With more people being confined to working from homes amid the COVID-19 pandemic, HVAC systems are increasingly being put into the spotlight over its impact on both the environment and its role in preventing the spread of airborne diseases.
Industry reports state that HVAC systems account for 13% of oil consumption and 59% of total EU gas consumption. In fact, the International Energy Agency (IEA), the Paris-based intergovernmental organisation tasked at the heart of global energy dialogue, said that the power needed to keep air conditioners and electric fans running accounts for 20% of global electricity use.
In tropical Southeast Asia, where high humidity comes hand-in-hand with searing heat and increasing urbanization, this number is likely to be higher.
This is necessitated HVAC suppliers to rethink, and continuously work on modernizing heating and cooling systems to increase energy efficiency. They are increasing their investment to achieve their commitment towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
For instance, HVAC suppliers such as Daikin are adopting eco-friendly refrigerants in their products. According to Swen Tan, Manager at Daikin Consulting Channel, the company is adopting “new HFO refrigerants that are environmentally friendly with zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) and lower Global Warming Potential (GWP)”.