair team at your helm, setting up your communicating HVAC system is easy and painless. Furthermore, if you are not going for a matched system and intend to mix and match between different brands, ensure that the components come from sister-brands, that is components under the same primary brand/company. This is due to the fact that different HVAC companies use their own proprietary communicating systems and will not function with others, for instance, you cannot match Trane systems with GoodMan systems.
See the summary of this content here – Communicating HVAC System vs. Non-Communicating HVAC System [Infographic]
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