Every generation has made technological advances to create more comfortable living and working environments. With the advent of the internet and a host of connected devices and an “Always connected society”, we have seen the rise of the digital age and with it the pursuit of the optimum comfortable living and working environment. This always ON, always connected and device-to-device networks is referred to as “The Internet of Things”.

What actually is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things in its basic form is binary or digital communication through a computer network without necessarily requiring any human intervention.

Each “thing”, and this could be your fridge, air conditioning system, television etc that is connected to a computer network would be assigned an IP address, This connectivity allows each “Thing” to send and receive information to and from any other “thing” much like a computer. This networked communication between each device means that any “thing” could receive instructions and process these instructions. For example, these instructions could be to increase or lower the temperature of your fridge or air conditioning system, or even place an order from your fridge when you have run out of milk! They can also provide information such as the accurate temperature of your fridge or room.

The Internet of Things and the HVAC Industry.

The possibilities are quite astounding when it comes to air conditioning, heating and ventilation systems. The benefits are smarter, more efficient, more economical and more comfortable environments for all. It also allows us to communicate with the “Thing” and report on possible problems or areas we can develop “Smart” service and for it to notify other connected systems when a critical fault does arise.

Currently, the “Internet of Things”, which is primarily based on machine-to-machine communication (commonly known as smart technology), allows you to control an air conditioning unit, heating system or a ventilation system using your smartphone, tablet, PC or another connected device. This allows users to control their system as long as they have a suitable internet connected device such as a tablet or smartphone etc. For the HVAC servicing company, this allows them to monitor and diagnose the HVAC systems without attending site and allows them, when required, to source parts far quicker.
Domestic customers are already seeing this change in their homes. British Gas has run a very successful campaign in recent years for their Hive Active Heating. This has allowed people to be anywhere in the world and as long as they are connected to the internet, turn on or change their heating settings in their home.

Industrial and Commercial HVAC

In the industrial/commercial sector, this type of technology is already available with systems like Mitsubishi Electric’s MEL Cloud and the technology that can be found in Daikin’s Online Controllers. These online “Always ON” systems allow you to control, manage and diagnose your system, using your Smartphone or tablet from anywhere in the world, without the use of a remote control and the need to be at the same location.

Mitsubishi Electric has described this product as “a new generation of Cloud-based control for Mitsubishi Electric Air Conditioning and Ecodan Heating products that provide users with effortless control of their devices whether they are out or are just lying on their sofa at home.
“Accessing and controlling your Mitsubishi Electric products has never been simpler and is now possible via a wide range of PCs, tablets and smartphones”.

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