When we think about smart thermostats, the brand that often comes to mind is Google’s Nest, the electronic, programmable, and self-learning WiFi-enabled thermostat that regulates heating and cooling to conserve energy in the home.

The Nest “learning thermostat” certainly wasn’t the first smart thermostat on the market when it was introduced in 2011. It was, however, the first consumer-friendly smart thermostat. It learned our preferences in order to make us comfortable when we were home and save energy when we were away.

Some might say that the Nest thermostat, which started the modern smart home and Internet of Things (IoT) movements, continues to lead the charge in 2020. A market study by Parks Research tells us that this year, about 40 million US homes are likely to have smart thermostats.

And now, smart thermostats are being connected to smart home heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

According to the research firm Technavio, the global HVAC equipment market is poised to grow by $54.65 billion during 2020-2024, progressing at a CAGR of over 7% during the forecast period. Among the market drivers, the report said, is the advent of smart HVAC systems.

What is a Smart HVAC System?

According to the residential home services company Constellation, a smart HVAC system is one that works with your home’s WiFi network, your smartphone app, and a smart thermostat.

“For example, on your drive home from work, you can use a smartphone app to turn your system on so that your house is heated or cooled to your desired temperature by the time you arrive home. Smart systems can also sense movement in your house and in specific rooms, turning on when people are home or move in and out of various rooms. This ensures that your HVAC system only runs when you need it, helping you save money,” the company says.

Smart HVAC systems not only can save money, but they also can ensure that you do your seasonal preventive maintenance and avoid costly repairs. They also can improve efficiency, controlling the flow of air to prevent overheating or cooling in certain parts of the house.

And soon, homeowners may not even need smart thermostats to get a smart HVAC system, according to IoT expert Matthew Sallee. In a blog post about how the IoT was taking over the HVAC market for Propmodo, a website that focuses on how emerging technologies affect our built environment, he recently predicted:

“The initial costs of connecting an HVAC system will only go down with time. Older units will be able to be easily retrofitted with state of the art (often wireless) sensors. New units will ship from the factory with sensors embedded in them. Connected HVAC will just become the new normal.

“The thermostat itself might even disappear as part of this evolving product space.”

Manufacturers will find that smart HVAC systems can provide new business opportunities. Find out about how you can enter the smart HVAC market by contacting Ayla for a free consultation and to learn more about designing smart HVAC systems using Ayla IoT platform services.