Top Trends in Commercial Air Conditioning Installation for 2024

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) technology is a major part of our modern lives. While HVAC is important for comfort and safety, it can also be a major drain on resources, which is why the industry is always advancing.

New HVAC technologies are focused on delivering greater energy efficiency, cost savings and programmability. These features are making commercial air conditioning installation more accessible than ever, ensuring there’s a solution for every application.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the top trends for commercial air conditioning in 2024, and how they’re affecting the HVAC industry.

Top Trends in Commercial Air Conditioning Installation for 2024

1. Smart HVAC Controls

Internet-connected devices are increasingly common in the consumer space, and that trend is steadily making its way into commercial HVAC.

The shift towards smart HVAC has been hampered by the complexity of commercial systems. Large-scale HVAC applications can require dozens or hundreds of control and monitoring points. This creates a challenge in implementing smart HVAC systems that provide a real benefit to the occupants of a building.

With technology advancing, we’re now at a point where commercial-scale HVAC will begin to incorporate smart sensors, controls and reporting features.

This will reduce costs, improve energy efficiency and provide greater comfort to each zone – or to every individual, in some cases.

2. Ductless HVAC

Retrofitting commercial HVAC systems into older buildings has always been difficult. The space required for modern HVAC solutions means that they are unsuitable for many buildings that could benefit from climate control.

This issue is being addressed with the use of ductless HVAC. You are probably already familiar with ductless HVAC systems – it’s the same technology that’s used in consumer split system air conditioning.

Instead of using ductwork to deliver conditioned air to a space, ductless systems use small-diameter plumbing to circulate refrigerant. This refrigerant can be cooled or heated at an external location, allowing any space to benefit from climate control.

3. Renewable Energy Source Integration

Energy efficiency is the name of the game in commercial HVAC. Newer systems consume less electricity than ever, but operators are still looking for ways to cut consumption.

For most operators, this requires the integration of renewable energy sources.

It’s now common to see commercial buildings investing in things like solar panels and geothermal generators. These devices can produce large amounts of power to offset the energy that’s being consumed by HVAC functions, especially during the day at peak times.

Renewable energy sources and HVAC are also being fitted with advanced controls that can optimise the use of the system and align it with renewable production. 

4. Noise Reduction

The noise produced by HVAC can be significant, especially with older systems. A great deal of research is going into reducing the noise pollution that’s created inside and outside of a climate controlled space.

New heat pump designs, multi-speed motors and ultra-quiet fan blades are all making an impact on noise levels. These features have traditionally been an upsell over the base model, but high-performance components are predicted to become more common in 2024.

5. Heat Pump Integration

Heat pump technology is nothing new in commercial HVAC. But the technology is advancing quickly, and modern inverter systems with variable motor speeds are now available at commercial scale.

We expect to see heat pumps become more popular than ever, especially in colder climates that have relied on traditional boiler technology for heating.

The shift towards heat pumps can cut emissions dramatically, with some heat pumps being up to 65% more efficient than conventional HVAC systems.

Not only are heat pumps more efficient, they are very simple devices with low maintenance and installation requirements. That allows commercial installation teams to deliver better results with a shorter turnaround time, improving profits in the process.

6. Green Refrigerant Alternatives

The commercial HVAC industry has traditionally relied on highly toxic and harmful hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants. These chemicals are cheap to manufacture and can produce a significant temperature differential, which is crucial when heating and cooling large spaces.

But HFCs are also harmful to the environment, difficult to handle and they can be toxic if the system develops a leak. The industry has been shifting away from HFCs for some time, but this trend is set to explode in 2024.

Research into green alternatives is producing non-HFC compounds with a lower global warming potential. Some of the leading contenders include chemicals like ammonia, carbon dioxide, propane and even water.

But the reigning champion of future-proof refrigerant alternatives is geothermal power.

Geothermal heat pumps use the thermal mass of the earth to heat and cool spaces. These systems are simple, low-maintenance and very effective, and they’re becoming increasingly popular at commercial scale.

7. HVAC as a Subscription Service

Maintenance is one of the biggest challenges that comes with commercial HVAC systems. When you have an entire building to manage, keeping up with maintenance requirements for thousands of HVAC components is challenging.

The answer to this problem is HVAC as a service.

This new business model asks building managers to pay a regular fee that covers the installation, service and repair of HVAC systems. This is providing major benefits, including:

  • Reduced upfront costs – The installation company is able to spread the cost of the installation across years worth of subscription fees.
  • Improved system lifespan – Regular maintenance can extend the life of HVAC equipment by decades.
  • Greater energy efficiency – A well-maintained HVAC system will consume less energy. When you are dealing with building-wide HVAC systems, this can result in substantial long-term savings.
  • Improved upgradability – Replacing an old HVAC system is a major expense. With subscription models, it is possible to upgrade HVAC components one at a time when they reach the end of their service life.
Home Base Project Team
Home Base Project Team
At The Home Base Project, we offer practical, real-life tips and inspiration about DIY, decorating and gardening. The Home Base Project provide the best information about home renovation and design, connecting home design enthusiasts and home professionals across the world.